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Whiteland Raceway Park reopens after major renovations to America's oldest, continuously running kart track

Whiteland Raceway Park
Posted at 4:59 AM, May 17, 2023

WHITELAND — As the world turns its attention to big oval in Speedway for the month of May, a historic track southeast of IMS reopens to the public after undergoing major renovations.

Whiteland Raceway Park is a hidden gem in Johnson County.

Historic marker
The track is the oldest, continuously running cart track in the country.

The track sits off a quiet country road, but it boasts the title of the oldest, continuously operating kart track in the country.

The go-cart track dates back to 1958 and it continues to host families and fans each year for races.

Historic racing photo
O'Gara says many people have shared stories about what the track means to them as well as memories over the years.

"We thought that it was special to us and we got to hear countless, hundreds of stories, over the last five years of just how much it means to everybody," President of Operations and Owner, Andy O'Gara said. "There's very few places like this in the country where people can hone their motor sports skills, and not just as drivers but as mechanics, and PR folks and engineers."

Historic photo
The cart track has been around since 1958 in Whitteland.

Together with his wife, Sarah Fisher - a former driver and now team owner - purchased the property with their business partners.

Owner and President
Andy O'Gara purchased the property with his wife Sarah Fisher, a former driver and now team owner, as well as their business partners. Andy grew up going out to this historic track with his family.

At the time, the facility was dilapidated and was in need of updates and renovations.

O'Gara explained they live near the historic track and he has fond memories of growing up out here and that many racers got their start on this pavement over the years.

"The Midwest industry in karting in general is growing like crazy," O'Gara said. "And we are just happy to be a part of it."

Racers young and old
Racers as young as 4 can get behind the wheel at Whiteland Raceway Park. They host drivers in their 70s as well. The owners say it is a sport for all ages.

They closed the track late last season and the space underwent nearly $5 million worth of upgrades and improvements.

That includes, 10 buildings now on site, fuel and tires on site, new LED lighting for night events, track improvements, paved and powered parking spaces for motor homes and more.

Plans for improvements
Race fans will notice many new buildings and upgrades this season.

"The transformation of the facility in just the last six to nine months has been just remarkable and we are really excited," said O'Gara, who adds the Town of Whiteland was great to work with in the process.

There are now 80 customer garages on site, as well as 4 to 5 manufacturers and distributors here in Whiteland Raceway Park.

Customer garages
A look inside one of the garages on site.

"We still get so many people off the street that say we didn't know you are here," said O'Gara. "It shows how bright the future is."

Some big names also come out to this track to workout, including folks from IndyCar like Conor Daly, Felix Rosenqvist and Tony Kanaan have come out to this track to train.

"Pretty high speed karts around here, probably speeds approaching between 80 to 90 mph," O'Gara said. "Really a good workout to the body and it allows them to keep their hand-eye coordination to the very top."

Fresh pavement
Drivers will notice lots of changes as the facility reopens this season after some major renovations.

From the top of their game to the most novice drivers, Whiteland Raceway Park has a little something to offer all who come out to the track

They offer kid kart and novice classes to kids as young a 4 years old. They also host racers in their 70s.

Get behind the wheel
Race fans can rent a cart to get a taste of the driving experience for themselves.

Whiteland Raceway Park also provides a rent-a-kart type program where people off the street can come out, get a license that covers their insurance. The kart speeds can reach 40 to 50 miles per hour. They can accommodate corporate events as well.

Thanks to track improvements, they plan to continue to host regional and national races at the facility and fans can come out to watch the action.

"You can see the passion outright from the families and the racers and know how much it means," O'Gara said. "Let them follow their dreams a little bit."

Aerial view of track
The owners bought the property 5 years ago.

If you want to learn more about how to get involved in the action at Whiteland Raceway Park this season, including upcoming races, kart rentals, corporate events and more, just head to their website https://www.racewrp.com/