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Austin Speed O Rama

By: jwilder

austin speed-o-rama aerial view
Austin Speed-O-Rama aerial view.

I visited the F1 construction site last weekend and also stopped by the old Longhorn Speedway. That got me interested in doing some research and writing up a short summary about the old race track.

Instead of waiting months, I will simply keep updating this entry as I review all the info I have collected.

The track has been called several names such as Austin Speed-O-Rama (or Speedorama for those who hate dashes), Longhorn Speedway, Paramount Austin Speedway ('70s) and Bad Boyz Speed-O-Rama. It was also informally referred to as Lockhart Speedway probably due to the fact that highway 183 was known as Lockhart Highway.

Austin Speed-O-Rama was opened in 1960 by A.B. Wusterhausen and his son Louis Wusterhausen. The 1/4 mile asphalt track is located at 183 and FM 812. Louis Wusterhausen was the track manager. Louis was killed during a race at Texas World Speedway on October 8th 1972 while driving a 1971 Camaro.

In 1971 and 1972, TV announcer, news anchor, singer and songwriter Jerry K. Green leased and operated the track, bringing in NASCAR for the 1972 season. He was also the track announcer in 1970. According to Jerry, the track was quite successful during those years and all the proceeds were reinvested to improve the track. However, the prosperity of the track suffered a blow when unrelated financial problems caused Mr. Green to lose the lease.

In 1992 the track was definitely called Longhorn Speedway. This is according to an image of an old program flier I found on the net. The program boasts of 32 years of racing.

In 2003 the track was owned or leased by Paul Miller. Accounts that I have found say that the track was being restored and was scheduled to reopen as Bad Boyz Speed-O-Rama on July 4th, 2003. However, accounts also reveal that there were too many complications and it appears that the track missed the target date or never reopened.

According to some track list databases, the promoter was Lisa Painter, and the contact email was Marymiller13@aol.com. They even had a web site with the name of www.badboyzspeed-o-rama.com.

2011. Word on the net is that Sandra Bullock bought the track for Jesse James, but things happened. As of June 6, 2011 the track is for sale (or lease) again.

Other Interesting Info

The venue was apparently used for concerts from time to time as I have found references to a Janis Joplin concert being held there. There is also an account that on Saturday, May 4, 2002, the Alamo Drafthouse used the venue to show the cult classic movie Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! Apparently the Kontinentals car club were in attendance (this could be an article of it's own!). Tim League, owner of the Alamo Drafthouse, mentions in a blog post that one of the Kontinentals pulled up in front of the screen between features and proceeded to do an extended burnout.

Mary Ann Nauman, owner of Thunder Hill Raceway has a great deal of history associated with Longhorn Speedway. Her father and mother, Jake and Frankie Wallace both raced and promoted stock car racing at Longhorn Speedway. In the 1990's, her brother-in-law, Alvin Stewart, managed Longhorn Speedway and she was involved in the promotion of the track.

Gallery

austin speed-o-rama 2
Austin Speed-O-Rama.

austin speed-o-rama 3
Austin Speed-O-Rama.

austin speed-o-rama 4
Austin Speed-O-Rama.

austin speed-o-rama 5
Austin Speed-O-Rama.

austin speed-o-rama 6
Austin Speed-O-Rama.

austin speed-o-rama 7
Austin Speed-O-Rama 32 Years of Racing. 1992

Link Roundup and References

www.jerrykgreen.com/bio

Originally published on motoraustin.com on June 6, 2011.

James Wilder

James Wilder is the owner, writer, photographer, designer, and developer for MOTOR Texas.

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