1924 - 1931

The History of Motor Sports in Hibbing and Northern Minnesota - A Timeline

                                                                     1924          In races held at the county fair, former Hibbing resident and nationally known 
                                                                                                       driver, Frankie Sands, driving an Essex, wins the special event. The open event
                                                                                                       is won by Bill Blackman, the first African-American driver to race here. During
                                                                                                       one of the races, a car crashes the fence and plunges into a crowd of spectators.
                                                                                                       8 people are transported to the hospital but all make a full recover
                                                                                                                              This is the last race to be held at the Pool Fairgrounds location.

In the period from 1924 to 1929 there is no known automobile racing.

                                                                     1925           St. Louis County Fair is moved to its’ new location in South Hibbing. Initial plans
                                                                                                       are to build a 1 mile dirt track with a ˝ mile track inside and an airstrip as well.
                                                                     1927           ˝ mile track and grandstands completed. New grandstand is dedicated during the
                                                                                                        county fair on Monday, August 29, 1927
                                                                     1930            Automobile racing returns to the St. Louis County Fair. Sig Haugdahl is back and
                                                                                                         Emory Collins makes his first appearance here. Frankie Sands, former Hibbing bus
                                                                                                         driver from Orr, is here. He is currently the Mexican national champion. The great
                                                                                                         Fred Horey also makes his first appearance here. More than 5,000 people filled the
                                                                                                         stands and the hills and dumps nearby were lined with spectators. Sands wins the
                                                                                                         main event, the North American Sweepstakes and ties with Horey for fast time.
                                                                                                         The 1 mile (2 laps) record for the new track is established at 1:02.80
                                                                     1931             Sig Haugdahl returns with record setting Duesenberg speedway car. Haugdahl
                                                                                                          is now considered America’s greatest dirt track driver. A large number of other
                                                                                                          well known drivers are here as well including Frankie Sands. Haugdahl and Sands
                                                                                                          win most of the honors. Officials note that even the current depression has left
                                                                                                          only 200 seats in the grandstands unoccupied.


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© David L. Aho 2012

Dave is a member of the Hibbing Historical Society and the Minnesota State Historical Society and is a City of Hibbing Heritage Preservation Commission board member.