By Larry Jendras Jr. (PressBox, Issue 164, 8/2011)
With the popularity of auto racing growing across the nation during recent years, newer fans may not realize the long history the sport has in Baltimore. The last speedway in the immediate Baltimore area was closed in 1985. The surge in popularity of major racing venues around the country came after that date.
Competition between two or more autos can be traced in Baltimore back to November 1900. The event took place at The Gentleman’s Driving Park located across from the famous Pimlico Race Course horse track.
Other early racing events for autos and motorcycles were held at Electric Park and Pimlico. A racing accident at Pimlico in May 1908 made national news when Italian driver Emmanuele Cedrino was killed practicing his Fiat Cyclone for the coming race.
Auto racing in the 1920s and ’30s often used the ready-made tracks at county fairs or horse-racing facilities. Baltimore was no different, as cars took to Prospect Park, which was located on Eastern Avenue between Baltimore and Essex.
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