Velodrome History
The Historical Framework of Velodrome Racing from 1924 to 1930: A Kenoshan Perspective
by Michael Boros
Michael Boros is a graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His expertise of the history of the Washington Park Velodrome has been acknowledged in the Kenosha Newspaper and at the Kenosha Historical Society.

History and Highlights

July, 11 1927 - Kenosha Bowl opens its first track season

1928 - Wisconsin Governor Fred R. Zimmerman flew his own Lindberg Ryan monoplane to open the 1928 National Championships held at the new track. Winning all his events, local hero Bobby Thomas became Junior National Champion, and ten thousand fans went wild.

Sept. 8, 1930 - National Championships return to Kenosha. 20,000 spectators in attendance. Kenosha brothers Bobby and Corky Thomas sweep honors, winning Senior and Junior National Championships, respectively.

1940 - Lights were installed at the track, bought second hand from the World's Fair of 1939.

World War II interrupts bike racing at the Bowl.

July 25, 1947 - Crowd of 8,000 sees bike racing revival at the Bowl. The track was newly reconditioned, with races Friday nights under the lights.

September 3-5, 1948 - National Championships held at Kenosha, sponsored by Schwinn. Don Clausen of Kenosha wins the Junior title.

1948 - "Doesn't own a bike -- so Racine rider (Roger Nelson) borrows one from his girlfriend and takes the State Crown."
1950 - Bob Pfarr of the Kenosha Wheelmen wins Senior National Championships in New Jersey.

1951 - Bob Pfarr invited to the famous Somerville, New Jersey race. His instructions include a postcard: "bring your Stars & Stripes Jersey to wear as that will be real appropriate & dress up the races." Bob Pfarr gets berth for trip to Japan on the U.S. Cycling Team.

1952 - Visiting Japanese National Team is a big attraction at the Bowl
1957 - Nationals return to Kenosha
1959 - Nationals held in Kenosha for the fifth time. Jim Rossi (Illinois) wins his first Senior Chanpionship. (He goes on to win five more years in a row).

1960 - "Pfarr wins Olympic berth. (competes in Team Pursuit in Rome)...500 fans honor (him) at testimonial dinner."

1967 - Workmen late Friday finished laying asphalt on the track. Bob Pfarr, who was somewhat skeptical of the black topping idea admitted being pleasantly surprised at the finished surface. 27 degree banking added at the curves.

1972 - National Championships again at Kenosha. Wisconsin riders Les Barczewski and Jody Walner capture Intermediate and Midget Championships. Brother Leigh Barczewski beat eventual Junior Champion Nelson Saldana in all races, until his chain broke in the final event, costing him the championship. Hans Nuernberg is 2nd to Champion Gary Cambell by inches in the final sprint.

1978 - The Golden Anniversary National Championships held at Washington Bowl on Kenosha's newly resurfaced track.

1981 - The track was treated with a latex surface to make it faster and safer.

1982 - National Championships held in Kenosha. A removable cyclone fence was installed to improve safety for riders and spectators.

1991 - New lighting and a public address system were installed.

1992 - The track was again resurfaced, and a new warm-up/down circle was placed on the east end of the infield.

1996 - Junior National Championships held in Kenosha. Erin Veenstra easily takes the women's 16-18 points race and wins a berth to the Junior World Championships in Slovenia.
1996 - Sara Jean Sorensen wins 3 National Championships in the Junior Womens class.