Grandview Speedway is one-third mile high-banked clay oval currently operated by the second and third generations of the Rogers family.
Grandview Speedway is rich in history, opening up for the first time in 1963. Property owner Forrest Rogers was first approached by the Pottstown All-Stars, a local racing club, with the thought of building a quarter-mile asphalt track on his 103 acre property in Berks County. At the time, the Pottstown All-Stars staged stock car races at Sanatoga, Hatfield and the Municipal Stadium in Philadelphia.
While, that deal never materialized, Rogers moved forward and began building his track in the fall of 1962. The track, in its design was a one-third mile high-banked clay oval offering a seating capacity of about one-thousand spectators. The original announcer’s booth was large enough to hold three people and today that booth remains on the property and is used as a ticket booth at the front grandstand gate. Rogers worked hard at building his dirt track but a sudden heart attack ended his life just four years after Grandview’s opening. His son, Bruce Rogers, became the principal earth shaker at developing the future of the fledgling facility.
Over the years numerous improvements were made including a large expansion of the pit area, improved seating and a high rise grandstand in turns three and four. Seating capacity around this racey “bullring” is nearly six-fold from the track’s original opening day crowd on August 11, 1963.
But one thing has never changed, the measured length of the track — over the years, the track was made wider to offer some of the most exciting side-by-side racing witnessed anywhere. Improved lighting and a new wheel fence provide excellent and safe viewing for all spectators and unlike most speedways, Grandview offers a close look and feel of the excitement that only dirt track modified stock car racing can generate.
Orwigsburg, Pa. driver Lauden Potts won the first-ever race held that August day at Grandview Speedway and a popular name to modified racing, Dick Haven, was crowned the track’s first season champion. In 1964, Grandview Speedway changed from the Modifieds to the Flathead Sportsman class and in 1968 the track went strictly sportsman stock cars.
Grandview also had a rich history in open cockpit racing, showcasing such big names as Duane ‘Pancho’ Carter, Wayne Woodward, Johnny Coy, Lehigh Earnshaw, Johnny Hubbard, Len Duncan and Carl Miller. It is also reported that A.J. Foyt ran his final dirt track race at Grandview, joining several NASCAR drivers such as Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Sterling Marlin and Kyle Petty in one of the original “Race of Champions.”
The Modifieds grew bigger as the crowds became larger at Grandview Speedway. In the late 1980’s and well into the 90’s, Grandview Speedway experienced a growth trend literally unmatched by any neighboring speedway. Tracks like Reading, Nazareth, Penn National and Flemington ultimately lost the battle with their neighbors and local townsmen while Grandview just kept growing.
Drivers like Kenny Brightbill, Glenn Fitzcharles, Fred Rahmer and Dave Kelly launched their racing careers at the Bechtelsville oval and rose to be the best in their class in the years to come.
One of the most popular events on the Grandview Speedway schedule is the rich and historic Freedom 76 for Modifieds. This 76-lap event pays more than $20,000 to win and has attracted more than one-hundred cars just to attempt qualifying. Another significant event on the schedule is the Forrest Rogers Memorial, a race dedicated to the track founder and paying $10,000 to win.
The Thunder on the Hill Racing Series was born in August of 1990. Track owner Bruce Rogers and special event promoter, Bob Miller joined forces to present a special mid-week racing series. Thunder on the Hill is now in it’s 30th season and is the trend setter for offering unique, fan appealing, variety-filled special events.