The track had an unusual start for a local venue. The property was purchased by the Columbia Basin Racing Association, who then sold shares to raise funds to construct the facility. The track began operation in 1970 with Mother’s day always being the first race of the season. They ran a Claimer class, Modifieds, and the Northwest Super Stocks. It was the fastest 1/4 mile track in the West in it’s early days. In later years, it was still known as the fastest 1/4 mile in the Pacific Northwest. In the first years, the CBRA ran the pits and stockholders, Lawrence and Marie Borck, handled the front gate, stands and concessions. Later, the Borck’s bought up enough shares to become sole owners.
In 1990 Dick Boness bought the track and introduced new classes of cars besides bringing in several new classes. In 1991 he added three more classes, the Compacts, Sportsman and a separate Women’s Auto Racing Division. The schedule was also expanded to include “Sunday’s Twilight Thunder”. A total of 156 drivers were in the point standings at the end of the season. Of that number, 74 were rookies! 1992 saw more outside shows and the addition of the Lil Basin Bombers, an entry-level compact class and the Columbia River Open Wheels. The speedway continued to flourish in the following years.
In 1995 and ’96 Ephrata’s State Central Speedway was under the ownership of Rick and Karen Knapp, and then reverted back to Boness Motorsports in 1997. The track sat idle during the ’98 season but came back to life for a short time in 1999 with rookie motor sports promoter, Freddy Rantz. It was again idled, this time for 2000 and 2001.
New life has been breathed into one of the states’ most popular full ¼ mile paved ovals with the arrival of the Witte brothers. Bob, Rock and Mike purchased the track late in the winter and have been working feverishly to get the track ready to open this spring. They are well known throughout the state for their involvement in open wheel racing. Ephrata Raceway Park will soon be the premier short track in the Pacific Northwest!