Joe Shaheen (1905-89) operated the Springfield Speedway on the southeast corner of Dirksen Parkway and Clear Lake Avenue from 1947 to 1988.
Shaheen’s, also known as Little Springfield, was a quarter-mile dirt oval. Races over the years featured midgets, stock cars, hot rods. sprint cars and others.
The Shaheen family closed the Speedway at the end of the 1988 season, after Joe encountered ill health. The last car to tour the oval was the hearse that transported Shaheen’s body to Oak Hill Cemetery.
The site now is a strip mall. See many more Speedway photos here.
Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society. Learn how to support the Society.
Is there any way to get a copy of this picture? Art “Buster” Zellers was my father. Bob Sager was my Uncle.
Ms. Zellers: I pulled this photo from a DVD produced by the Sangamon County Historical Society. All the photos on the DVD came from the Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library, where you can get a much better reproduction. What’s more, there are two other photos on the DVD that also show your father and/or your uncle. All three apparently were originally donated to the library by Margaret Sager Hohimer; would she also be a relative?
Thanks for reading.
i am after a copy of that pic to as Bob Sager was my grandfather and all his photos the family had have been lost .
Kevin: I think the easiest way for you to get a copy is to contact the Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library. The phone number is 217-753-4900, extension 5634. Thanks for reading.
I AM CHUCK HUBBARD’S SON. I HAVE THIS PHOTO AND SEVERAL OTHER PHOTO’S OF THESE GUYS GIVE ME A CALL. 901-216-1107
Thanks for the offer, Mr. Hubbard.
Was it later enlarged to a 3/8 mile track???
I don’t recall a mention of a 3/8 mile track, sorry. But it’s certainly possible.
No, it was always a 1/4 mile track.
Did anyone know of Merle Green who raced here in 1948?
hi I won a race at little springfield in the fall of 1985 just wundering if you have any pictures of it ? i think it was an allstar race called it the Joe shaheen super sprint weekend ?
When I was a kid growing up in virden I went to races with my dad. We went for a drive on clear lake where drag strip use to be. Did Joe first start a track out there by it.
We saw a track out there and it looked a little better than the one on clear lake.
No, It was always a quarter mile track
I was wrong, it was a quarter when I moved in 1973, looking at another article of pictures & track records, it stated track was enlarged in 1981, it didn’t state to the new size.
Does anyone recall Chuck Weyant’s Holiday Inn and Raceway Bar on Peoria Road ? A family member of mine who knew him from Shaheen’s had her wedding breakfast there in 1960 and doesn’t remember the exact location. Any help is appreciated.
I remember going to the track to watch the races every weekend enjoy them alot