In an article from the Arizona Daily Star, June 5, 1988, Page B1, they explain that the original name was Feldman Road. "It was dubbed 'The Speedway' in 1904 - "apparently because it was a favorite track for horse-and-buggy races and later for races with horseless carriages which hit speeds of 20 mph."
An article the Tucson Citizen, dated, August 17, 1994 concurs. It goes on to say that "in 1911 the town's first auto race drew some 6,000 spectators - then nearly half of Tucson's population - to watch daredevil drivers reach speeds of 48 mph on the dusty desert road."
“Ugliest Street in America”
Life magazine had an article that described Speedway as the “ugliest street in America.” This article was, “Look down that long loathsome road." by London Wainwright in Life Magazine July 24, 1970 Pages 26-34.
“Armpit of Tucson”
The area of Speedway near Alvernon (midtown stretch of Speedway) was referred to as "the armpit of Tucson.”
"Speedway in slow motion." Arizona Daily Star. June 5, 1988. Page B1.