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DEFUNCT DRAG STRIPS IN N.Y.


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#1 DannyO

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 09:55 PM

This is not my area of knowledge , but I hope it to be something that alot of information could come out. Alot of stock car racers came from, or went to, or by some way was involved in DRAG RACING. Maybe we can cross reference some stories or facts

I am familier with 2 Drag Strips now closed

Fonda Dragstrip was at the Fonda Speedway fairgrounds. It was an 1/8 mile strip that ran on Wednesday nights
Shirley( Cha-Cha ) Muldowney got her start at this strip I was also told that after running thru the traps you had to run across turns3-4 of the race track which was pretty hairy
FONDA DRAG STRIP


South Glens Falls Drag-o-way was a track in the South Glens Falls area south of Lake George, and north of Saratoga.
I dont know alot of the history about it, but was running in the 60s-70s. It was a 1/4 mile track with a sand return road. If you went thru the shut down area you would end up on the Northway I-87 on the north bound lane. They use to oil the sand on the return road to keep the dust down. The drain oil came from the generators from the GE Plant near by. I believe the State finally closed down the track because it was considered to be so contaminated with PCB from the generator oil. As far as I know the track is still completly in tacked with lights and buildings. About 10 years ago I was last there and just walking near the pits and drag strip, you still could smell the strong stench of oil in the air. The property is completly fenced off with CONTAMINATED AREA DO NOT ENTER signs all over. I have met a historian of this track and I will try to get more info. Just to the left of the circle of trailers is the track.

South Glens Falls





#2 DannyO

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 10:19 PM

Here is a web page on South Glens Falls Dragway

SOUTH GLEN FALLS DRAGWAY WEB SITE

#3 DannyO

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 10:34 PM

Other tracks that could be added if they existed

OSWEGO.................... have a drag strip
UTICA ROME............... had a dragstrip
FULTON .......................have a dragstrip ?
CICERO.......................or is this track still active?
LANCASTER..................have a dragstrip?
Heard of a track somewhere near Kingston N.Y.


#4 DannyO

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 10:38 PM

Other tracks that could be added if they existed

OSWEGO.................... have a drag strip
UTICA ROME............... had a dragstrip
FULTON .......................have a dragstrip ?
CICERO.......................or is this track still active?
LANCASTER..................have a dragstrip?
Heard of a track somewhere near Kingston N.Y.


#5 DannyO

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 02:46 PM

Arlington Speedway..................... had a drag strip.........1950s-60s
Poughkeepsie N.Y.

ARLINGTON SPEEDWAY-DRAGWAY



N.Y NATIONAL SPEEDWAY............no further info
SUFFOLKS COUNTY N.Y.
NY NATIONAL DRAGSTRIP

#6 Bob K.

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 06:22 PM

Danny O

I gave Bob Miller some info on Arlington Speedway. There was a dirt oval there and for a short while in '61 and/or '62 they had an 1/8 th mile dirt dragstrip that used part of the oval track. Your satellite image is the correct location, but nothing remains of the oval or strip. The dirt road shown in the upper portion of the image, is how you entered the speedway property from Van Wagner Road. What looks like part of a paved oval is actually what remains of an old access road to the radio station. Tucker Road was not in existence at the time of the speedway operations.

Another dragstrip in NY was Dover Dragway, I believe located off of route 22 in the Wingdale / Dover Plains area.

They also had drags at the airport in Montgomery, NY for a while in the late '50s early '60s.





#7 Jay Mooney

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 07:07 PM

My father and uncle had dragsters (a Plymouth super stock and later a rail job) that they towed all over NY back in the late 50's, early 1960's. They raced at:

-ESTA SAFETY PARK(commonly referred to as “Cicero". Still in operation today).
-SAVANNAH
-TRI-CITIES AIRPORT (Known as Tri-Cities Drag-Way)
-SHANGRI-LA SPEEDWAY
-FULTON RACEWAY(the old strip is still there behind the backstretch)
-NIAGARA DRAGWAY

I asked about Oswego Speedway running drag races. They put on an exhibition show there once. It was conducted by the promoters of ESTA Safety Park and conducted on Oswego's frontstretch. This was in the early 1960's.

Here are some more info on the defunct strips

SAVANNAH
Jackson's Dragway also known as Kings Drag Strip in South Butler NY. In fact, most people call it Savannnah which is the town nearby. It was built and promoted by Paul Jackson in 1958 and ran for about 20 years. Ed Otto, who was one of the founding members of NASCAR, was one of the co-promoters. The strip is still there. It sort of reopened in recent years for nostalgia meets. I tried looking for the place on Terraserver but had no luck. (Edit 4/16/11: Found the strip using Bing Maps):
http://www.bing.com/... ny&FORM=LMLTCC

SHANGRI-LA SPEEDWAY(Owego, NY)
The now closed Shangri-la Speedway in Owego NY ran drags in the early 1960's on the oval track's frontstretch. In fact, Paul Jackson of Savannah's strip was the drag racing promoter at Shangri-la back then. The oval track had fallen on hard times in the 1950s and was pretty much left to ruin. It had a massive wooden grandstand which the town of Owego had condemned and wouldn't allow racing until those stands were dismantled. Jackson hired a local hot rod club to burn the stands down so they could race. My father and uncle were members of that club and always talked about being the ones who "burned the stands down". Legally of course. Drag racing on Shangri-la's fronstretch was resurrected by the track in the late 80s or so.

TRI-CITIES AIRPORT (Endicott, NY)
The Tri-Cities Airport in Endicott NY (near Binghamton) conducted drag races on the airport runway in the late 50'/early 60's. No races since then, but still there as a functioning, though financially troubled, municipal airport:
http://www.bing.com/... ny&FORM=LMLTCC


And I just found out about this one today...

DUFFEK'S DRAGWAY(Endicott, NY)
My father said it was up on a hill in the city of Endicott. Owned by the Duffek family who had a garage/body shop in town. They opened it sometime in the 1960s after my father and uncle got out of the sport. It never really took off, though. (Edit 4/16/11: After doing some research, I found a newspaper article about the planning of this strip and it's exact location, off Teeter and Schneider Roads northwest of Endicott.) Believe it or not, the strip is still there:
http://www.bing.com/...=-1&FORM=LMLTCC

#8 dwcremax

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 07:08 PM

QUOTE (DannyO @ Mar 30 2008, 02:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Arlington Speedway..................... had a drag strip.........1950s-60s
Poughkeepsie N.Y.

ARLINGTON SPEEDWAY-DRAGWAY



N.Y NATIONAL SPEEDWAY............no further info
SUFFOLKS COUNTY N.Y.
NY NATIONAL DRAGSTRIP
NY National was only a dragstrip. They never got approval to build an oval. Also there were drag strips at both Islip Speedway (1/8) and Westhampton Speedway (1/4) on Long Island. Westhampton may still be there.


#9 Jay Mooney

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 09:29 AM

While Google-ing defunct drag strips in NY I came across a hot rod message board that listed comments about closed strips: http://www.hotrodder...dragstrips.html

In the NY section a couple of posters mentioned drag racing, on the dirt no less, at both Canandaigua (Canandaigua Speedland) and the Monroe County Fairgrounds. Here’s some of those posts:

CANANDAIGUA SPEEDLAND:
“My cousin used to run here back in the 60's. I guess it was mostly street cars but some gassers used to show up from time to time. They had a concrete or asphalt pad about 50-70'long they launched from and then dropped onto the front straight of the clay stock car track. Anyone remember it?” – posted by Scott Warner

“I won my first trophy there in 1966 with a 1957 Chevy 6cyl with a 3 speed. A guy we called Goody used to run it. He worked for TT Bearing in Rochester, NY –posted by GordyD

“Do I remember Canandaigua. That's where (when I turned 16 in '64)I started Drag racing. I had a '53 Ford flathead "8",3 spd. on the floor. They had a Flagman who "brave guy" stood in front of the two cars racing and when he raised the Green flag you raced. I still drive by whenever I'm back there and show my sons where I use to Drag Race. Good times there.” -posted by JimJ.


MONROE COUNTY FAIR:
“Any one run here or remember it? I guess they ran on the front straight of the clay stock car track back in the 50's or 60's. Then at the end of the 60's ran in the asphalt parking lot until a Vette gasser ran into a utility pole and ended it all. Did they only run during fair week? –posted by Scott Warner

I think it was run every Wed. night, in the summer when it was warm. Yes I remember a paved starting area and then clay dirt track to the finish line. Wild Rose raced and won a lot there. Rose was a Rochester girl who married Tom McMullen and moved to L.A. Tom started Street Rodder Mag. After Wild Rose won almost every week, Bill Linder and some other guys who hung out at B&M Speed Shop built a 56 Chevy that was put together just to beat Rose. They won and Rose did not go home with another Top eliminator trophy. She was mad. Bill Linder finished his CC/Gas Willys and won at many NHRA tracks.” –posted by Dean Court

“I raced at Monroe County Fairgrounds a few times and I own the track record with a time of 6.7 sec. on what was a "measured 1/8 mile" I did this on the clay race track in Aug 1968 during the county fair which was held on a Wednesday night, that was a "Nascar record" back then, you had a good hour and one half of time when slicks worked relativly decent.” –posted by John Unaman

And here’s a post re: the old Utica-Rome strip…

UTICA-ROME DRAGWAY
Utica-Rome not only ran for over fifteen years, it still exists...UNDER the oval track. It was an eighth-mile dragstrip; many of the biggest names, (Don Garlits, Don Prudhomme, etc.), raced there during its existence. It finally closed in 1977 when the oval track was redesigned. The shutdown area is mostly gone, but the starting line is currently the little bit of asphalt which shoots off the backstraight of the oval and runs to the northwest. A smaller piece of the dragstrip runs at an angle through the oval infield between turn one and turn two. Every once in a while, I'll spot a Utica-Rome Dragway class winner decal on a drag car from the northeast. Take good care of yours...it's rare! -posted by Bret Kepner

#10 BobMiller

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 11:23 AM

Good stuff there Mr. MoonDog. Glad you are back. Speaking of drag racing, if you run across anyone who did local drag racing photography from say... 1970 to 1980, let me know. I have a buddy who was pretty successful in the Pro Stocks and lost all of his memorabilia in a divorce (C U Next Tuesday). Anyway, if I ever ran across pictures of his car, I'd probably buy them.

#11 dan dan

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 02:22 PM

Niagara Raceway Park/International Raceway
1961-1974: Niagara Falls, NY at Lockport and Tuscarora Rds. on north side of Niagara Falls Airport
1/4 mile paved dragstrip
STATUS: still exists in fair condition
The N.H.R.A. (National Hot Rod Association) sanctioned races.
It was famous on the local radio stations for its memorable commercials containing "SSSSSSSUUUUUNNNNNNNDDDDAAAAAAYYYYY Niagara" in them. They ran Sunday shows with time trials at 11 am and races starting at 1:30 pm. "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney made appearances there also.

Dunkirk Dragway
1958-19 ?: Dunkirk, NY (located at Dunkirk Airport)
paved dragstrip
STATUS:



dont worry, i dont take you seriously either.


a cold PBR on the way, life is good today!


president and founding member of the i like the old guy fan club! :drinks:

2014 race count

1-1-2014 ransomville

#12 DannyO

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:31 PM

WOW.........Some great stuff here. I am looking for any photos or 8mm movies of Fonda or South Glens Falls or early Lebanon Valley to complete my collection, to produce a Nostalgia video I do have some videos but not enough to finish the project.

#13 Big

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 11:53 PM

I still have the trophy i won at Fonda Dragway in 1966 with my 1966 Chevelle ( stock )
With Street cars it wasn't to bad going across the dirt track. The mods. and
dragsters it was a real ride.

I ran at South Glens Falls Dragway not sure if it was 1969 or 1970
with my 1966 Chevelle ( D Modified Production ) about took out the light coming off
the line the first try. Track was really slick, about lost it at 1/2 way mark. Loaded it
up and went home while i still had a car to run at the Valley.

Ran at ESTA Safety Park in Cicero and Utica Rome Dragway in the early 1970's.
The track had a little dip in it that ran kidycorner across it. some where between
1/2 to 3/4 way down, that could be a little hair too.

Ran Utica Rome Dragway in the early 1970's. Nice little strip. This was the first
Drag Strip i was at where they were betting on the car in the stands.

#14 racerman51™

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 08:57 PM

QUOTE (DannyO @ Mar 29 2008, 10:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Other tracks that could be added if they existed

OSWEGO.................... have a drag strip
UTICA ROME............... had a dragstrip
FULTON .......................have a dragstrip ?
CICERO.......................or is this track still active?
LANCASTER..................have a dragstrip? <<---
Heard of a track somewhere near Kingston N.Y.

Laannnnncasterrrrr(to quote Carl Russo on 97 Rock)is still operating..they picked up a "naming" sponsor over the winter..Dunn Tire..and is now called Dunn Tire Motorsports Park or something to that extent...Dunn Tire also sponsors the local triple A baseball stadium which is also called Dunn Tire Park..it's an eigths mile strip that uses the front stretch of the paved oval..and as for the radio commercials for Niagara,it was"Sunnnnnnndayyyyyyyyyyyyy Niaaaagarrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaa"....yes, I'm that old to remember that far back.. laugh.gif

Les Mawson here!!

Tracks for 2014!

Humberstone..doubt if i'll be going there this year!!

 

Merrittville..,5/19,5/24.5/31,6/7,6/14,6/28

Ransomville...1/1Hangover 2014

Rolling Wheels!!....

Ohsweken..been there a couple times so far this year, can't remember when...LOL

 

Woodhull...

the only  dirt modifieds ARE DIRTcar MODS!!!......NOT THESE LEFT STEER "MODIFIEDS" THAT RACE IN THE REST OF NORTH AMERICA!!!..

 

who knows where I'll end up?...LOL..


that's racin'® (phrase): Expresses frustration or emotion. 1. When a small part costing just a few dollars fails and stops a $150,000 race car, that's racin'. 2. When you race a competitor for 500 miles and lose to him by just a few feet, that's racin'. 3. When a hot dog wrapper blows out of the stands, gets caught across the air vent on the front of your car and causes your engine to overheat, that's racin'.4. when your team-mate runs into your ass without braking,that's racin'(attributed to some Formula one guy who I can't remember right now..LOL)


#15 dino

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 08:39 AM

HEY GUYS DINO HERE ! Former announcer at Dover Drag Strip !!! CHECK THIS OUT !
we Just went online Friday (7/12/08) www.doverdragstrip.com Check in the forum and tell us some history ! ..........................."dino"

#16 Jeff-B

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 05:04 AM

E.S.T.A.

Still there, running Sunday mornings. I read in Jimmy Shampine's biography that he raced there before he decided to build an oval track car.
Jeff Blanchard

#17 Brian MacDonald

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 10:35 PM

Canandaigua was known as "Canandaigua Speedland",in the '60's. My brother lived in downtown Canandaigua then, and I remember the ads on the AM radio.The asphalt starting area is still there,it just never gets cleaned off. It's where the cars enter the speedway,off turn 4.
Fulton's drag strip is the road going from turn 2 and up the hill, in the pits,behind the back straight. Gus Schmidt used to drag race there.




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