Motorsports

Englishtown’s Old Bridge Township Raceway Park Closes Dragstrip

 
Englishtown NJ Old Bridge Raceway park

(Image/SpeedSport.com)

(Updated: 11 a.m. ET on 1/18/18)

Track officials at Englishtown, NJ-based Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (or simply “Englishtown” for short) announced that it is ceasing all drag racing operations immediately.

The historic track was set to host the NHRA’s 49th-annual Summernationals in June.

The racetrack is located in the highly populated greater New York City area where open space is at a premium, and track officials were reportedly offered a land-leasing deal to store cars that is more profitable than a dragstrip.

Per Jalopnik: “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,” the Jalopnik story said.

NHRA isn’t expected to replace the 2018 Englishtown event, according to AutoWeek.

The NHRA released this statement regarding the track’s decision:

“NHRA drag racing events have been held at the track in Englishtown for almost 50 years,” reports Glen Cromwell, NHRA President. “The Summernationals have played an important part in our heritage and we hope that fans in the area will try to make it to another one of our events.  Our focus remains on making the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series a memorable experience for our fans, racers, sponsors, partners and tracks.”

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park officials said the racing venue will continue to hold motorsports-related events like motocross and drift races, car shows, and swap meets in the large stadium area, but all 1/4-mile and 1/8-mile drag-racing operations have been shut down, and all scheduled drag-racing events there have been cancelled.

Englishtown is a historic venue and a staple on the East Coast drag-racing circuit. The 52-year-old dragstrip hosted many halo race events over the decades, and has welcomed practically every top name in the sport—Shirley Muldowney, “Grumpy” Jenkins, Don Prudhomme, John Force, “Jungle Jim” Liberman, Kenny Bernstein, Warren Johnson, Greg Anderson, Jason Line, and a ton of other great racers.

NHRA Racers in Englishtown

Englishtown, NJ has been a prominent venue in drag racing for decades. (Image/NHRA.com)

You can learn more about the track at ETownRaceway.com, and read the official NHRA statement here. You can read more about the dragstrip shutdown in this article from Dragzine.

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4 Comments

  1. Mel Benzaquen says:

    I have a lot of great memories at this track. Typical scenario unfortunately.

    Land around track cheap

    Builder comes in and buys land cheap

    Builder builds up new homes and neighborhoods. People buy because it’s less expensive than other houses further away.

    People start complaining about noise.

    People start getting politicians involved

    Politicians start pressuring track for concessions on noise and track days.

    Track tries to comply with the moving target of complaints and compliance

    Track closes

  2. What about biggest name of all Big Daddy Don Garlits!!!!!!

  3. Ty Gross. aka:: MOTORHEAD TY says:

    I use to love to go to English town,I grew up right outside of New York City,
    Englishtown was the only NHRA Dragstrip around (which is not close to NYC by any means!)If I remember correctly,it was like a 2 hour drive. Years ago you were able to run your own car down the strip.They’d time you and everything,,,, for a fee of course. It was well worth it ! You even got a decal for your ride.
    Is there any word of relocating “RaceWay Park” Please let us Motorheads know.
    PS::: Really want to see the real deal? GATOR NATIONALS,Gainesville; FL.
    You can walk around the pits,interact with driver’s/crew etc.
    Have fun,,,,,,,Make Some Noise!!!! MotorheadTy

  4. Pingback: NHRA Adds Virginia Nationals to Schedule Following Englishtown's Closure - OnAllCylinders

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