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Lost Drag Strips

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

  1. Daddyfink
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 463

    Daddyfink
    Member

    Well, at least some of you still have tracks, even if only abandoned. We lost Carlsbad a few years ago. Nothing left, all of it is under 75 ft. of dirt now.

    The closest we have to an abandoned strip is Ramona Raceway and that is an active airstrip. I saw some bleachers still there a few years ago and have not gone back to look again. If I do, a camera is coming with me!

    Paradise Mesa is all housing, I guess they only ran that one for a little bit back in the 50's!

    Anyone have pics of Tecate's racetrack/Airport? Crazy place back in the 70's!
     
  2. Billybobdad
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 869

    Billybobdad
    Member

    Pic from the 80's now tract house hell:eek:

    [​IMG]
     

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  3. jnds53
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 142

    jnds53
    Member

    Not much mention of O.C.I.R. the Fox hunt or the truck drags that was interesting, being from a trucking family. Just my two cents.
     
  4. North West, any pictures of the old tracks from the 50's at Scapoose Or. and MacMinville? This is a good thread but it is sad to see so many places where fun hapened go away.
     
  5. edgeabilly
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 736

    edgeabilly
    Member

    Cool thread sad to see them go like that or at all I guess?:confused:
     
  6. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 17,643

    Mazooma1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    More from LIONS (1955-1972)


    The yellow spot was where my favorite seat was. I got a great view of the starting line from up on top of the bleachers. I could also look behind me a see all the cars returning to the pits on the return road. And sitting on the far left side, no adults could block my view as the cars headed down the track. I started sitting there when I was 11, so I had to get all the adantages that I could.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  7. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 17,643

    Mazooma1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    [​IMG]
    Above...1964



    1955..opening day looking south
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 17,643

    Mazooma1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One more thing... the arrow marks the starting line...now just imagine sitting in the bottom row of seats of the near bleacher. During the A/FX wars the cars would do burnouts on rosin, go down the track and back up and, sometimes, do it again (!), then take their time staging and then, finally, race. Sitting that close, you'd just about fall over from the nitro fumes. :D:D:D:eek::eek::eek:
    There was just enough distance between the grandstands and the chain link fence for folks to walk in..thats it!
    Must have been no more than 20 feet or so from you to the race car in the closest lane

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  9. 54BOMB
    Joined: Oct 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,042

    54BOMB
    Member

    You better be payin' attention sitting that close. All sorts of parts could be flyin your way. :D
     
  10. Man, that had to be the best place to spectate in the world!
     
  11. BobG
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 350

    BobG
    Member

    Don Gillespie took these pictures of the OCIR tower, If you read the message on the door it kind of says it all.
    So many names so many records, so much history
     

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  12. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,927

    Jimv
    Member

    this place looks ike it won't take much to get it up & running again.Do people still use illegally?
    JimV
     
  13. San Fernando dragstrip 1957:
    [​IMG]

    2007:
    [​IMG]

    Note the hills.
    I drove by there last week and where my former El camino was parked in the pic they are tearing up and building new crap, so sad at least up until earlier this year most of the parking lot was there, they still do the swap meet there though..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  14. BobG
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 350

    BobG
    Member

    That's a damn shame, Our local racers would do anything to have a race track like 75-80 around here.
    We have a hand full of tracks that are too far gone to open back up.
    And now were hearing that Gateway Int'l Raceway in St. Louis and Route 66 in Joliet IL have canceled thier bracket programs for 2009.
    We've been told they are steering thier attention on special events only.
    That means there is no place to race in the St. Louis area.

    I-55 Raceway in Pevely Mo. just south of St. Louis could easily be put back into operation, If someone could talk the owner into it, the circle track on the property is going strong, the drag strip could be a gold mine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  15. BobG
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 350

    BobG
    Member

    Nice before and after pic... cool El Camino too.

     
  16. Thanks, I just sold it last month, it was a real hard thing to do, it looks like it was sagging to the right in the pic, but thats how uneven and rough that old asphalt was.
     
  17. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,119

    blackrat40
    Member

    How about some fond memories ? 1959-60 ?
    Circle Dragstrip in Dallas, off Royal Lane at the end of Goodnight Lane close to the
    Harry Hines Blvd. traffic circle(hence the name) Friday or Saturday nights in summer.
    We actually stood around the starting line close enough to feel the exhaust off the
    weedsweepers and lakes plugs!
    The timing was by a guy at the start line on a phone to a guy at the finish line.He
    shouted GO on the phone when they started (by flag of course!)and the finish line guy
    started a stopwatch. He used a chart when he read the stopwatch finish result to
    estimate the MPH which he announced over a crappy PA speaker about as good as a
    drive-in theatre speaker.Also said which lane won.
    The strip was an old crowned 2 lane blacktop road down between gravel pits and had
    a winding gravel return road back to the dirt/sand "pit" area by the start line.
    Names like "A.J. Tackett" in a fenderless Model A sedan with a (don't remember) engine from Tacketts welding in Oak Cliff.
    Jack Little in a mid 30's Pontiac coupe with a Cadillac engine.It had the first roller cam I ever saw in any engine! The anti-rotating device on the lifters looked home made.
    One of the real noteworthy cars was what I believe was the original "Snuff Box". It
    was a Khaki brown, kind of rough '49 Chevy sedan, which I believe had an Olds engine.
    It was run by a group of black guys. I think they were the same guys that ran a '38
    Chevy coupe some years later in B or C/G at Greenvalley between Dallas & Ft. Worth.
    I hope this rambling account was as entertaining to some others as it was to recall.
    Cheers! KEEP ON WRENCHIN' !!
    MickeyD
     
  18. BobG
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 350

    BobG
    Member

    Sounds like some of the old stories CJ Hart used to tell me.... Thanks
     
  19. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 17,643

    Mazooma1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Heres a grim photo taken by Don Gillespie (the producer of the LIONS Drag Strip DVDs).
    Don went back to LIONS after it shut down (Dec. 1972) to take some photos. This shows the catwalk on the right, looking west from the tower side. Just to the left of the photo was the starting line.
    That refinery way in the background put out a huge flame, which after dark, made for an eerie feeling along with all the noise from the race cars, the rifle range to the south banging away, the nitro, and the dew that made the electrical transformers crackle. They were located on the top of the three poles in the photo. I know it sounds corny, but to a 11-15 year old, it was all the things that were supposed to be dangerous all wrapped up into one big ball every weekend! EEEEEEeeeee

    [​IMG]
     
  20. SquashThatFly
    Joined: Nov 24, 2005
    Posts: 723

    SquashThatFly
    Member

    75-80 was first opened in 1960. Last race was 3 years ago in October 2005. I pretty much grew up here. My dad was track champ 6 times in his younger days. The place looks really rough right now. Illegal racing is pretty much not gonna happen there. The owner lives literally a 1/8th mile up the road and overlooks the track. There is a still operating bar directly behind the burnout box that is in the family.

    After the finish line the track goes up hill. On the other side of the hill....cornfield. A bunch of cars ended up there. If i remember right, when they ran funny cars they only did 1/8th mile because they were afraid of running out of track. Bunny Burkett was a regular. As were Sox & Martin Cars.

    They kept it open as long as possible. For years they fought off developers and even the surrounding residents preffered having the track over 1,000 homes. The last few years hosted some wild Friday night homegrown OPS 10.5 racing. There's A LOT of Mid-Atlantic/East Coast history here.

    In the end, due to failing health, the land was sold off and is slated to become 1600 homes.
     
  21. 408 AA/D
    Joined: Jun 15, 2008
    Posts: 177

    408 AA/D
    Member

    I raced at the old Circle Dragstrip way back when. There was also a tree in the middle of the shut down area.
    That was the same group of guys that ran the later Snuff Box at the Valley and other N.Texas tracks.
    Speaking of Other Tracks in the D/FW area:
    Irving Drag Strip
    Grapevine Drag Strip
    Cedar Hill (mentioned earlier)
    Forest Hills ( S.E. of Ft.Worth) won my class every week and got a trophy. I lost all my trophys in a fire years back.
    The Guard Base
    North Richland Hills Dragstrip
    Kennedale
    Greater Southwest (The old Amon Carter Airport runway) Only ran a couple of meets seems like. The promoters checks bounced.
    Dallas International (What a shame) Loved racing there
    Caddo Mills
    Green Valley) Dairy Farm turned into Drag Strip and owned by Bill McClure mentioned earlier) Bill was either around the starting line or roaming around the pits BS'ing with the racers.
    Side Note on Green Valley Spanky McFarland (The Little Rascals/Our Gang fame) lived just to the North of the race Track. He would sometimes flag us down on the way to the track going in the back way and ask about what changes we had made to the dragster (all open trailers in those days) He would occasionally talk about his days in the movies.
    i have a picture of the Valley taken from the air but don't remember the year. Will try and dig it up and post it.
    Nuff rambling here too.:D
     
  22. Green Valley @63
     

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  23. I could just cry. I used to run Irwindale in the 70's. Every Wed night (Grudge Night). Also, me and friends used to rent OCIR for $35 a car during the week for "test" purposes. Now it's fucking gone, all gone
     
  24. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,294

    Torkwrench
    Member

    Thanks for the pics and the link.:) My older brother still has a program for Boondocks Dragway from about 1970. I was kinda surprised there was anyone who even had heard of this strip, let alone have any pics. Thanks.:D
     
  25. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,294

    Torkwrench
    Member

    Mid-State Raceway, (Mason County Raceway), in Havana is still open. It's only 1/8 mile, but it still looks like it did in 1970.:cool: They did put in new toilets though. No rain gutter/horse trough urinals anymore.:eek: I also heard that someone is trying to build a new strip near Minonk Ill. by I-39.:confused:
     
  26. the first legal race I ever sean. 1965 my grand pops ran his new olds 442
    and smoked the tires half the strip. I have been hucked since. any picks of Ascot ?
     
  27. pdc
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 346

    pdc
    Member

    I guess I'm in between yall here in KY.. Wondering if anybody would know of Cedar creek dragway a.k.a. "Cheater Creek". Shut down years ago, a.k.a. Bullit dragway.
     
  28. lowkroozer
    Joined: Jun 1, 2006
    Posts: 600

    lowkroozer
    Member

    Don't forget Sunset drag strip just east of Sharon Pa. Opened in the late fifties or early sixties and ran all the way up to about 98 or 99 then closed. Recently reopened with the original owner still running the place. Alex is the owner and in his late 80s. you pull in the gate and he greets you by name.All the old racers will remember him. The track is still 1/8 mile and looks like it did in 1960.this is the kind of place we need to patronize!!!!!!!
     
  29. MERRELL
    Joined: Nov 17, 2007
    Posts: 381

    MERRELL
    Member

    cool shit!,any more pics of fontana?
     
  30. pdc
    Joined: Nov 25, 2008
    Posts: 346

    pdc
    Member

    I'm only 30, but I'd give my left lug nut to spend 1 night at a drag strip in the 60's.
     

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