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History Old san antonio speedway

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by choprodinc, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. choprodinc
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 141

    choprodinc
    Member

    Today I had to go to the south end of San Antonio to pick up some parts and started thinking about the old San Antonio Speedway. I spent countless evenings and weekends there as a teenager(I'm almost fifty now) so it's been along time since I've seen the old track. I remember me and friends sneeking in because we didn't have enough money for beer AND entry fees. Racing under the lights, warm summer breezes, good friends, the smell of race fuel, the roar of engines and tires burning in the pits, man I lived for that shit. Girls were alright, but much rather be sitting on the top row of the bleechers at the round track so we could see both the roundy rounds and Alamo Dragway at the same time. In case you never went... the speedway and drag strip were back to back and sitting on the top gave a beautiful view of both paradises. I saw Big Daddy Don Garlits, Cha Cha Muldowney, Don The Snake Prudome, Connie Colletta and all the other bigs runs down that track. Good Times! Both tracks have been closed for years now and all that is left are ruins. The drag strip is completely covered with grass and the speedway is getting there. I took a few picks to share with you guys. Not much to look at now, but in it's prime... it was a great venue. Brought a tear to my eyes. Hope you enjoy the pics! Thanx for lookin!
     

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  2. Dynaflash_8
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 3,015

    Dynaflash_8
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    wow!

    Whats the story on it now?

    looks like they just up and left
     
  3. Yes, I had some very good times there also as a kid. A buddy of mine Johnny Martinez was part owner, and If I remember correctly he told me Toyota and investors purchased all the land around the raceway and purchased the raceway.
     
  4. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,517

    toml24
    Member

    Gosh. When a race track closes down they usually scrape it clean down to the bare dirt. This looks like a ghost track. I think about Ascot Park Gardena, CA. It was all gone within about 4 months of closing.
     
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  5. Rusty
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 9,447

    Rusty
    Member

  6. Spent my highschool wednesdays and weekends at Alamo Dragway. Drove up from Corpus damn near every week to race. We walked over to the Speedway one night and caught some action, but we were straightliners and it just wasnt our thing. I loved Alamo Dragway, wish it was still open. Great pics!
     
  7. R.C.
    Joined: Jun 9, 2006
    Posts: 957

    R.C.
    Member

    I remember going there when I was younger. I went with a friend of mine that was running his fuel car down ther one night. We left the house around around 3pm on a sat night and got to the track around 6pm ran the race and finished up around 2am Sunday morning and was back at his shop little before 6am. I was about 15 when this went down, and I remember rideing in the front seat coming back home and his interior lights didn't work. He used a flash light to check the gauges going home. That was the time I knew I was hooked. I was with Claude Meador and I remember Troy Green and Wilson Racing and I think John Barret was racing that night.
     
  8. choprodinc
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 141

    choprodinc
    Member

  9. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,517

    toml24
    Member

    Seeing your photos reminds me of the start of the movie "12 O Clock High". You walk out onto the asphalt and then you hear the sounds of distant engines starting. Then the winds pick up and the low-lying bushes begin to sway back and forth. You take your glasses off to clear the dirt particals from your eyes. The engines are louder now and the smells have returned. You have now gone back in time to Saturday nights, how many decades ago.
     
  10. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,660

    seatex
    Member

    Great post, Robin, I COULD ALMOST SMELL THE RUBBER BURNIN'! Thanks for posting, Brother.
     
  11. 69hurstsc
    Joined: Apr 20, 2011
    Posts: 258

    69hurstsc

  12. deeddude
    Joined: Aug 30, 2011
    Posts: 127

    deeddude
    Member

    They had a race out there back in October IIRC. I've also read that there would be some racing in 2013. Fun track to race on.
     
  13. steamer
    Joined: Aug 17, 2008
    Posts: 199

    steamer
    Member

    Great pictures,what a waist to see it left like that.
     
  14. ebfabman
    Joined: Mar 10, 2009
    Posts: 643

    ebfabman

    I put some laps on the half mile back in the 90's
     
  15. Toecutter
    Joined: Mar 14, 2011
    Posts: 70

    Toecutter
    Member

    Alamo Dragway, where if your car was slow the fans would throw beer bottles at you....lol. At least that's what we saw towards the end before it shut down. :D
     
  16. txtom
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 39

    txtom
    Member

    The San Antonio Speedway is running 4 races in 2013, starting the weekend of April 20th. It is operating under a special use permit for 4 races, and is staffed completely by volunteers, who have done everything from rebuilding the walls and grand stands to running the events themselves. I have been involved in this, and it was great to see what we accomplished in October 2012, when we had a full pit, and a turn away crowd. The track is leased for the events from the property owner, who has it for sale.
    To clarify some things posted, Toyota never bought the track property or any of it around there. Their only land purchase is the foorprint of the plant, some 1 1/2 miles away. The land under San Antonio Speedway, and the adjoining Alamo Dragway, was owned by the Reeh family, Specifically Lillian. The Martinez Family owned the infrastructure of the dragstrip, but never the land. Several people have owned the Speedway infrastructure. Both tracks suffered for years from neglect--how much would you spend on upkeep knowing at any time the landowners could sell out fom under you?
    The parcel of property Alamo Dragway sat on was sold to a manufacturing company, and that parcel included the foorprint of a 1/4 mile dirt track that operated for a few years. The track surface is still there, although in severe disrepair.
    The Speedway land and infrastructure are wholly owned by the Reeh Family; now her son. Lillian has passed. It will probably not sell anytime soon, as his asking price is not feasible. We are looking at options for 2014, but pending San Antonio City annexation actions will affect any racing at the speedway in 2014 and beyond.
    We are hopeful, but also realistic.
     
  17. I raced a 68 Chevelle there in the late 90's before it closed. I remember there was a hump towards the end of the left lane. :p
    I have lots of memories from there when I was a kid in the 70's. Once River City Raceway opened up I guess that pretty much sealed Alamo Dragway's fate.
     
  18. Robert1555
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 39

    Robert1555
    Member

    At the old Alamo Dragway was the staring line at the south end of the track by Watson Rd?
     
  19. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,668

    Jimbo17
    Member

    Always hate to see another track close down so I am happy to hear they will run a few races this year.

    Not sure how much work the track needs to get it ready for any races? The pictures look like it really needs a great deal of work first.

    I really hope they can fix the place up again and make it work.

    Jimbo
     
  20. cooger
    Joined: Nov 5, 2008
    Posts: 233

    cooger
    Member

    What a cool place for a nostalgia drag meet and show.
    Leave just as it is and let's fire 'em up.
    cooger
     
  21. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,660

    seatex
    Member

    Any updates, TxTom?
     
  22. joey7508
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 148

    joey7508
    Member
    from TX

    Edited.
    With the drag strip in Marion being auctioned this week and receiving no bids it looks like racing is doomed in San Antonio. Both drag and roundy round.
    :(
     

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