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TIMES PAST: JAN. 27, 1936

Crash Ends Racing at Legion Ascot

January 27, 2006

Legion Ascot Speedway in the hills east of Lincoln Heights became known as the "Killer Track" when Al Gordon and his riding mechanic, Spider Matlock, died in a crash before 35,000 spectators. The deaths ended racing at the track, which was five-eighths of a mile long. More than 20 people had been killed since Legion Ascot opened in 1924. Seven years after Gordon and Matlock died, the track's former janitor, Linden Emerson, turned himself in for burning down the grandstand in April 1936. He said that even though the track was closed by then, "I thought they might reopen it and kill some more of my friends."

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