WARSAW — The Roy Bradbury Memorial Pit Party was held at the Kosciusko County fairgrounds Wednesday, July 11. The event featured a slideshow with pictures of drivers from the Warsaw Speedway, including drivers and individuals involved with the Warsaw Speedway who are no longer living.
Although no actual racing was involved, drivers brought racing vehicles to exhibit, including sprint cars, mud trucks and motorcycles. The event was first held in 2015 and was called the Roy Bradbury Classic at that time. Bradbury, who passed away last year at the age of 81, sat on the board of directors for the Kosciusko County fairgrounds for 19 years and was involved in every aspect of the fairgrounds for nearly 50 years, starting at age 16.
Event organizer Sandy Atkins, Syracuse, said the purpose of the event is to raise awareness of the interest in racing in the community and surrounding areas.
“My Facebook group ‘We Want Another Warsaw Speedway’ totally stands behind the fair board in this lawsuit,” said Atkins. “We want our race track back.”
“We were like one big family at Warsaw Speedway,” Atkins said. “I spent many nights there supporting my brother, Bimbo Atkins. My dad promoted different events at the track as well. Racing was just part of our life, and I have many fond memories with our family and friends at the track.” Atkins’ brother, Clarence “Bimbo” Atkins, passed away in 2014.
“Many others feel as I do when we walk to the grandstand – it’s an emotional attachment,” Atkins stated. “Since the lawsuit started, my group went from 1,500 to almost 2,900 and still adding more people everyday.”
Atkins feels the fairgrounds should be allowed to hold racing events whenever they want, provided the racing is over by 11 p.m.
“To me, families these days spend no time together. Everyone lives on their phone, texting each other from across the room. We need to bring families back together,” said Atkins. “Drugs are running rampant in this community, killing our children and grandchildren. We need to get our kids involved in hobbies and with the community rather than video games.”
Atkins believes having the race track open will bring in revenue for the fairgrounds as well as local businesses.
“This will bring in better fairs and other events. It’s a win-win situation,” said Atkins. “Right now, everyone has to go out of town to race — it’s sad that we can’t keep our money in this community.”