A noted fixture in the history of South Boston Speedway is gone.

The majestic large oak tree that has stood at the upper end of the first of the two entrance roads to South Boston Speedway came down late last week, a victim of long-term disease.

At approximately 70 feet tall and about 6 feet around at the base, the tree stood as one of the historical pieces at “America’s Hometown Track.” One of the larger branches of the tree, a branch that had multiple smaller branches growing off of it, snapped and fell to the ground early last week, revealing a mostly hollow trunk that showed disease had taken its toll.

The tough decision was made to take the remainder of the majestic oak tree down, and late last Thursday afternoon the task of taking down the remainder of the tree was completed.

“It’s sad,” Rice remarked.

“That tree was one of landmarks here at the speedway. It actually pre-dates South Boston Speedway. The oak tree actually served as a canopy over the registration building when South Boston Speedway opened in 1957.” 

Over recent decades the oak tree provided much-welcomed shade for fans that camped in an area adjacent to the tree.

“Many race fans that have camped out or put their motorhomes in the area adjacent to the tree over the years have enjoyed the shade the tree provided,” noted South Boston Speedway Public Relations Director Joe Chandler.

“That tree was a familiar sight to many, many people visiting South Boston Speedway, and I know it will be missed.”