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Lost Drag Strips

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BobG, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Ray C's son
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 407

    Ray C's son
    Member

    Can you give me some directions, maybe what road it was on or near? I'd like to get the coordinates and satellite image. I'm trying to get as many as I can. I really should put York on my list but it's easy to find.

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  2. Kim Pierce
    Joined: Aug 21, 2011
    Posts: 2

    Kim Pierce
    Member
    from Wichita

    LOL... I am the girl in the last picture of these three... I believe...
     
  3. They reopened the petaluma drag strip in sanoma CA but only 1 sceaduled race
    also fremont sacramento vacaville half moon bay
    the italian resturant in town dick gundifson's i am in contact with him
     
  4. Six-Shooter
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 342

    Six-Shooter
    Member
    from Ohio

    Yesterday, I drove by the old Wayne Trail Dragway near Middlepoint, OH in Van Wert Co. and took a couple of pics. The tower is still there as well as the flag pole that stood near the start line between the lanes. Very little remains of the blacktop. People that live nearby say that sometimes you can hear the sound of roaring engines and smell the smoke of burning tires as ghost dragster jockys ride their steads down the strip. Well, not really but it makes the story better. :cool:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Jan Gabriels "Smokin US 30 Drag Strip"... "Sunday... Sunday... Sunday...!!!"

    <iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/jDYzidMqq4o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/aBiNH14YCLY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  6. Six-Shooter
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 342

    Six-Shooter
    Member
    from Ohio

    Great video of U.S. 30 Drag Strip
     
  7. Mr. Jean
    Joined: Dec 13, 2007
    Posts: 608

    Mr. Jean
    Member

    Here's some old video back in 1977, of one of my Altereds at the now long gone Orange County. Shows some of the tree'd pit area and some starting line stuff. Some dark,cloudy stuff, because we were rained out later this day.:eek:

    Great times back then, I sure miss that place and the friends we raced with. Just click the picture and let it load up. Then click on the big screen button.:D

    [​IMG]
     
  8. fogs58
    Joined: Jan 14, 2011
    Posts: 135

    fogs58
    Member
    from ooo

    I wished I had parked and walked back in there that day I was by there. The trees were hiding the tower enough that I thought it must have fell down. Thanks for posting those pics.
     
  9. 65deluxe
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 746

    65deluxe
    Member
    from out there

    The old Lancaster Drag-O-Way operated by the Red Rose Timing Assco. Opened in '54, closed in '62 I believe. Word has it that the noise wasnt the problem with the chinchillas and the farmer eventually got rid of them all. Bill Jenkins joined the 150mph club at Lancaster. Theirs a little info and a few photos from Lancaster in the new Grumpys Toys book.
     
  10. 65deluxe
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 746

    65deluxe
    Member
    from out there

    LANCASTER.JPG

    Whats left of Lancaster is seen here between 462 and Donverville rd. :(
    (click on image to enlarge)
     
  11. Ray C's son
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 407

    Ray C's son
    Member

    Garden Spot Airpark/Lancaster Drag-O-Way in 1958 and today.

    KRH
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Great story from "Lost Indiana US 30 Dragstrip" and please excuse the length of this article but I feel it's pertinent to the thread and relevant to present this in it's entirety from the original author.

    ...therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls... It tolls for thee.


    All historical photos in this article courtesy of Gene Carlson

    Walking through a large grassy field, you stumble over what appears to be a broken speaker. Wondering how such an item would end up in this odd spot, you look up to see two strips of weed-infested pavement stretching out a quarter mile into the distance. Where once was heard the roar of the engine and the screaming of the crowd, now little more than the gentle breeze and the chirping bird can be found at the site of the US 30 Drag Strip.

    Drag racing has been around almost since cars were invented. For generations young boys have souped up their “hot rods” and challenged each other to tests of speed and courage from country roads to dry river beds.

    By the 1950s, drag racing started to become more organized, largely due to the efforts of the American Hot Rod Association which was formed in 1956. Dirt fields sprouted bleachers and concession stands, and then beautiful paved tracks with safety fences and elaborate pit areas. Drag racing became big business.

    Being a racing-crazed state, Indiana was not immune to this, and so a famous track was open by 1957, perhaps as early as 1954, in what is now Hobart, Indiana, just east of I-65 on the north side of US 30. Closed in 1984, the US 30 Drag Strip was top entertainment for scores of Northwest Indiana and Chicago residents, but now sits overgrown and broken down.

    [​IMG]

    Gene Snow vs. Don Schumacher in 1972.

    In the 1960s the owners discovered radio advertising, and they placed memorable ads primarily on WLS Radio in Chicago. An overexcited announcer would shout “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! at the beautiful US 30 Drag Strip” and go on to announce the slate of stars on hand for that weekend. The announcer would then remind us in the same overexcited voice that the US 30 Drag Strip was “Where The Great Ones Run!”.

    Truly the great ones did run here - every major racer in the sport ran down the strip, including “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Don “The Shoe” Schumacher, and Chris “The Greek” Karamesines. Three generations of kids were permanently hooked on the sport by visiting the event just once. It was really a social gathering - not only were fans there to watch, but often to be seen in their own creations, worked on in garages and on driveways all week to make them ready for the “big show”.

    The track was also the site of several major “firsts”. Ron Pellegrini claims to have run the very first “funny car” on the third weekend of May in 1965 at the US 30 Drag Strip. This style car, popular to this day, is characterized by a metal tube frame with a fiberglass body that can prop up or lift off the car entirely. Innovations continued, including replacing carburetors with fuel injection systems, replacing gasoline with nitro-methane, and the addition of turbochargers. Each year seemed to bring out new thrills as drag racing pushed the envelope of automotive innovation.

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    A view from the south side of the track looking at the starting line in 1972 and today. All of the buildings in the original picture are gone with the exception of the large barn across the street which is now obscured by trees that have 30 year’s more growth on them.

    The twin paved strips run East-West in parallel to US 30 itself. Clay Street runs North-South along the East side of the property - the end nearest the street is where the starting line once was. The gigantic “pit” area was to the south of the track, and gravel parking lots for the fans were to the north. A small building stood at the head of the track east of the starting line, and a tall scoring and timing tower - painted orange for most of its life - stood at the starting line along its south edge.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    A view west down the track in the early 1970’s and today.

    Today only one building remains - a small overgrown white wooden shack once known as the “Goodie Booth”, run by Mrs. Julie “Ma” Wright, who’s home was across Clay street from the pit entrance. The only other standing structures are some light/speaker poles dotting the landscape and a large broken-down set of bleachers which have been moved from their original location at some point in time.



    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The bleachers in the 1970s and today. They have been moved from their original location out into the old parking lot and are sitting on their backs. Piles of wood planks that made up the seats sit next to the metal frames rotting in the sun.

    Large telephone poles block the obvious entrance to the facility behind the starting line, probably to discourage kids from using the track clandestinely for its original purpose. However, there is a way to enter the track grounds from what once was the pit area, as someone living in an old trailer now makes his home in the parking lot. Recently-worn ruts leading from the pit lot onto the track area indicate that the owners of the land may not have been as successful at keeping people out as they hoped.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The pit area south of the track looking southwest next to the old tower in the 1970s,

    and looking southeast from roughly the same spot today.

    The trailer in the lot was home to Robert “Bobby” Kerr, night watchman and groundskeeper for over 35 years.

    The track itself is hardly visible from the road due to the overgrown brush, but if one walks only a few feet onto the property from the east a vast unbroken stretch of pavement is clear in front of you. Though the starting lights are long gone, the actual starting line is still faintly visible, and upon closer inspection, the concrete is marked with long streaks that give away the hundreds of cars that were once launched from this point.

    The Goodie Booth is missing its only door, and the inside is empty except for wooden shelves that line the far wall.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looking to the north at the remains of the “Goodie Booth” on the south side of the track (left) and also inside (right).
    Part of a phone is on the wall, but only empty shelves remain.

    [​IMG]

    Starting line, looking across both lanes. Click to zoom in to see the streaks still marked into the pavement.

    The AHRA, who counted the US 30 as one of its flagship courses, created many of the procedures and rules that now govern the sport, including a “points” system to determine the winner of a year-long series - a system that is the standard today in almost every form of auto racing. They also invented the “Christmas tree” starting lights which so many think of as the unofficial symbol of drag racing. However, by 1971 competition began to pinch the circuit, most notably by the now-domininant National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Even so, the AHRA circuit continued to be a popular alternative - especially for those who were around to witness the organized start of the sport.

    The US 30 would meet its end in a rather unique way. The fiery Jim Tice had guided the AHRA from 1959 until his untimely death in 1982 from cancer. Ownership of the sanctioning body went to his wife, Ruth, and a battle for control of the circuit began. In the middle of the 1984 racing season, Ruth was approached by the owner of Terminal Van Lines, Mike Grey. Mike offered to bankroll the circuit awards, and, wishing to ensure her future, Ruth sold. Stunned by the development, several track owners, including the US 30, split off to form the American Drag Racing Association (ADRA), and events were held at the facility for the rest of 1984 under that banner.

    [​IMG]
    The AHRA logo painted on the pavement between the twin tracks just past the starting line.

    Mike’s real goal was to expand the popularity of drag racing, especially in the south where he was from. He committed a substantial amount of money to convert a defunct horse track into the Acadiana International Raceway Park in Eunice, Louisiana. Designed to be the gem of the series, much like the Indianapolis 500 is to open-wheel racing, he announced that the 1984 AHRA World Finals would take place there.

    Unfortunately, the south was slow to recover from the economic recession of the early 1980s, and drag racing proved not to be as popular with the rural residents around the track as with northern audiences. The day after a sparsely-attended finals were held, the track owner disappeared with out a trace, and the checks for the employees and racers started to bounce. Mike Grey covered the majority of the checks with his own personal funds, but quickly sold the AHRA name to return to the moving business. That would prove to be the final AHRA race.

    Without a strong national sanctioning body, the US 30 would struggle for the remainder of the 1984 season. The operators of the track attempted to renegotiate their lease on the land but were not successful - the land owner saw the potential for a large residential development, and was eager to make it available to a developer. The track closed at the end of that season, never to reopen. Vandals and time would claim most the buildings and pavement, so now only the faintest marks of what once was are still visible.

    The city of Hobart annexed the land and surrounding area in 1994, hoping to continue to cash in on tax revenues from the expanding commercial center around Southlake Mall. A group proposed to reopen it as a drag strip that same year, but that was turned down. The land is now for sale as a commercial or residential site - as it has been for over 16 years. One day soon this little piece of history may be turned into a factory, a warehouse or more shopping, removing from the land another bit of Lost Indiana.

    Gene Carlson’s US 30 Memories
     
  13. Was going thru some old stuff today and found some timeslips from Brotherhood Raceway (Terminal Island) from 1995.I was just wondering what they ended up doing with exact area where the dragstrip used to sit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  14. Ray C's son
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 407

    Ray C's son
    Member

    Here's a pic from '95 of US 30 I ran across.

    Kevin
     

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  15. That tower was fairly new when the track closed.

    It was understood when the track was sold that it would continue functioning as a race track but to no avail!!!
     
  16. Flat-Foot
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 1,699

    Flat-Foot
    Member
    from Locust NC

    wow, just found this thread.

    I raced on the go kart track in Westhampton as a kid. The go kart track road course was built into the old oval at the end of the drag strip. I flipped twice at that track, once on the lond sweeping turn after the straightaway on the left and then again in the hairpin. Crashes aside I actually won a class championship when I was 11.

    My family and I had some great times at this track. In typical Long Island fashion its was closed down to build yuppie housing.

     
  17. mdcuddy
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1

    mdcuddy
    Member

    I dug out this old picture of the 1970 English Ford Cortina GT I used to run at Harrison County Dragway. It was fun to run until all then engines went to Pintos!
     

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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  18. stlouisgasser
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 669

    stlouisgasser
    Member

  19. Old Buzzard
    Joined: Sep 29, 2007
    Posts: 13

    Old Buzzard
    Member

    I haven't read all the posts, so this link may already be up...
    http://www.centralstreetscene.org/forum/showthread.php?t=15232&highlight=Boondocks

    I was one of the original group of racers @ Peoria.
    Ray Franco and I shared the flagman duties, & raced when not at the start line.
    I still have a copy of a "program" from the track.
    There is a compilation video disc that's available. It has the Peoria, Havana, and I think Beardstown track activities on it...[A source is listed in the link posts].

    At 1 time, Brett Kepner and Todd Silvey [Drag News mag], were doing a list of all the known strips in the USA. They have/had some of them in fotos and had obtained GPS locators on some of them.
    I never did see a finished product...

    My 55 @ the start line...

    FUN TIMES!:D
     

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  20. That's awesome...

    <iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ctzEYalkMIg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  21. 72Gremlin
    Joined: Mar 10, 2007
    Posts: 63

    72Gremlin
    Member
    from Illinois

    ^^^ The car was called"The Party Pad". I have his dvd. It is GREAT!
     
  22. 72Gremlin
    Joined: Mar 10, 2007
    Posts: 63

    72Gremlin
    Member
    from Illinois

    Hi Chuck!! Do you have the "new" Pad together yet?
     
  23. P10stepvanman
    Joined: Oct 13, 2010
    Posts: 32

    P10stepvanman
    Member

    Fabtastic thread, thanks.
     
  24. spicerracing
    Joined: Dec 2, 2011
    Posts: 71

    spicerracing
    Member

    I am looking for info about the historic Rodd Field Dragway in corpus christi texas.
    I am looking for the old location and is there anything left?

    Also I would like to see if I can fine the old location of the "corpus christi dragway" also.

    Thanks!

    Robert spicer
     
  25. 8982malibu
    Joined: Dec 11, 2009
    Posts: 3

    8982malibu
    Member

    I raced at Riverside from a couple of weeks before opening day until it closed. Originally built by James Alford from Pearl, Ms. on 16th sectin land it is currently the sight of Pearl High School. It opened in 1972 and ran up into the 90's before the lease was terminated and track was leveled and new high school built. It was a NHRA Div. 2 or 4 track for most of it's years and ran a points meet every year until Norman "Moose" Pearah took it over and then let track get closed. During that time Pro cars(top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock) were run at divisional meets.

    The green Dodge pickup parked near the starting line belonged to track owner James Alford. It was a common sight for Ms. Highway Patrol cars to be parked along I-20 all day when racing was going on. The track staging lanes ran right along I-20 right of way and track ran north. Pits and return road were on right side of track and very hilly.


     
  26. 8982malibu
    Joined: Dec 11, 2009
    Posts: 3

    8982malibu
    Member

    I remember LaPlace very well. Ran several NHRA points meets there and the very first NHRA Cajun Nationals were held there before moving to State Capitol Raceway the next year due to lack of size to stage a national event.
     
  27. 72Gremlin
    Joined: Mar 10, 2007
    Posts: 63

    72Gremlin
    Member
    from Illinois

    I too a TON of photos of US30 May 27-29th of 2011. IF i had been by myself and not had the wife with me...i would have unloaded my car and done this also!!!!! Thought about it...but she was complaining how HOT it was...dammit....lol
     
  28. miraclepieco
    Joined: Mar 17, 2011
    Posts: 103

    miraclepieco
    BANNED

    Great, now everyone will race on the street instead - is that what they wanted?
     
  29. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,147

    Jimbo17
    Member

    Flatfoot:

    I also remember the old kart track at Westhampton. We used to run there and Bridgehampton Raceway. I was a member of the Connecticut Kart Club at the time back in the late 60's and early 70's

    We used to race at Thompson Speedway Connecticut, Lashaway Mass., Cuddeback New York, and back in those day's Summit Point West Virginia and the old V.I.R. in Danville Virginia.

    Did you ever race at Jones Beach on Sunday mornings?

    Jimbo
     

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