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Somerset Drag Strip

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Our57, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. AllenK
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 220

    AllenK
    Member

    It looks like they just came from church! I went on Google Maps and found where the old track used to be. It looks like the track might be the road that goes through the mobile home park???
     
  2. Our57
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 60

    Our57
    Member

    One of the guys in that shot is wearing his Pulaski County High School jacket. There were two high schools in Somerset then (Pulaski County and Somerset High). You are correct AllenK, the mobil homes are parked right along the old strip.
     
  3. Our57
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 60

    Our57
    Member

    Yep, he was the local top dog at Somerset for a while.
    Dose anyone remember an olive green Falcon gasser that ran there alot, I rember it as plain as day but have no idea who it was.
     
  4. Our57
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 60

    Our57
    Member

    Yeh, no sign of the dirt track left the last time I went up there. It was a junk yard for many years after the track closed but it has since been filled in and buildings built on the site.
     
  5. 35touring
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 462

    35touring
    Member
    from Kentucky

    how do you use that Google Earth stuff?
     
  6. Our57
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 60

    Our57
    Member

    The "HOT CARS" would usually turn around and drive back up the track after a run. One night an Anglia came back up the track a bit to fast and skidded right out the gate, across route 80 and came to a stop in front of the building across the road.
     
  7. AllenK
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 220

    AllenK
    Member

    Thanks man! I love hearing about and finding old speedways no matter where they are.
     
  8. Our57
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 60

    Our57
    Member

    Now you all are going to think I'm crazy but here are a couple of my prized posessions. A piece of asphalt from the original drag strip after it closed, and in the jar is dirt from the dirt track that I scooped up in a paper cup in 1970.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. killbilly
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 207

    killbilly
    Member

    Yes,you are right,we all think you are crazy.But we all are kind of crazy in our own way.Its the sickness.:D
     
  10. AllenK
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 220

    AllenK
    Member


    Very Cool man!!! Nothing crazy about that! I went out to where one of the old tracks used to be here. Turns out the guy who bought the property is a "survivalist",and definitely doesn't like people around his place. I don't know him,but they say is a pretty good guy overall though.
    :p We could've gotten shot from what they say. :(
     
  11. gusonthebus
    Joined: Mar 26, 2010
    Posts: 5

    gusonthebus
    Member

    Low Budget, my son (AllenK) and I saw your car @ Somernites this year. My son took a picture of it even. Very cool!!
     
  12. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,312

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    Hey Thanks! I plan on paintin it someday but I had a lot of fun putin a few miles on it this summer as is.
    I started to make a comment on your sons cool (custom) chevy truck logo avator last night but didnt.
    Ive seen that logo a thousand times through the years but never really noticed how cool it looked until now, great eye;)

    Oh yeah, I actually work with a girl that lives out at the old campbellsville drag strip. I plan on asking her if she knows anything about the old dragstrip etc.etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  13. 35touring
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 462

    35touring
    Member
    from Kentucky

    here's the old Richmond, KY dragstrip as it appears now.[​IMG]
     
  14. 35touring
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 462

    35touring
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Old Bluegrass Dragway opened in 1964[​IMG]
     
  15. 35touring
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 462

    35touring
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Cedar Creek in Louisville, KY

    [​IMG]
     
  16. 4284555sd
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 62

    4284555sd
    Member

    Man thats a good pic. of Bluegrass Dragway. I made a lot of passes down that strip. House trailer are on the Somerset strip, Moore is dead, And I drove down Richmond strip 3 mouths ago, and they are starting to build houses at the end of it. They closed ( Somerset ) when someone came back up the wrong way and hit one going down the strip. I think one got killed. For you people that didn't know, at the end of the track you drop over a hill, and that was where the shut down part was. You had to have a hell of a set of brakes to get stopped before you went through the fence. I have a lot of pic. of Bluegrass, ran there a lot. I live 1/2 way. North was Bluegrass and south was Somerset. BUT now we go to Clay City just to watch. I like old Clay City the best. It's kind of layed back down there. Long drive, 60 miles from my shop.
     
  17. 4284555sd
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 62

    4284555sd
    Member

    I ran there at Richmond when I was 15 with a 56 chevy. wagon and my 55 studebaker pickup with a 289 stud engine. You did your burnout going down the track, and then you backed up and got on the starting line. Well I forgot to put it in low ( my foot was shaking kind of bad, If you know what I mean ) I tacked her up to about 5000 and the flagman dropped the flag, I dropped the clutch-------------------------------Look out boys. ( Back then people would stand behind you, Like 3 feet behind your truck ). Well by the time I got stopped, I had 4 men in the back of my truck. The other car was long gone, but back then they would help out, so after we got everybody out of my stud-o-baker pickup, and got someone to run the other car down and talk him into coming back, and I used low gear this time, we had a race. He beat me by one car. I know you boys want to know what kind of car it was. It was a New 63 1/2 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible 260 V8 4 speed Black on Black.
     
  18. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,476

    rebstew187
    Member

    Not long gone but still active. Doing some research on a local car club in Northern Ky I found paperwork where the club was able to recieve some tires to raffle off for their drag strip they were trying to get going. The pics below followed. I have not been able to confirm it but it said these were Thorn Hill. I raced their as a teenager and it's still open today. Brandon that posted on the 1st page still runs his Model A there on the weekends.

    Track: Active - 1/8 mile & 1/4 mile Drag Strip, 1955 - Present

    Track Location: 14114 Kenton Station Rd., Morning View, Kentucky, 41063

    Brief History: Track opened as Thorn Hill Lake Drag Strip in 1955, and was run by a local car club. Track was originally the Thorn Hill Airfield and was built during Prohibition by "Bootleggers" who were transporting moonshine by small plane. The early Drag Strip was operated by Ralph Payne, and the surface was graded dirt that was oiled down(note the oil trucks in 2nd and 3rd pic) to prevent dust. Eventually the Starting line area was paved, and sections of the strip were paved over the years until the entire track was paved by 1958. In 2008 Gerald Meyer purchased the facility, and made improvements to the Burn Out boxes. Other improvements are coming in the near future. Some SCCA Autocross events were also held there in the '60's

    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  19. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,476

    rebstew187
    Member

    I don't think you are crazy. Must be a hillbilly thing. Every vacation we went on as a kid my mom would bring back a rocks for her garden. If I go out of town I still bring her one back. I even drug one from Mexico a few years ago for her.
    I'm not much for keeping rocks or dirt but I get it. I did grab a chunk of thick paint that fell off one of the cars at the Cadilliac Ranch while I was on vacation.
    The Somerset track pics are very cool. I had a house in Burnside, Ky for a while. Right next to Somerset. God's country down there. I miss it.
     
  20. 35touring
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 462

    35touring
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Great Thorn Hill photos, remember the old clock above the starting line.

    Campbellsville as it is now.. Have never seen a drag racing photo fom this site.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  21. 35touring
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 462

    35touring
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Bluegrass in the 60's
     

    Attached Files:

  22. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,312

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    The girl at work talked to her mom and says she has a few pics of the campbellsville strip but none when they still had the concession stands??? (I didnt know they ever had any)
    She has lived there most of her life, being brought up there and now owning a house of her own there.
    She remembered as a little girl, sitting on her swing hearing the cars over there on the weekends but couldnt see them.
    She said her dog wandered off over there during the races one time and came back carrying a 10 dollar bill:D

    She is suppose to get me some copies of the pics but Im not sure if they will be any racing pics or just the track from back then???

    I will share when I get them and may do some searching around town next week for anymore photos, Ive always been curious about what all went on out there and this thread and talking to her has gotten me even more interested;)
     
  23. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,476

    rebstew187
    Member

    I was digging trying to find out what happened to those clocks. Someone said Don Garlits ended up with them for his museum. I emailed him about a year ago and he said he remembered the clocks but he didn't have them. There is a guy in Covington, Ky that has one of the back ups that was in a shed from what I hear. Suppose to be hanging in his garage.
    So Campbellsville has the old Thornhill timing dials? I was at a dead end and couldn't get any leads as to what happened to them. I'm only 40 years old but that is what we run against when I was racing there. The old clocks. A bunch of us from the club was wondering what happened to them.
     
  24. 35touring
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 462

    35touring
    Member
    from Kentucky

    No, I was refering to Thorn Hill's clock.
    Never attended a race at Campbellsville. Don't even know what years it was in operation.
     
  25. AllenK
    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 220

    AllenK
    Member

    Thanks for the avatar comment. That logo needs to be going down the road instead of in the garage!
     
  26. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,476

    rebstew187
    Member

    Sorry about that. I read it wrong. I thought it said "has it now" instead of "_as it is now". lol
     
  27. rebstew187
    Joined: Jan 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,476

    rebstew187
    Member

    It's funny what history is lost just because we don't ask. My family are all from Manchester. I called my dad today and told him I needed to know something about his youth. He laughed and said good luck. He's getting close to 80 and can't remember his own kids name half the time. I ask him if there was ever a race track in Manchester. His quick reply was yes. I ask when was this and he said when he was really young. I said you never told me that. I didn't think there were any hot rod down in Clay County. He laughed again and said as long as there has been a car the guys down there were doing soming to make them faster. He went on talking about a guy with the last name of Jarvis. He said that he built an old jalopy out of about 6 cars. I ask if it was cool and he says "no" ? Just a bunch of junk or what was it. He said it looked funny and was like Johnny Cash's one piece at a time song. HAHAHa
    I kept trying to get more out of him and ask where it was. He blew my mind and told me you know where the park is and the hospital is. Yes. None of that was there. The roads have been moved around to get there but you turned there. He said he thinks they are called different streets now but back then it was take a left on Green Brier Road and then right on Dead Engine Hill. What a cool name huh! He said you went up that hill and the race track was on a flat that was on the top of the mountain.
    Thinking about it I remember going up that hill and back down it. It was steep. How I remember is we didn't make a turn and run an old 74 LTD down the hill and onto the road below. I was only about 8 or 9 years old but I remember that hill. We got stopped on out in town by the cops and the cop kept asking if the car was stolen?? We couldn't figure out what the deal was at first but the tag got ripped off the back when we come off the road and down hill. We did not go very far off the road but I remember my hands and knees standing on the back of the seat looking down before we hit the road. Noone wore seat belts back then.
    Dad went on about sitting on the porch when he was 17 or 18 in Pennington holler, which is called Pennington Hill now. It was pretty far from the track and he could still hear the pipes open up when they gunned it. Too Cool!
    It's funny how crisp his mind was today. Sad part is I could ask the same thing in a week and he may not remember it. I would have thought all the time we talked about cars and stuff that he would have said something. Just goes to show you that you should just ask.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  28. Our57
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 60

    Our57
    Member

    Great photos from Thorn Hill. I have been there a few times. They didn't have grandstands, they had picnic tables along the fence that you could sit on. Always had a great time there.
    I noticed the Lovelace Radiator Service lettering on that old truck in one of the photos. There is still a Lovelace Radiator Service in Hamilton today, I may have to stop in and check them out one of these days.
     
  29. olddrags
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 477

    olddrags
    Member
    from ky

    Great thread !! Hopefully someone can find some pics from Campbellsville dragstrip, I seem to recall someone mentioning there is/was a towing company located at the end of the old strip. I'm currently on the search for photos from the Owensboro Dragway(pre Windy Hollow) and Otter Lake Dragstrip in Madisonville Ky.
     
  30. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,312

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    Yeah,Seibert Harris did have a salvage yard there,he still does towing but Im not sure about whats left of the yard,There may be cars hidden over the hill??? I think he is the one that originaly bought the dragstrip out after it shut down.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011

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