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Drag Strip List

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Remembering . . .

South Carolina
Drag Strips

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GTO and Chevy Cameo pickup, Orangeburg Drag Strip, 1975. Photographer unknown

Blaney/Elgin

  • Blaney Drag Strip, 1961-82
 
I ran here many times. First in 1961 with a '60 Tempest. Then the track moved up the hill because of noise to Blaney. It was originally down the hill and perpendicular to the later track that came in through another road off US 1, but was on the same property owned by Ed Smith. I'm pretty sure it started before 1960. Ed is still living in Columbia ,South Carolina. The town's name was changed from Blaney to Elgin when the watch company moved there.  I raced there with a '64 Galaxie, '67 fairlane 427, '70 Mustang, and last with an '82 Mustang pro stock. This track brings back lots of fond memories.
Tom Sutton

Darlington

  • Darlington Quarter Drag Strip, 1960s
 
I raced a 1962 Tempest here in O Stock and a 1966 Chevelle 396 here. That car ran in C & D Stock.
Bennie Wadford

Greenville

  • Donaldson Air Force Base, 1965
 
I didn't race at Donaldson AFB dragstrip Greenville, South Carolina. My very good friend, Gene Cromer, won A/G at the only race there. He's almost 85 years old now. I have access to his scrapbook with a picture of his car there plus some other interesting posters and pictures.
Frank Taylor
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Gene Cromer's first race with his 1940 Willys A Gasser was the race at Donaldson AFB in 1965--and he won! Courtesy of Frank Taylor
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Gene Cromer (wearing white shirt) is leaning against his 1958 Ranchero tow car at Donaldson AFB in 1965. Courtesy of Frank Taylor
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The Willys outside Gene Cromer's shop about the time of the Donaldson AFB race in 1965.  Courtesy of Frank Taylor

Jackson

  • Jackson Drag Strip
 
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David McDowell's Henry J gasser and Gene Cromer's "Moonlighter" 1940 Willys A Gasser, probably at Jackson. Courtesy of Frank Taylor
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David "Dougal" McDowell's "Little Lemon" Henry J gasser. McDowell was from Belton, South Carolina. Photo from Gene Cromer's scrapbook, courtesy of Frank Taylor

Moncks Corner

  • Cooper River Dragway, 1978
 
The first race track of any kind that I went to was Cooper River Raceway. It was just past the Berkley County landfill on Landfill Road. I don't remember who the driver was, but a fella in a funny car tested there during time trials and eliminations one day. The only full 1/8th mile pass that he made was his last one and the car broke. Exciting. first nitro car I ever saw run, as well. That was in '78. Not sure, but I thought that the track was going years before that? i remember the radio ads. announcing "COOP... erriverraceway!"
Tom Bennett

Pelion

  • Palmetto Raceway, 1960s
 
Memory of Palmetto Raceway, South Carolina. Traveled there from Tennessee. Went for a big NHRA meet in the early '60s. Good track and some wild times. The P.A. announcer asked  the crowd to stand for the national anthem, then played 'Dixie." Nothing else. Harley Sportster CH motorcycle there running 'Super Stock' times. Rider had 1/2 pint of whiskey in his back jeans pocket and he would stop on the return road in front of his buddies to hoot and holler and take a drink. Whiskey ok for rider, but remember NHRA tech making a red '55 Chev gasser from Atlanta with a magneto and Hilborn injection put his generator back on before he could race.
Henry Doriot
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Business card of the Palmetto Raceway track manager. Courtesy of Henry Doriot

Shepard

  • Camden Drag Strip, 1960s
 
Camden drag strip was not raced at the airport, but at a track in the Shepard area. .Some of the track still exists . My dad raced there. I still have a '62 Chevy that was raced there. It [the drag strip] was owned by Junior Rodgers.
Robert Anderson

Ware Shoals

  • Starlite 25 Drag Strip, 1960s
 
When it first opened in the 50's, it was dirt. When I went there as a teenager in the mid 60's, it was a paved 1/4 mile. Although it was called Starlite 25 Dragstrip then, everyone in the area always called it Ware Shoals. It has changed names to Ware Shoals Dragway and is still in operation and runs 1/8 mile now. I have some old pictures of my friend Gene Cromer, Ed Skelton, and others racing there .
Frank Taylor
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An old Starlite 25 Dragstrip truck found in the woods at the end of the drag strip by Frank Taylor in 2013. Courtesy of Frank Taylor
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David "Dougal" McDowell's "Little Lemon" Henry J gasser at Starlite 25 Drag Strip in 1967. Courtesy of Frank Taylor
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Ed Skelton, from Anderson, South Carolina, at Starlite 25 Drag Strip in 1965. Courtesy of Frank Taylor
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Ed Skelton on the starting line in his Mustang at Starlite 25 Drag Strip. Courtesy of Frank Taylor
  • Starlite 25 Drag Strip, 1960s
 
My dad ran at Starlite a few times in the early to mid '60s. It was a dirt drag track before that, so it goes way back. Dad didn’t like running there because the shutdown was downhill! Gene Cromer ran there a LOT. He ran a A/GS Willys called "The Moonlighter" out of Anderson, South Carolina.
Tommy Hill

Williamston

  • Lakeside Drag Strip
 
I don't have a lot of specifics about the track, but I do know the son of the track operator. My friend's name is Johnny Ellison.  I have a couple of pics I took a couple of years ago of what is left of the track.
Frank Taylor
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Photographs of what is left of the old Riverside Drag Strip, which is called Skyland Drive today. Frank Taylor holds a piece of asphalt from the old strip that he took as a souvenir.. Courtesy of Frank Taylor