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Mottville Speedway Property Sold to Local Church, Farewell Event Planned



Mottville, MI - The Historic Mottville Speedway’s run has come to an end after the property was purchased by a local church.


Restoration Church, based in nearby Constantine, MI, announced on Saturday morning via Facebook that they have purchased the property that Mottville Speedway stands on and will redevelop the site for their new church building. The sale comes after the track was put up on the market following condemnation by the township in late 2023.


Before any redevelopment begins, Restoration Church plans to have one final send off for the Mottville Speedway, giving local race fans and drivers one final opportunity to say goodbye to the historic facility.


”Ourselves included have a lot of memories there. We’ve been talking about having some type of ceremony this year before anything changes on the grounds,” said a representative of Restoration Church in a Facebook message. “We’ll make sure to post something on Facebook once we plan that, so stay tuned.”


Mottville Speedway opened on July 4, 1950 as a ¼-mile dirt track off of US 12 just outside of Mottville Township. Alvin Lammon of Three Rivers, MI purchased the property in 1949 and enlisted the help of New Paris Speedway founder Joe Hamsher for advice. Mottville was paved in the late 1960’s while under the ownership of Buck Jones. R.D. Vaughn inherited the track in a trade before selling it to Hamsher in the early 1970’s.


Ralph and Nancy McGlothlen purchased Mottville before the 1982 and renamed it Southwest Michigan Speedway. The eight-year McGlothlen era were the golden years of the facility, with several track improvements and car counts that rivaled any other track in the area. Drivers like Tony Raines, Denny Nyari, Andy Bozell, Doug Hanna, Jim Blount, Randy Sweet, Larry Knowlton and many more made their names at Mottville and surrounding tracks in the early days.


Mottville changed hands to Merle and Judith Holden in 1990, switching the name back to Mottville Speedway. Holden owned and promoted the track for 32 years before his passing in 2022. The track became nationally recognized in the early 2000’s when a national record for most race dates was set in 2002 with 85, then reset a year later with 88 in 2003.


A final abbreviated season was contested in 2023, with Danny Payne (Outlaw FWD) and Apryl Patterson (Hornet) becoming the final track champions in Mottville Speedway history. The season banquet will be held on March 2 at the Three Rivers American Legion. Tickets are $15 per person and payments will have to be received no later than February 16. Any further questions can be directed to Kirt Grubb on Facebook.


Stay tuned to the Restoration Church Facebook page for more information regarding the final send-off for Mottville Speedway.


Story - Koty Geyer

Photo - File Photo

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