Listen to the Raceway broadcast any where on the Fairgrounds live every Saturday night on your FM receiver

The Vendor's Cup August 27th
for VRA Sprint Cars

Best Synthetics 4u


Welcome to Ventura Raceway, home of the Ventura Racing Association (VRA). On any given night, you can see some of the best short track racing in America at our little dirt track on the ocean.

A Short History of Ventura Raceway:

In July of 1977, Jim Naylor took over a small 1/10th mile speedway motorcycle track known as Ventura Speedway, which raced speedway bikes on Tuesday nights known as "The commotion by the ocean."  Since that time, Ventura Raceway has grown to 1/5th mile track which is known throughout the United States and abroad for some of the best auto racing available.

Ventura Raceway Circa 1960's

Ventura Speedway Circa 1960's

Speedway Bikes Circa 1966

Speedway Bikes at Ventura Speedway Circa 1966

Early Years

When the prior promoter ran into financial hardship, Jim Naylor purchased the operation at Ventura's fairgrounds, but after difficulty with the speedway motorcycle drivers and waning interest in the events, Ventura Raceway began racing stock cars and ¾ midgets.  By the mid-1980’s Ventura added United States Auto Club (USAC) Midgets.

Breaking New Ground

With the growing USAC partnership, ESPN added Ventura Raceway to its “Saturday Night Thunder” and “Thursday Night Thunder” programs in the early and mid 1990’s.  The popularity and national attention brought future NASCAR starts such as Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Mike Bliss and J.J. Yeley out to compete against legends such as Sleepy Tripp, P.J. and Page Jones, Billy Boat and many others.  For the next several years, these programs made Ventura Raceway world famous, with racing star Jimmy Sills anointing Ventura “The Best Little Dirt Track in America”, a title that has endured.  It also made Jim Naylor’s charismatic announcing style world famous.

Midget Heat Race April 1991

Midget Heat Race April 1991

In the midst of the national publicity, Ventura Raceway found time to innovate, becoming the first track on the West Coast to feature International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) 360 cubic inch sprint cars (650 horsepower) and helping start the Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) 410 cubic inch sprint car (800 horsepower) series by hosting its first ever race.

It is also at this time that Ventura Raceway decided to create its own sanctioning body, and VRA was born.  Beyond sanctioning its own sprint cars, Jim worked with auto parts manufacturers to customize components to make racing more affordable, reduce the sound, and make the Raceway community-friendly.  Many of these innovations have been adopted by other tracks around the country.  Today the VRA Sprint Car series is one of the strongest in the US with a car count average of over 36 cars per night.

Controversy and Giving Back

Ventura Raceway has always strived to make the Raceway a family-friendly environment.  Jim was quoted in the early 1990’s saying “When someone walks into my track for the first time, I want it to be like walking into my living room.”  And he has always attempted to generously give back to the fairgrounds through improvements and good works.  Little did Jim know how important this would be to the future of the track.  In 2002, the Ventura County Fair Board was considering redeveloping the Raceway into a music amphitheater.  The close family of fans of Ventura Raceway formed a group called Save Ventura Raceway and gathered 15,000 signatures to protest the proposal.  Even Ventura Mayor, Jack Tingstrom came to the Raceway’s defense saying "Auto racing is as much a part of Southern California as surfing and skateboarding."  Needless to say, the proposal was defeated and fans continue to enjoy the rich heritage of Ventura Raceway weekly.

Today, Ventura Raceway continues to strive to give back to the community through the sponsorship of charity events, providing free tickets to disabled and disadvantaged people in the community, and continuing to do our share for many great local causes.


Since the early 1990’s we have expanded the classes of vehicles.  Along with Sprints, we run Dwarf Cars, Sport Compacts, Go Karts, Junior Divisions of Mini Dwarf Cars and Junior Midgets, IMCA Modifieds, USAC Midgets, Ford Focus Midgets, Young Guns (formerly called Junior Focus), vintage motorcycle races, and the demolition derby during the Ventura County Fair.  On any given night there will be over 100 cars and drivers ready to race their hearts out for a chance at the winners circle.  We also run several special events each year including the All-Coast Construction Challenge series, the J.W Mitchell Fall Classic, and Wags Dash among others.  These events draw racers from around the country to compete for some of the best dirt track racing has to offer.

Welcome to Ventura Raceway; we hope you enjoy “the roar by the shore” and some of the best darn dirt racing around!  Pick a night and come visit the best that dirt racing has to offer!


2 VRA Sprints, Senior Sprints, Dwarf Cars, Sport Compacts, Mod Lite, Mod Lite Jr., Jr. Midgets & Mini Dwarfs
16 VRA Sprints, Senior Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, Pro Dwarf Cars, CA Lightning Sprints & Go Karts
23 VRA Sprints, VRA Midgets, IMCA Modifieds, Focus Midgets, Jr. Focus Midgets & Go Karts
30 Senior Sprints, VRA Midgets, IMCA Modifieds, Dwarf Cars & Sport Compacts

7 VRA Sprints, Senior Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, Dwarf Cars, Mod Lite, Mod Lite Jr., Jr. Midgets & Mini Dwarfs
VRA Sprints, VRA Midgets, Focus Midgets, Jr. Focus Midgets, Sport Compacts & Go Karts
VRA Sprints, VRA Midgets, IMCA Modifieds, Focus Midgets, Jr. Focus Midgets & Go Karts

         FULL 2011 SCHEDULE

March 19th
Troy Rutherford Winner
June 25th

October 29th


March 19th
Cory Kruseman Winner
June 25th
August 3rd
September 17th
November 19th


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