With its extensive history of ups and downs, Palm Beach International Raceway has seen its fair share of adventures. The raceway was inaugurated in the year 1964 in Jupiter, Florida. The brothers, Joe Buncheck Jr., and Edward were its first owners and built the facility for a hefty $1.5 million.
Once known as one of the country’s top racing venues, the raceway experienced major setbacks soon after its inception. The racing pitch was initially prepared for the Florida International Grand Prix of Endurance, which was supposed to be held at the Palm Beach International Raceway following the dreadful deaths in the 1966 Sebring endurance race. However, Palm Beach experienced an unprecedented amount of rain that delayed the renovations and groundworks. The following high water table will become a hurdle in completing the requirements before the April 1, 1967 deadline. The contract was canceled, and the event was held back in Sebring International Raceway.
Following the major misfortune, the raceway continued to host several regional races and minor events along with its famous drag races. Subsequently, the venue became popular for hosting rock concerts by some of the leading names, including Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Rolling Stones, and Sly & The Family Stone. Led Zeppelin’s concert was canceled at the last moment due to the venue’s inability to accommodate over 50,000 anticipated attendees.
The Raceway came into the limelight thanks to the MTV documentary focusing on drag racing in 2002. In 2007, Speed TV’s ‘Pinks’ featured the racetrack as a backdrop for one episode. In the same year, it attracted huge attention when the stars of BBC’s ‘Top Gear,’ Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, and James May lapped the track filming their USA special along with ‘The Stig’s American Cousin.’ The raceway again hosted the ‘Pinks All Out’ show in March 2010.
The facility was purchased by a group of local race lovers in 2008, and plans were announced to redevelop the entire venue. The newly finished track was elevated to FIA Grade 4 standard.
Some of the major events that took place in the racetrack are:
- The inaugural races took place in March 1965, where a reported 10,000 spectators attended a Sports Car Club of America (SSCA) sanctioned event.
- In 1979, the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, Lyn St James, made her debut at PBIR.
- The track was included as the season-opener for the renowned Trans Am Series in 1983 following the huge investments and the upgradation of the pits and paddock.
- The ‘Super Chevy Show,’ a popular event for Chevrolet enthusiasts, was held, which attracted a massive audience of over 100,000 attendees for the event spanning three days.
- One of the first main drag racing of the Grand American Series of Professional Drag Racing was held in April 1971.
Several other events are held at the PBIR, including Mud Bog, Hooked on Driving (HOD), Florida Track Days (FTD), among others. Several IndyCar Series teams also utilize the track testing.
The raceway aims to get FIA Grade 2 certification, which will host several motorsports events such as IndyCar Series, Grand Am Series, and the Indy Lights.
The Action Returns
Palm Beach International Raceway is all set to host some of the hottest racing action you can experience. With the Street Outlaws Series, the racing has shifted from the streets to the tracks. The Street Outlaws No Prep King Series will be held at the facility after its first races in Virginia Motorsports Park. For all the racing addicts out there, this event is bound to provide you with the best aggressive racing action and real-world drag racing experience.
The event is going to take place on April 2 and 3.
Join us in this spectacular display of horsepower by booking your tickets now!