REMEMBERING OLD

RACE TRACKS

This page is dedicated to the tracks we attended.
Where records were set and memories will never be forgotten...
 
Please contribute pictures of your favorite tracks so we can share your memories.
 

During the summer of 1960, the first nationwide tours began, Tommy Ivo with his Twin Buick was the first racer to tour nationwide. Dave Dewars a 1320 member from Minnesota recently uncovered several pcxs taken during that summer, below is Minnesota Raceway's track photographer's comment about that summer. Over the next few days, I'll post all of Dave's pictures, the first of them are posted below with Big Yohns' comments.
 
Lee...
 
 
Dave, thanks for posting these. This is a great time of the year to look back and that year, 1960, was a magic year for me as
it probably was for Pit Crew Pete. In my view, 1960 was a kind of watershed year, when cars really started traveling
around the country, and some even touring for the whole summer.

Ivo was, of course, one of the most notable to start touring in 1960. Cal Equipped, Haines and Cross, spent the whole summer in the Midwest. In fact, Clark Marshall came through town in his type Jaguar and stopped to visit with Arvy while his team was in town. Garlits had been doing some serious traveling prior to 1960, but he was on the road more than ever in "60. Al Williams and Archie Leiderbrand were touring with Als' wife and daughter all crammed into the front seat of that Red Ranchero. Bobby Sullivan was on the road steady, unless his route from race to race took
him home. He had his 60 Olds Wagon set up so he could and did sleep in the back, to save money. Bobby traveled alone and found someone to drive the push car and give him a hand between rounds, at the track.

Setto drove to the races, as he and his brother had a gas station in Detroit, or maybe Highland Park, and Setto worked there every day and then raced on the weekends, driving up to 1,000 miles each way. Bobby Langley didn't tour, as far as I know, he went from home to the races, and then back home. He traveled in a station wagon also, with his wife
and kids.

Louis Cangelose didn't tour either, as far as I know, preferring to travel to each race with his faithful companion Tont-no, Carl Bedami. And then there's the Greek.

What can you say about the Greek that hasn't been already been said better. He and Maynard were in their prime. Racing hard and having fun. They were kind of lucky, in that Chicago was more centered to Midwest racing than any other racers home town, except maybe Setto in Detroit. My guess is that Greek and Maynard slept in their own beds Monday through Thursday nights except in the winter when they went west. But I bet they had a race every weekend
somewhere. Just around Chicago, there was Aurora, Il and Route 30 in Gary, Ind, then there was Union Grove
Wisconsin, all within, what, 80 miles?

I don't know if these guys were all friends, but I don't remember any bitter animosities. If there were such, they were
pretty well hidden. It was BIG FUN to be in the pits when this motley crew showed up for a race event. It was kind of
like a "take your best shot" contest between heavyweight boxers. There were no qualifying sessions, as such. These
guys would just push up into the hot lane whenever they were ready to make another run and they could make as
many as they wanted, to qualify for a race, but remember, most races were one day, so qualifying was in the morning.
It was not unusual for a fueler to make 3-4 runs before noon.

And with the weedburners, the railbirds got the full effect. These cars thundered. It wasn't as mind numbing as it is
today, but they for sure made the buzz deep in between the ears. It was like watching Foreman and Holmes go at it.
BAM, WHAM, but it was also like having both Foreman and Holmes as friends, because these guys were approachable.
They weren't used to being Gods, yet, they were just racers.

1960 was a lucky year, because none of the Midwest fueler guys were killed. Setto was badly hurt, but he recovered
although I don't believe he ever drove a race car again. I don't think there was even another bad accident. Don, Art,
Archie, Louis, the three Bob's, Haines, Sullivan, Langley, and the Greek. What a field of cars. Magic.

Yes 1960 was a magic year for me. Working for the track, taking the pictures and sharing them when they were
developed. I got to know each and every one of these guys at least a little. Some of them spent weeks at a time in
Minneapolis and most of them kept their cars at the Big Wheel before and after the race, so we spent time together.

Thanks again Dave, for posting the pics. I don't know who took them, but I know it wasn't me. Well, that's enough
nostalgia for me and probably way too much for you. Thanks for listening to me. Merry Christmas.
Big Yohns... Big Yohns was the track photographer @ Minnesota Raceway in the late 50's early 60's
 

Here's Fontana Drag City contributed by Adam Sorokin, son the Surfers Pilot , Mike Sorokin.
The Surfer's on the far side with the hole shot. Check out the major crowd...WOW!!!
Here they are on the turn-out road, The Surfer's on the left won....
Fontana Drag City - Fontana, CA on Arrow Highway - 1966
1955 Lions Dragstrip Opening Day ~ 223rd & ALAMEDA, WILMINGTON, CALIF.
Photo by Doyle Hatfield
Lions Dragstrip 1965 ~ 223rd & ALAMEDA, WILMINGTON, CALIF.
Pcx courtesy of Kent Fuller
 
Caption under the pcx read... PDRA Meet 1965
A First in Drag Racing... all race cars in the Staging Lanes, No Freeway Eliminations
 
Lions...a great place to hang out
The Rollers @ Lions in 1967
 
Pcx Courtesy of Don Ewald
 
During the Storm ~ Crowds @ The Last Drag Race 12-01-72
 
 
1998 ~ 223rd & ALAMEDA, WILMINGTON, CALIF.
Now a Container Parking Lot
Pcx courtesy of Bruce "Wheeler Dealer" Wheeler
 

THE PUSH START
 
Dragsters pushed down in front of the crowd
Lanes swapped as they turn around in front of the finish line ... crews out for one last check
Then the sound of the cars being pushed back towards the starting line at speed ...
rattling tin ... cold clutch disks...squeak and chatter ... the chugging sound of compression
The suddeness of engines firing ... sometimes bursting to life at the very last second
Next the turnaround behind the line ... both cars at a mean idle - swapping lanes again
Drivers eyes meet as they cross ... sometimes a nod ... sometimes nothing
Then the starting line dance ... tuners tweek barrel valves ... glancing at each other ...
give the throttle a rap ...masters of the phyc-out
Crew wiping slicks ... drivers looking straight ahead
A pat on the hat ... a wave - and the cars pull forward
R's up ... and the flag drops !

... Fred Vosk 1320eGroup Member ...
 
 

 
Boy, what'a shut down area, no chute needed here. - Lee...
 
Mountain View Dragway -
 
The drag strip was located in Erie, Colorado. It was about 10 miles north of Denver just west of I-25.
There was a clear view of the front range of the Rockies from the strip.
It was sanctioned by both AHRA and NHRA for a while.
The strip was perpendicular to a state road and there was hardly
enough room to turn a digger around because the fence was so close to the starting line.
As I recall, it was the first strip in the Denver area that offered
a few covered pits with powered outlets.
I'd tell you who owned it but I can't spell his name. Al Broncuccia, I think.
If you have some copies of the '68 drag news it'll be in there.
I'm pretty sure that photo I sent was the aftermath of a Alan Bockla run.
Alan was the first racer to break 200 mph in Colorado.
 
"Pete"
 
Denver, CO ~ Don't ya' love the guard rails.
Colorado Version of Fuller's Shark Car
Pcx by "Pete" Garammone
 
Continental Divide Raceway opened in 1959 and
closed in 1972 and was the "premier" drag strip in the state. All the
national cars ran here from Garlits to Hill to Ivo to Frantic Four to Pete
Robinson and on and on.
It was built as a muti-purpose facility and had a road race track where SCCA
would hold sporst car races that included the drag strip as part of the
track. There also was a flat 1/2 mile oval that was never used except for the
hot pits for drag racing.
"Pete" G.
Continental Divide Raceway ~ The strip is on the right of the pcx, the push down road is to the left.
Pcx taken by Pete Garammone. Pete has several pcxs for sale taken during the late
'50's through the mid '60's. To order any of Pete's pcx, use the Standard 1320 eMail
and we'll have Pete get in touch with you.
 

 
Fresno CA 1963-64
 

 
Century 21 Drag Strip, Denver, CO
Pcx courtesy of "Pete" G.
 

Night Drags in Hawaii
Pcx Courtesy of Bruce "Wheeler Dealer" Wheeler

 
Suffolk Raceway was located in Suffolk Virginia
The New Tower @ Suffolk Raceway
Suffolk Pcxs Courtesy of Jim Harvey
 
The View From Inside the New Tower
 
The Pit Area @ Suffolk Raceway
 
Calling A/Fuel, B/Fuel, C/Fuel...
Funny, not a Dragster in Sight, but Lots of Door Cars
 

 


Enclosed is a photo of Atco (N.J.) Dragway taken sometime in the early sixties.
It's from the cover of their 1963 yearbook. Thought
you might want to include it in "Old Tracks" on the website.

The road at the bottom of the photo is Jackson Rd.
The main entrance is further to the right and got cropped out of the photo (not by
me). The pits and spectator area shared the same entrance.
The large area immediately to the right of the starting line is the tech area.
The pit area is to the left of the track, spectator area to the right.
The return road is to the right of the track in front of the spectator seating...
this is where most of the "Trashcan Archives" photos were snapped.

The 'safest' place to enter the track without getting caught
was the wooded area on the right of the photo. My pals and I went over
the fence there for years (until one of us got a drivers license AND car)
without getting caught, before we moved up to the 'three guys in the trunk' routine.

I've always believed that the guys running the track didn't much care about us sneaking in.
It was all just a part of growing up in South Jersey in the sixties.
Hell, half the time we would hitch-hike to the track!
Besides, they knew we'd be coming back in a few seasons to run our own cars
(and spend some bucks). Good times. More old B.S. later.

Bill "Badco" Ott
 

 
Pullalup Washington ~ Pcx Courtesy of TV Tom Ivo
 

 
Southern Oregon Dragway Tower ~ Medford Oregon
Southern Oregon Dragway Tower ~ Medford Oregon
Look's like Mine Shaft Dragway to me - Lee...
Medford Pcxs Courtesy of Don Ewald
 

1959 - Riverside Raceway - Riverside, CA
Pcx was just minutes before the 'liner's famous 8.35 run
Pcx Taken by Standard 1320 eGroup Member Doug Peterson
Pcx Submitted by Jocko Johnson & Dr. Marc Weller
 

 
 
Dragway 42 ~ A Drag News Standard 1320 Track
A lamentable exception to the general trend is my old "favorite haunt,"
Dragway 42. Here's a name and place that embodied everything "great"
about local-level drag racing in the Golden Age as far as I'm
concerned. Some kind of nitro program at least monthly, plus always
plently of hot dragsters/gassers/altereds on a regular basis. Last fall
I wrote a piece on the disappointment of revisiting there for the first
time in many years. The pavement's still there, but the "soul" is gone.
The Season's Program says it's open four days a week, but it's "bracket
race heaven" (or purgatory, if you're there as an observer rather than
participant).
Attaching a couple of pix here for a comparison. First up is from a
Funny Car meet back around '72 (sorry for the quality). Note crossover,
four-lane operation, old-tower, packed house...and out of view further
downstrip grandstands for several thousand. Second pic is from last
fall...same old familiar "horizon" but most of the infrastructure has
vanished and back to the original two lane asphalt.
I suppose in the final analysis I should be content that there's still
some "good" tracks and "good" races to attend here on a day-trip basis,
but the D-42 visit really stirred the old memories up in a bittersweet
way!
Dragway 42 Pcxs Courtesy of Vic Cook
 

 
Winslow Dragstrip 1961 ~ Renegades Car Club track
Opened 1958 - Closed 1985
NHRA Sanctioned
 
Winslow Pcxs Contributed by Chris Stinson

 
Howland ran from 1957 to 1962 and was located near Warren, Ohio in northeastern Ohio.
The track was only 16 feet wide and had a 100 foot concrete starting line.
In its day it was quite the place to be on Sunday.
Many well known drag racers from northeastern Ohio ran there at
one time or another, such as Otie Smith, Eddie Schartman.
Exhibition runs were done through the years by Don Garlits,
Art Malone, Eddie Hill, and Jack Chrisman.

Thanks.... Ron Pollock
This is Howland Dragstrip today... Anyone wanna' make a pass down this old 1320?
 

This is the way it was in 1960 in Sioux City.
The strip was at the airport and everything we had was "portable".
- Paul
 
Sioux City pcx contributed by Paul Hutchins
 

 
Lee,
Thought I'd send this to you for the old tracks section on the 1320 website.
It's Redding Dragstrip in Redding, CA.
Even though I took the pic in 1997, if it wasn't for the electronic "eyes" on the starting line,
I think you might have trouble telling it from a picture taken in 1956.
Byron
Redding Pcx Courtesy of Byron Stack
 

 
US 30 Drag-O-Way - Those are Big Daddy's tracks down the 1320
Pcx Courtesy of Bruce "Wheeler Dealer" Wheeler
 

 

 

 

 
STAY TUNED MORE GOOD STUFF TO COME....
 
 
PLEASE SEND YOUR PICTURES TO OUR EMAIL ADDRESS
STANDARD1320@STANDARD1320.COM
 
THANKS - Lee....