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Old 11-25-2009, 05:22 PM   #1
TexasHardcore
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Default Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Austin Raceway Park...from what I heard was a killer dragstrip on the north end of town, and from what photos I've seen was alive & well in the 60's & 70's. It's a personal gratification of mine to find the old dragstrips and see how they look now. After seeing satellite images of Austin Raceway Park over the past few years, I often found myself wondering if it was still there, or if is now part of a new housing subdivision, or if it has been plowed over and is a baseball field, the questions needed to be answered. Today, I was in that area for work, so on my lunch break I was on a mission to locate this ghost track and summon the spirits of nitromethane and the lost souls of the quarter mile.

I succeeded. I found an access point at both ends of the track, and from what I see, the entire track is intact end to end. Aging and weathered asphalt with brush & trees coming up through the cracks, a mine field of dried cow patties, and the wind blowing down this dusty stretch of Texas drag racing history. It was kind of eerie. I swore I was having random images of dragsters & sounds of horsepower running through my head as I stood there. I couldn't help but imagine all of the hot rods, altereds, stockers, gassers, and dragsters that made their way down the worn asphalt I was standing on. It was kind of spiritual.

I sure wish this track would re-open. It's saveable. It's surrounded by new commercial warehouses, open land, and one neighborhood a good distance away. It could happen, but I won't hold my breath.

I took these photos with my phone, so they aren't the best, but I just wanted to share them...







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Old 11-25-2009, 05:23 PM   #2
TexasHardcore
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park







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Old 11-25-2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park







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Old 11-25-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
curbspeed
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Now we need pictures of the way it was back in the day. It does look like the earth is reclaiming it though. Would take a ton of capital to return it to it's former glory. We can always dream can't we.
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Sadly Central Texas is in "yuppy" mode right now.

Anything historical be damned. Developers are the ultimate evil to sites like this. They don't give a rat's ass.

My dad leases a ranch from a couple of land developers to at least get some last ditch effort use out of it... and they're about to plow down a mid 1800's stage coach stop that's on it. Farm house, big barn with hayloft, carriage stables etc. Just to build another neighborhood of 90k slap together homes on tiny lots. They don't give a shit.

-Chris
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:34 PM   #6
TexasHardcore
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Most of the old pics are already on the HAMB...I had not seen any recent pics of this track until I took them.

Here's some old shots swiped from HAMBer 'Herdez'" site...













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Old 11-25-2009, 05:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Holy crap! That's just awesome.

Even sadder now... looking at the pics and all...
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Where is that? Could you give a street addy?
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:47 PM   #9
TexasHardcore
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

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Originally Posted by dino1 View Post
Where is that? Could you give a street addy?


Find this...drive around to the back...you'll see it from the back parking lot.
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:50 PM   #10
one37tudor
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Do you know where that tower was originally located prior to moving it to the track?

It was a part of the old Truck City 24 hour truck stop on Ben White near IH-35.

Just thought I would throw that out there.

Scott...
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Jeez... I wired a couple buildings back there a few years back... No Shit!!!!

I lived 5 miles from there... it was the easiest commute to a jobsite that I ever had when living down there.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Wow. I am dreaming to! Has anyone thought of a coop drag strip! Maybe There is enough action in Austin to do it! Find out how much the dirt is worth on a CAD site! How many other drag strips are in the area! The North Star Drag strip seems to be doing ok! The just had the Texas Nationals they are bringing back! It would take alot of work!
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:10 PM   #13
TexasHardcore
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Yeah I heard of the tower coming from the truck stop, and that it was an oil derrick before that...but where is it now? Probably turned into Hyundai. Does anyone know who owned A.R.P.?
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

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Originally Posted by Dirty30Dodge View Post
Wow. I am dreaming to! Has anyone thought of a coop drag strip! Maybe There is enough action in Austin to do it! Find out how much the dirt is worth on a CAD site! How many other drag strips are in the area! The North Star Drag strip seems to be doing ok! The just had the Texas Nationals they are bringing back! It would take alot of work!
I'm down for a co-op dragstrip!
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Back when I was in high school, (mid to late 80's) my buddies & I attended parties there.
There was much less development in the area so we could get away w/ drinking, being loud, teenager shenannigans.

We didn't know of it's history @ the time but we could tell that it had been a dragstrip.

I remember we had to take a small dirt road to get to what I assume was part of the return road cause it was paved & it still had old tires lining the sides of it.

The tower was gone by then.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

It wasn't just a dragstrip but an autocross course as well. So the "return road" for the dragstrip was the rest of the road course...atleast that's what I've gathered.

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Old 11-25-2009, 07:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Texas H could you figure out if the warehouse was at the start or finish line? Some cool shots you took there. Thanks for posting all of this for us to see. Houston raceway park is also a vast area of brush and graded up race track now.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

Some of us ran out there at nights somewhere around 70-71. If you were around The Holiday House on Burnet Road back then we would meet there or the Safeway across the street. We raced in front of IBM on 1325 for years at Summit School. At some point we started going out to ARP with a small group which got large real quick. Track was still in good shape and the snack bar was still there but the tower was gone, the road race part was the return road. Soon it became a Friday Nite event which brought all the roudy group having too much fun. A few reports of gunfire and underage drinkin and the fun was over. The property owner covered the track with truckloads of rocks every couple of 100 feet. I think sometime after that they used it to make and dry cinder blocks on, this track was very flat and smooth. Back then I had a gray primer 55 chevy, 292, solid cam, 780, 4 speed ect.

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Old 11-25-2009, 07:56 PM   #19
TexasHardcore
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

RAY With...

In the 2nd to last recent photo..the warehouse you see off to the left in the distance is the "Raceway Crossing" on Bratton Ln. on the east end of the track.

In the last recent photo the warehouse is at the end of Quick Hill Ln. on the west end of the track.

I don't know which direction they raced out there so I really don't know which end is which.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:00 PM   #20
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Default Re: Forgotten Dragstrip: Austin Raceway Park

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RAY With...

In the 2nd to last recent photo..the warehouse you see off to the left in the distance is the "Raceway Crossing" on Bratton Ln. on the east end of the track.

In the last recent photo the warehouse is at the end of Quick Hill Ln. on the west end of the track.

I don't know which direction they raced out there so I really don't know which end is which.
Thanks I never made it to that track but knew of it. I imagine one of the local readers will be able to figure it out. I was just curious.
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