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Plainville Stadium

From Auto Racing

SR-372, Plainville, CT

<a href=""><img src="" /></a>

1/4 mile? dirt oval (1948)

1/4 mile dirt oval (4/10/1949)

1/4 mile paved oval (4/17/1949 - 1980)



Originally called Tinty's Flying Ranch, Plainville Stadium opened in 1948. The venue originally hosted motorcycle racing and horse shows. Motorcycle racing started at Plainville on Sunday May 23, 1948.[1] A Motorcycle racing ad for that race showed a 2:30 PM start. Admission was $1.00 for adults, 25 cents for children and parking was free.[2]

Joe Tinty

It was owned by the late Joe Tinty.

Joe Tinty built the Plainville Stadium in the late 1940s “to provide a place for family entertainment, ” after people suggested to him that an entertainment venue “would add to the area. ” The Bristol furniture store owner was born in North Haven and wanted to return to the favor to people who helped him in his life or with the furniture store.[3]

After closing as a race track, it hosted circuses or antique shows in the early 1980s. In 1983, Tinty owned the property where Plainville Stadium, Plainville Drive-In, and the Plainville Shopping Plaza were located. Tinty tried to bring a Beach Boys concert to Plainville but it was rejected by the town council. Plainville Stadium hosted events besides auto racing, including circuses and shows.[4]


Thousands of fans at the holiday-weekend event witnessed 31 year old stock car driver Mitchell Koskie, of Suffield, CT, die at Plainville on May 28, 1950. His car collided with two cars in the corner, hit the outside wall and 'overturned. ' He succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital. According to the Syracuse Herald Journal, he died at the hospital.[5]


On May 10, 1953, 21-year-old driver Arthur Johnson of Madison, CT died at Plainville. On lap 12 of 20, his car bounced several times. He was ejected after the 3rd bounce and landed face down on the track, according to State Officer Philip Massicotte with the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. He died at New Britain General Hospital of a fractured skull.[7]

Sparky Belmont, a modified and midget driver from E. Haven, CT, won at Riverside Park Speedway and at Plainville Stadium. He died of a heart attack after winning a 100-lap feature in 1968.[8]


Prior to the final season, 1980, owner-promoter Joe Tinty decided not to run a regular Saturday night schedule. "Costy complications, the high cost of overhead and impending costly modifications have prompted me to inform race car builders not to prepare cars to run specifically at Plainville this season, " said Joe Tinty.

Regular Saturday night tracks at that time included Danbury Racearena, Riverside Park Speedway, Seekonk Speedway, and Waterford Speedbowl; Danbury closed in 1981 and RIverside Park in 1999.

During its final season, Plainville ran special shows and a reduced schedule of Saturday night races.[9]

The track closed in 1980. Ronnie Rocco won the 50 lap Modified feature on September 20, 1980 in his own #13 car. Rocco was the 1978-79 Modified track champion and won the last two season finales in 1979-80.

Track owner Joe Tinty sought to change the zoniing of the track property from general commercial to industrial to generate more revenue.[10]

The track was demolished in the 1990s after sitting dormant for more than a decade.


Turn 1 at Plainville
Backstretch at Plainville

Present Day

The track site is now the Connecticut Commons at Plainville shopping plaza. It has a Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse (246 New Britain Avenue), AMC Loews movie theater (220 New Britain Road), Kohl's (200 New Britain Avenue), Linens n' Things (248 New Britain Avenue) among other shops and restraurants.


Year Driver Division ## Driver Division ##
1949 George Landry
1950 Ray Brown
1952 Moe Gherzi Modified/United
1953 Charlie Richards
1959 Danny Galullo[11]
1960 Moe Gherzi[12] M # D. Charest[13] Novice #
1961 Lou Carangelo[14] Open Comp. Mike Sylvia[15] Novice
1962 George Lombardo[16] Open Comp. Adolph Pecka[17] Novice
1963 George Lombardo George Hotchkiss[18] Open Comp. Frank Manafort Novice
Danny Galullo?
1964 Sparky Belmont[19] Open Comp. Frank Manafort[20] Novice
1965 Jap Membrino[21] Open Comp. Johnny Manafort[22] Novice
1966 Jim Smith[23]
1967 Danny Gaudiosi[24] [25] [26]
1968 Bob Vivari[27]
1969 Don Spazano[28]
1970 Dave Alkas[29]
1971 Dave Alkas[30]
1972 Bob Vivari Ronnie Rocco
1973 Dave Alkas
1974 Dave Alkas Modified #54
1975 Gary Membrino Modified #000 Danny Caron Pleasure Car #62
1976 Dave Alkas Modified #54 Danny Caron Pleasure Car #62
1977 Dave Alkas[31] Modified #54 Larry Ross Sportsman #23
1978 Ronnie Rocco[32] Modified #13 Danny Caron Sportsman #62
1979 Ronnie Rocco[33] Modified #13

1950 - Ray Brown also United champion.


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