Heading 3

Drag Strip List

A Comprehensive Encyclopedia

HOME
LOCATION
MEMORIES
ABOUT
CONTACT

Remembering . . .

125171013

New Jersey
Drag Strips

Old Bridge Stadium Speedway, mid-1960s. Photographer unknown

Englishtown

  • Madison Township Raceway Park, 1977
 
I drove a AA/Fuel Altered one summer for a friend of mine until he got his license. I drove it at the 1977 Summernationals at Englishtown, New Jersey with a best time of 6.92 at 203 mph. It was a handful to drive. 
In 1977 I went off the end of the track at Englishtown in my "Frankenstein" dragster after the throttle stuck open and an engine explosion that burned off the chute. I went through the sand trap, hit the guard rail and pulled an anchor fence onto a two lane road at the end of the track. While that dragster, “Frankenstein,” was being rebuilt, I used the other one to put together the econo dragster. I loved the art work on my “Frankenstein” dragster cowling. I  had many comments about it. The name “Frankenstein” was lettered on the back of the roll cage by the parachute pack, which, by the way, we only had the one chute back then. I named all of my dragsters “Viper,” but one in particular I called “Frankenstein”  because I had crashed it twice and rebuilt it, also it was a real monster to drive!
Bill Bradshaw
125171013
125171013
Bill Bradshaw driving a AA/Altered, 1977. Courtesy of Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw's "Frankenstein" dragster cowling art work, 1984. Courtesy of Bill Bradshaw
  • Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
 
I was amazed and surprised, after stumbling across your site, to hear . . . ME . . . on it. The Beauty and the Beast  Raceway Park (E'Town) radio spot was written, produced, and voiced by yours truly and Shirley and Jungle. I'll never forget doing that session. As you can tell, it was prior to the event. They were both on the phone (Shirley at home in Michigan . . . I forget where Jungle was) and I had to really coach them into saying nasty things about each other as they actually were good friends. It was kind of like promoting a pro wrestling steel cage match! As an aside, one time when he [Jungle] and Pam were in town for a race . . . in my living room . . . (after a few beers and possibly some other things), Jim thanked me profusely for being the "only drag strip announcer" to pronounce his name correctly. As he so succinctly put it: "I'm a German . . . I ain't no fuckin' Jew!" Most everywhere else, he was called LEE-ber-mun . . . which is not how it is spelled.
Charlie Roberts
  • Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. 1970s
 
Raceway Park in Englishtown is another track that my father, Neal Hinkle, ran at a few times. He did not have much success there. One time while trying to qualify for the Summer Nationals, he blew the engine at the top end of the track right in the timing lights. That made a good mess of oil and water all over the car. Another time he came off the starting line and broke the rear suspension causing the rear tire to move and break the body of the Nova.
Don Hinkle
125171013
Neal Hinkle making a qualifying run in his 1969 Nova B/A at the 1978 Summer Nationals at Englishtown. Photo by Bob Snyder, courtesy of Don Hinkle

Flemington

  • Flemington Route 12 Dragway,  late 1950s
 
I raced at Flemington when I was in high school. "Raced" -- That meant taking my Dad's Dodge out there without his knowledge! I probably ran there two or three times, never won a single round of eliminations partially because the car was actually bone-stock. This was almost 60 years ago, and it was all fun.

Jon Asher
Senior Editor CompetitionPlus.com
Senior Editor Drag Racing Edge Magazine

Great Meadows

  • Island Dragway, 1977
 
We were running a new class back then called B/Econo Dragster which was not that fast, around 8.50’s at 160 mph. It did however get me hooked up with a new sponsor, Frank Lupo, who still owns Dynamic Transmissions. I did a lot of R&D for them with the Power Glide & 8” Torque Converters and in a few years switched back to a Supercharger Injector on top of a small-block Chevy motor, which we bested a 7.51 at 187 mph at Englishtown, New Jersey, in 1984. Today that very combo is being used in Top Alcohol Dragster running injected nitro. We were on the cutting edge 30+ years ago and if Connecticut Dragway had not closed, I can only guess!
Bill Bradshaw
125171013
125171013
Bill Bradshaw, Island Dragway, 1977. Courtesy of Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw, Island Dragway, 1977. Courtesy of Bill Bradshaw
  • Island Dragway
 
My father, Neal Hinkle, ran his '58 Vette and 1969 Nova at Island Dragway sometimes when Maple Grove was having a special race meet. Island Grove is a good place to work the bugs out of a fresh race car and fine-tune the engine. The pit area was nice and the track works well. Drag racers followed the weekly series there and had a good time. Neal said, "I was talking to some friends that were at Island recently and they said not much has changed over the years." When Neal ran the Nova the first couple times, he found the end of the track came up quick. Neal was letting the parachute slow the car down and not using the brakes hard. The Nova was faster than the '58 Vette and he was remembering how quickly the Vette slowed down. After doing that a few times, he started using more brake and adjusting his driving style. The "Red Baron" Vette did well at Island Dragway. Traveling home after the races, we would stop at a local hot dog stand for some awesome dogs.
Don Hinkle
  • Island Dragway, 1960-61
 
I was at Island Dragway in its opening year. I have a middle eliminator trophy from my friend for a race held on March 25, 1961. Great times.
Rhea Fountain
125171013
Al "Sonny" Decker's Middle Eliminator trophy won at Island Dragway in 1961. Courtesy of Rhea Fountain
  • Island Dragway, 1959-64
 
I saw my first-ever drag race at Island in 1959. Dick Belfatti's "Shadow II" was there that day (I think!). I also saw Garlits run 201.34 for the NHRA record at Island. I raced there two or three times, losing every time with my dad's bone-stock Dodge -- but I had fun.

Jon Asher
Senior Editor CompetitionPlus.com
Senior Editor Drag Racing Edge Magazine

Old Bridge

  • Old Bridge Speedway, ca. 1959-60
 
Oh man, what a place! Drag races that went 320 feet! Took my dad's car out there without his knowledge. The first time the car was tech'd as C/SA, but it was bone stock, so I lost first round, and got only a couple of runs. The next time I said the car was in C/GA (yeah, I know: who has automatic gasser classes?) Anyway, that let me get into the fast car lane, so I got about four runs before again losing in the first round, as I always did with that car. I saw and was mightily impressed by the first Max Wedge Mopar to run there. It was brand new and everyone mobbed it. The Don's Speed Shop dragster supposedly ran something like 178 MPH in the track's 320 feet, but who am I to question it?

Jon Asher
Senior Editor CompetitionPlus.com
Senior Editor Drag Racing Edge Magazine

Pleasantville

  • Atlantic City Speedway, 1960s
 
I drag raced at Atlantic City Speedway for years. I have many fond memories of P'Ville. I worked on the starting line, holding onto door handles to keep the stick cars from rolling while the flag man (yes the flag man) jumped up in the air. It was an 8th-mile strip that was part of a half-mile stock car track. Just a local Friday night track that shaped many kids' youths.
Ed Mathot
  • Atlantic City Speedway, 1968
 
Lots of racers from nearby Vineland, N.J. raced Pleasantville's "front straightaway" in the opposite direction of the modified stock cars that ran there on the oval. I won my first-ever drag race ever entered at "AC Dragway" in my 1967 Plymouth GTX during the 1968 season. I won there three times that first year I ran, before moving over to Atco Dragway from then on. I remember the AC track had an opening in the guard rail off turn four that allowed us to run off into an area that was dirt if we didn't get slowed down quick enough. I still have my trophy from there. I was only 18 years old at the time, and am still at it today but my son, Tim, is the regular driver!
Greg Zyla
125171013
125171013
Class trophy won by Greg Zyla in about early June 1968 at Atlantic City Dragway in SS/DA in his 1967 Plymouth GTX 440. That is a 1957 Plymouth on top of the trophy, which has reportedly held up better than many of the other subsequent trophies Greg has won. Courtesy of Greg Zyla

Vineland

  • Vineland Speedway Drag Strip, 1958-65
 
I raced at Vineland Speedway Drags. I raced a 1957 Corvette in '58 & '59 , a Chevy Crosley B/A in '60, and a Chevy modified sports car in BM/SP & CM/SP in '61. I set two NHRA records at Indy (IRP) & won my class in '61. In '64 I ran a  sedan with SCCA on a  road coarse & in '65 I ran a C/M Chevy Maserati (A6GCS #2053) on a road coarse. The track closed at the end of  '65.
Lou Casazza
125171013
Lou Casazza's "Old Brown" at Vineland Speedway Drag Strip. Courtesy of Lou Casazza

Wrightstown

  • Strato Rods Dragway, McGuire Air Force Base, late 1970s-early 1980s
 
I raced a '56 Chevy in the E/Gas class there in the '80s and won several times, running in the low 12s.  283, .060 over to 292 ci, 30/30 cam and some head work, fender well headers, and high rise and 650 Holley, all in red primer.  The hood scoop was made from a propane dual tank regulator hood with the front cut out. The cool can was an old coffee can with copper tubing in it. The tube grill was old café curtain rods which popped out sometimes and sparked all the way down the track, usually on a hard launch or 1-2 shift.  Hood and trunk deck pins were 5/16" bolts with the heads cut off and drilled for clips. The driver's seat was from a  old  Austin and wasn't much more than a lawn chair, held to the floor by 4- 5/16" bolts and a GM lap belt bolted to the floor pan the same way. Back then no one really had any money, but farmers like us found a way to race and have fun. The dragstrip was an unused runway on McGuire AFB. It was  called Stratto Rods Dragway. All concrete. No money, just trophies. One of my memories was sitting at the line, staged at about 5000 RPM, and someone ran out in front of us and grabbed the tree and ran off, motioning us to pull off to the grass fast. Turns out it was a small plane that needed to make an emergency landing. Crazy but fun place.  Great people and great track. That's what racing used to be and should still be, not so much about money. I love grass-roots racing. I stopped drag racing in the late '70s because of bracket racing. Total BS!!!  If you race too fast you lose????  WTF.  Then I went oval track racing for 40 some years. Look up 3rd turn and look for Chuck Dublick (yellow # 5).  I own a high-performance transmission rebuilding shop in New Jersey . Glad to help out fellow racers.
Chuck Dublick
125171013
Chuck Dublick and his E/G 1956 Chevy, at Strato Rods Dragway. Courtesy of Chuck Dublick and Dennis Sizemore
125171013
Chuck Dublick in his E/G 1956 Chevy, at Strato Rods Dragway. Courtesy of Chuck Dublick and Dennis Sizemore
  • Strato Rods Dragway, McGuire Air Force Base, 1980
 
I did not race at Strato Rods Dragway, but did briefly spectate there in September 1980. My cousin was in basic training at Dix and one Sunday we went to visit him. After lunch we headed over to McGuire to watch planes come in. We could hear the cars racing so we snuck in the pits through the barbed wire fence. Secure military base, huh. My brother and I stood by the bleachers and watched the last few pairs of time trials while my cousin snapped a few pictures. I still have three or four in my album. We left before eliminations started and then it rained anyway.It was the only time I was there. One thing that sticks out was how they had driver meetings. They towed an old Mr. Softee truck with a tractor out to the starting line and had their meeting and first round pairings done there. I know a few guys that ran there and said it was rough after crossing the finish line. Dan Pomponio won best appearing car for Strato Rods at the 1980 Bracket Finals. He now runs alcohol funny car.
Ed Beers
  • Strato Rods Dragway, McGuire Air Force Base, 1965-66
 
My friend, George Adams, and myself raced a Day Glow orange 1955 Chevy at Strato Rods and Atco Dragway in 1965 and 1966
Bob Drayton