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Allan Brown (SPEED SPORT photo)

Speedway Directory’s Allan Brown Dies

Allan Brown, the man who made the National Speedway Directory the go-to source for race fans during the 1970s, 80s and 90s, has died.

Brown could be referred to as the master of getting both fans and drivers to the race track, so to speak.

He was integral in the growth of the directory after joining forces with Midwest Auto Racing Guide creator Larry L. Yard, and later Ross and Nanette Ferguson, before later buying the Fergusons out and building NSD into a resource for information about tracks across the nation. The first edition of NSD was produced in 1975.

In building that base of information, Brown has dedicated his life to not just reading about the tracks compiled in the directory, but physically visiting as many of them as he can.

“I’ve been to about 2,300 race tracks in my lifetime and seen racing at about 1,300 or 1,400 of them,” Brown told SPEED SPORT in 2019. “How it all started was … my dad and I, we grew up on a farm about six miles north of Berlin Raceway. Saturday nights would always find us up there, so from the time I was about five years old, I was going to the race track every week.

“We didn’t miss very many Saturday night shows there, and finally when I got my own driver’s license in 1964, I started borrowing the car from my dad and would hightail to Hartford, Kalamazoo and places like that. I was very interested, even in my teens, in going to races and seeing what I could see. That period was really where the journey began for me.”

Brown retired in 2009 and sold National Speedway Directory to Tim Frost and his business Frost Motorsports.

Brown and his wife Nancy, who survives saw most of the United States during their endless trips to race tracks.

“Doing the National Speedway Directory the way we did got me out to different facilities and different areas, so that I could feel the pulse of what was going on and understand what was happening,” Brown said. “I wanted to know if new tracks were being built, or if a track was going to reopen, or things like that, and it became my job to go to these different tracks, know what was going on and offer little suggestions here and there as much as I could.”

In addition to his tireless work with the National Speedway Directory, Brown produced the National Sprint Car Annual for nearly two decades before selling it to Doug Johnson of South Dakota. Brown also published “The History of America’s Speedways, Past and Present,” a book which documents the history of thousands of race tracks — active, defunct and demolished — across the United States.

SPEED SPORT will have more details when available.