Author Topic: Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip  (Read 1341 times)

Offline GlennLever

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Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip
« on: January 17, 2018, 02:28:53 PM »
For decades, Englishtown Raceway Park in New Jersey has been home to the NHRA’s Summer Nationals. But today, the track announced it’s stopping drag racing, effective immediately. Other activities at Englishtown will continue, notably Club Loose’s drift events, but this is an abrupt end to an era.



All quarter and eighth mile events are coming to an end, while dirt bike, karting, road course and drift events will continue. The reason for the closure of drag racing appears to come from the track leasing out that area to Insurance Auto Auctions to store cars. Englishtown previously held some of the thousands of cars flooded by Hurricane Sandy back in 2013, so this relationship isn’t coming out of nowhere.

A source familiar with the matter said that IAA recently came back and made an offer the track “couldn’t refuse.”

So the end of drag racing at Englishtown doesn’t seem to be coming from something falling through with the NHRA so much as car storage being more lucrative.

Tons of smaller drag events run at Englishtown (its Honda-only events are well known) and it’s unclear where they’ll go. There are other drag strips nearby, like Atco, but this is all quite sudden.

What’s interesting about this is it’s a real passing of the torch moment for this really quite well-known track, which was due to host the NHRA Summer Nationals again this year in June. A few years back, Englishtown moved its drifting events from a large parking lot to a dedicated road course, and the events have been flourishing. East Coast Bash might be the best drift event, if not the best car event, in the country.

That these drift events are continuing while drag racing is shutting down is an interesting gauge of the state of motorsports in America in 2018.

Here is the announcement in full:
https://jalopnik.com/englishtown-raceway-abruptly-closes-its-nhra-drag-strip-1822154422


Glenn R. Lever
Rochester, New York 14617-2012
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Offline ricardo1967

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Re: Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 03:19:34 PM »
I've never been there but it's really sad to see another historical dragstrip shutting down.

Drag racing is at risk of becoming an endangered sport. It's boring to watch, and to a point, boring to race.

Quote
That these drift events are continuing while drag racing is shutting down is an interesting gauge of the state of motorsports in America in 2018.

Isn't ironic that as drag racing practically eliminated tire smoke, the popular sport of the day is clouded with tire smoke? I'm for one totally against track treatment. In my opinion, it doesn't matter how fast you go, what matters (for driver and audience satisfaction), is how you go.

I get more chills watching this short video clip more than watching any modern Top Fuel doing a pass:
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 03:47:52 PM by ricardo1967 »

Offline coupemerc

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Re: Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 03:36:46 PM »
Possibly the best track on the east coast...what a shame

Offline dusterdave173

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Re: Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 05:34:41 AM »
I understand they had used it to store flood cars for ins company and they had a bid to do it again for big $$$$
I have always had a fascination with fast cars at the expense of more normal character development

Offline GlennLever

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Re: Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 06:26:38 AM »
Yes I heard the same thing, they will make more money storing cars than running the event.
Glenn R. Lever
Rochester, New York 14617-2012
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Offline buickfed

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Re: Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 11:34:06 AM »
love that video. no weight on front axle. no wheelie bars. no problems.  ;D ;D
too bad they don't make tires like that anymore. would love to do smokey shows for the crowds.

Offline ricardo1967

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Re: Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 12:36:39 PM »
love that video. no weight on front axle. no wheelie bars. no problems.  ;D ;D
too bad they don't make tires like that anymore. would love to do smokey shows for the crowds.
Amen brother!

Offline coupemerc

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Re: Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 09:26:51 AM »
I have so many great memories from that track. Here are three of my favorites...

We were there when Don Garlits flipped his T/F car over backwards qualifying against Darrell Gwynn in 1986. Garlits went backwards through the finish line and ended up headed towards the starting line before he got it stopped.

We did a huge wheelstand with our TAD in 1994 qualifying against Bill Barney (RIP) and broke the front end of the chassis and wheels landing. Stayed up all night welding/fixing the chassis and we ran our first ever 5 second run the next day against Mike Kosky. Mike and I were way down the end of the shut down and Mike told me "either you just went really fast or I just went really slow" . We were locked together the whole way down.

Bob Newberry made the first ever 5 second alcohol funny car run. Peter Gallen and Newberry were both knocking on the door with low 6.0s. Peter had actually qualified #1 with a 6.0 something and chose to race in the last pair of cars for first round. Newberry ran in an earlier pair and broke into the 5s. Peter ended up running a 5 too but everyone remembers Newberry because he did it a few pairs earlier.

Anyone else have some cool memories?

Offline masracingtd1167

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Re: Englishtown Raceway Abruptly Closes Its NHRA Drag Strip
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2018, 08:49:56 AM »
It's a real shame to loose a track like Englishtown ! I started going there in the early seventy's and couldn't believe how bid it was compared to our little home track ! Found a old Raceway news clipping of my first Super Comp final back in 83 !