The Birmingham Speedway was a planned automobile race course to be built in Shades Valley around a lake formed by damming Shades Creek. A June 18, 1910 article in the Birmingham News had this to say about the imminent development:
BIRMINGHAM AUTO COURSE HOLDS FIRST MEET OCT. 15TH
Two Thirds—$90,000—of the Amount Necessary Has Already Been Raised.
GREAT DRIVERS WILL COME
Will Run Boat Races in Lake Which Will Form Part of the Track.
With more than $90,000 of the $150,000 necessary already raised for the great auto speedway to be built in Birmingham, and with assurances already in hand from the leading auto divers [sic] of the world that they will compete here, the promoters of the course are now making definite arrangements for the first meet.
This meet will be held October 15, and will be made notable by the fact that it will mark the opening of perhaps the most perfectly constructed auto speedway in America, and will be the bringing together of the fastest cars and most daring drivers in the world, including Barney Oldfield, Lewis Strang, George Robertson, Louis Chevrolet, Burman, Wagner, Christie, and the others of that great host of marvels to whom life means so little and speed so much.
Will Excel Others
In many respects, the Birmingham Speedway will far excel any of the other great auto courses in America. It will be only four miles from the center of the city in Shades Valley.
It will be on the new car line, with far and away better facilities than either the Atlanta or Indianapolis speedways.
In addition to the auto course, Shades creek will be dammed and a lake formed nearby, one mile long and a quarter mile wide, on which there will be held motor boat races at regular intervals.
The grandstand will be so constructed that occupants can see all the way around the track, and in addition view the boat races.
Will Be Fastest Track
It will be perhaps the fastest track in America, the track being laid of binder macadam composed of chert and asphalt binder which will be harder than the Atlanta track, which the drivers have declared too soft, and will have much less friction than the brick kaving [sic] at Indianapolis, of which the drivers have already complained.
In addition it is proposed to combine the best features of both speedways at the Birmingham course and to eliminate those which have been found unsatisfactory.
Already, the auto manufacturers and enthusiasts, as well as the drivers, are evincing great interest in the first meet. Not less than 500 letters of inquiry have been received, and it is believed that from 50,000 to 100,000 will attend the first races.
The local auto men are enthusiastic. The fact that the corporation being formed to promote the enterprise is composed at once of the most substantial and most progressive business men of the city, together with the assurance of engineers that the track will far excel that at Atlanta or Indianapolis, with being as expensive as either are primarily the reasons for the raising almost without effort of more than two-thirds of the amount necessary to complete the work and hold the first meet.
The topography of the land, and the nearness of the chert and furnace slag permit the speedway and lake to be built cheaper than the Atlanta course.
R. L. Totten, the engineer, has returned from an inspection of the other speedways, and is now busy completing plans for the one at Birmingham
Best in America
"In standpoint of facilities, convenience, and speed possibilities," he said, "the Birmingham course will be the best in America without a doubt."
"You can count on this," stated G. T. Braselton, who is the moving spirit in the enterprise, "The course will be completed by October 1. It will be the best course in America, and the fastest and will draw not less than 50,000 visitors to its first meet.
"It will not only be a great boost for Birmingham, and a paying proposition, but it will be a source of great pleasure to the members of the company, which in reality, will be a speedway club, with all club features attached."