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Thread: Semi O/T- Nazareth Speedway today
KevMcNJ 10:00 PM 11-28-2010
Originally Posted by vegasGPfan:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4125/...9b0929dd_b.jpg
another picture of nazareth as it stands today. such a sad picture
Sad but Nature always wins
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Cygni 12:52 AM 11-29-2010
Sigh, thats really really sad. The tracks like Nazareth, Homestead, and Phoenix (soon) are victims are an idea that racing the track is evil. That hard, difficult tracks have no place in racing. But its not. And those good tracks have been chopped up, rebanked, repaved, and destroyed.

Meanwhile, ratings and attendance at the OMG SO EXCITING cookiecutters drops more and more every year. There is a lesson here, but is there anyone left to heed it?
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ChrisB 08:19 AM 11-29-2010
Ouch, that is a sad picture to see.

Otherwise, it's amazing the things that turn up on Youtube. Everyone remembers the great CART snow-out of 2000, but what few realize is that weather for the USAC Silver Crown race the day before (Sat) was actually pretty nice! (I was there too). Here's video of that race:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrcQ1h9HlCg

Not a huge crowd for USAC, but it's still good racing, and great to see the track in it's manicured prime.
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alexbeitzel 11:56 AM 11-29-2010
Originally Posted by Cygni:
Sigh, thats really really sad. The tracks like Nazareth, Homestead, and Phoenix (soon) are victims are an idea that racing the track is evil. That hard, difficult tracks have no place in racing. But its not. And those good tracks have been chopped up, rebanked, repaved, and destroyed.

Meanwhile, ratings and attendance at the OMG SO EXCITING cookiecutters drops more and more every year. There is a lesson here, but is there anyone left to heed it?
I just have to say that I agree with you 110%, NASCAR is so focused on the highest income possible that they are forgetting about GOOD racing.
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ChrisB 08:05 AM 11-30-2010
Found this on Google images... it's from an article from Dec 2009, so it's a wintertime picture when all the grass is brown:

http://media.lehighvalleylive.com/jo...d4ea198d62.jpg

You can see how they dug a few trenches across the track, probably to prevent any trespasser (if they got a car in) from doing laps.
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vegasGPfan 08:05 PM 12-01-2010
these photos were taken in 2008







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Dave Long 11:11 AM 12-02-2010
Sigh. I have some very nice memories of Nazareth and my family attending races on the dirt and later USAC and IndyCar races there. What a shame to lose something so unique.
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Doctorindy 12:02 PM 12-02-2010
Originally Posted by vegasGPfan:
these photos were taken in 2008
It was shut down after 2004, and that was 2008. So only four years and the place was overcome by weeds. It gives some perspective....one can understand how Indianapolis fell into such disrepair after only 4-5 years during WWII.
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vegasGPfan 01:39 AM 07-07-2011
6-2-2011
6-1-2011

more recent photos if you look in the 2nd one really good you can still see the white paint on the walls down the back straightaway
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ArtVandalay 08:58 AM 07-07-2011
Very sad. The Delaware Valley was once served by both Langhorne and Trenton with multiple IndyCar races per track every year. Nazareth is just the latest casualty.
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Defender 09:05 AM 07-07-2011
Sadness beyond words.

-The Needs a Modern Day Tony Hulman Disciple of INDYCAR
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in_the_grey 09:31 AM 07-07-2011
Very sad. I miss Nazareth. First time I saw and heard an Indy car was here at an open test in the early 90's. I will never forget how exciting that was for me, went to every race there until it became an IRL event. When I started going it was just me and a buddy, last time I went I had 10 people with me and everyone loved it, even converted a couple of nascar fans! Also, met a lot of drivers there, Friday was a great day to meet them, and usually they had the time to talk with the fans. It was a great experience and I cherish my memories of Nazareth. As they say "Good times"
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GerryK 09:50 AM 07-08-2011
So sad to see. I was there for that last race, won by Dan Wheldon. The Place was beautiful and looked rather new, hard to believe it is just being left to rot away, it's not like it was in disrepair....it looked new! American greed and waste.
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The Stickman 02:58 PM 07-08-2011
Originally Posted by ArtVandalay:
Very sad. The Delaware Valley was once served by both Langhorne and Trenton with multiple IndyCar races per track every year. Nazareth is just the latest casualty.
Actually Nazareth is in the Lehigh Valley even though it is where the 2 rivers meet. To be truthful I am not sure many around here really miss the track which is sad to say. Hopefully Pocono will get a date. it's only an hour away.
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carter71 05:22 PM 07-08-2011
This is the #1 reason I hate ISC. Buying tracks just to shut them down is inexcusable. It would have been bad enough if Nazareth was a cookie-cutter track, but it was unique.
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Grizzlor 05:58 PM 07-08-2011
Originally Posted by carter71:
This is the #1 reason I hate ISC. Buying tracks just to shut them down is inexcusable. It would have been bad enough if Nazareth was a cookie-cutter track, but it was unique.
Nazareth was part of the Penske buyout/merger. The NNS date was not replaced until this year with Iowa. I don't know exactly why they closed it, it wasn't like the Rockingham or Pikes Peak situations, where a date was needed or they wanted to build a new track. That said, the IRL events there I don't think drew 10K people. Even with Firestone's sponsorship, it probably made no sense, plus ISC was hoping to capitalize on the prime real estate market by selling it to developers, but that never happened.
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trow 06:30 PM 07-08-2011
Tracks beat up.

I bet Jaques can relate to that first picture .... that's about where he wound up in the wall and messed his back up. I was seated about 20 rows up from it.
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kevin99 06:35 PM 07-08-2011
Sad, sad, sad!
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indyfan320i 08:22 PM 07-08-2011
I was there March of this year and smoked an Emerson Fittipaldi cigar in front of the "Gate 3" sign. I was passing thru the area and figured I'd stop by the track. Couldn't help but feel nostalgic/sad 800 miles from home...I remember watching the Nazareth race on TV at the hotel before the Indy 500 one year...I was probably 12 or so and I always loved running that track in ICR2.

If not an INDYCAR track it'd be great to see it turned into a rallycross track or something useful to the people in the area. Recently a guy put a 3/8th's mile dirt track inside a 3/4 mile or so pavement track locally that had been closed since I think 2002...

With a person spending some time just cleaning up the grounds and cutting the grass, a little goes a long way. Definitely not back to INDYCAR standards in one year, but it's amazing what just cleaning the place up could probably do. Looks like it would need a resurfacing though.
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indyfan320i 08:31 PM 07-08-2011
More news from a June article...

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/naza...shuttered.html

With tracks like MIS losing attendance at the stock car races, I wonder what's in store for them
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indyfan320i 08:36 PM 07-08-2011
...and to close, if you want to raise your blood pressure have a look here:

http://www.rubbins-racin.com/forum/v...p?f=12&t=63062

[mods delete if linking to another forum is no bueno...pertinent to to the topic and shows ignorance of those who enjoyed fendered racing series.]
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carter71 08:37 PM 07-08-2011
Originally Posted by indyfan320i:
Looks like it would need a resurfacing though.
It would. I read somewhere that ISC gouged the track in several places so that it could not be used again. You can see the gouges in the overhead shot on Google Maps.
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Grizzlor 09:12 PM 07-08-2011
There are no grandstands, they're all gone. That's probably a million dollars to put those back, not to mention fixing the track, possibly adding SAFER barriers, fixing the pits, etc., etc. It's simply not viable commerically I don't think. I think people in the area took it for granted, but the article makes the best point in that the track, when paved by Penske in 1986, was simply too narrow for the big stock cars or Indy cars. There just wasn't much passing, hardly any side by side action. I went in 98 and 99 to see Dale Jr. in Busch, and the first year he got taken out while leading in a massive pileup, because there was nowhere to go on the track. Then in 99 it rained and they had to shorten the race from darkness. I don't recall the track being a sellout. Just from some YouTube research, I can see that the attendance for the Busch Series dropped a lot by the early 2000's. There was hardly anyone there, and the crowd for CART was slimming as well by 2001, similar to Homestead and Gateway before CART dropped them. The IRL crowds got worse each year, until like I said, maybe 10K in 2004. With the attendance that bad for all the events, can you blame ISC for closing it?
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KevMcNJ 10:08 PM 07-08-2011
Originally Posted by Grizzlor:
There are no grandstands, they're all gone. That's probably a million dollars to put those back, not to mention fixing the track, possibly adding SAFER barriers, fixing the pits, etc., etc. It's simply not viable commerically I don't think. I think people in the area took it for granted, but the article makes the best point in that the track, when paved by Penske in 1986, was simply too narrow for the big stock cars or Indy cars. There just wasn't much passing, hardly any side by side action. I went in 98 and 99 to see Dale Jr. in Busch, and the first year he got taken out while leading in a massive pileup, because there was nowhere to go on the track. Then in 99 it rained and they had to shorten the race from darkness. I don't recall the track being a sellout. Just from some YouTube research, I can see that the attendance for the Busch Series dropped a lot by the early 2000's. There was hardly anyone there, and the crowd for CART was slimming as well by 2001, similar to Homestead and Gateway before CART dropped them. The IRL crowds got worse each year, until like I said, maybe 10K in 2004. With the attendance that bad for all the events, can you blame ISC for closing it?
It went downhill after they paved it. The races there were stupid-good when it was dirt mods and winged sprints
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indyfan320i 11:21 PM 07-08-2011
Were the dirt races on today's configuration or were those on the old track that's underneath the strip mall now? I thought the current track was built as asphalt from the beginning.
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Ganassifan 08:17 AM 07-09-2011
Originally Posted by Joonyah:
We could also get some of the USAC pavement cars there, or we could get all four parts of the Road to Indy ladder there on one weekend.
In 2000, I went out in April for the CART race. That weekend also included the USAC Silver Crown Series. The Silver Crown guys ran on Saturday with the CART race to run on Sunday. It was 70 degrees on Saturday and we really enjoyed that. We woke up the next morning to mid 20 degree temps, a full blown snow storm, and high winds. They rescheduled the race for the day before the 500.

I flew out (my brother was living in Philly at the time), we drove up to Naz Friday evening, saw the race on Saturday (DeFerran won although we thought Montoya would win for a long while), hopped a plane back to Indy that evening, and went to the 500 on Sunday. Best weekend ever.

I really enjoyed the track. It went uphill and downhill, had three distinctly different turns and great sightlines. But I will never forget the sight of the teams trying to pack up in that snowstorm.

A freind of mine owned one of the Silver Crown teams. He called me Sunday morning (they drove home after their race) to tell me about driving through the snowstorm back to Indy.
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KevMcNJ 09:25 AM 07-09-2011
Originally Posted by indyfan320i:
Were the dirt races on today's configuration or were those on the old track that's underneath the strip mall now? I thought the current track was built as asphalt from the beginning.

At one time there were two completely seperate oval tracks in Nazareth The dirt half mile sat about 300 yards behind Turn 1 of the asphalt mile. It was closed down for yet another strip mall after the 1988 season ended. The strip mall is still there but was half empty the last time we were in town for an IRL race.
Back in the mid 1960s the owner of the 1/2 mile track decided he wanted a mile dirt track too so he built one right next door to his short track. It started out as a 1.125 mile three sided oval. I think it only was open for 2 or 3 seasons then sat unused until 1982 when it was bought and rebuilt into a 1 mile dirt track.

They filled the place for a few seasons and I cannot recall why they fell on hard times again but it shut down in the mid 80s when I think Penske bought it and paved it

Heres a clip from the half mile
You cant see it but the Mile track would be over the cameramans left shoulder. Its nice to wonder what if concerning the half mile track but I doubt theres anyway it would still be open in 2011. It was smack in the middle of town and they ran on Sunday nights. The townspeople didnt care about such things way back when but theres no way that would fly in most towns these days



Its not in very good shape but heres a clip I found from mile when it was dirt. At 3:34 you can see a red white and blue fence behind turn one. Thats the fence that seperated the spectator stands from the parking lot @ the 1/2 mile track
This shows just how close the two tracks were to each other


Its not very good but I like this clip because I was a dumb 17 year on my first solo run to a race track that was more than 30 minutes from my house on this day. I sat in turn one Also note it was run in December. I forget why they had to push the date back but they had to run it the week after Thanksgiving. People were freaking out because Pennsylvania in December can get pretty cold. But the luvked out and it was t-shirt weather for much of the dayHope this answered your questions.


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The Stickman 12:52 PM 07-09-2011
Originally Posted by KevMcNJ:
At one time there were two completely seperate oval tracks in Nazareth The dirt half mile sat about 300 yards behind Turn 1 of the asphalt mile. It was closed down for yet another strip mall after the 1988 season ended. The strip mall is still there but was half empty the last time we were in town for an IRL race.
Back in the mid 1960s the owner of the 1/2 mile track decided he wanted a mile dirt track too so he built one right next door to his short track. It started out as a 1.125 mile three sided oval. I think it only was open for 2 or 3 seasons then sat unused until 1982 when it was bought and rebuilt into a 1 mile dirt track.

They filled the place for a few seasons and I cannot recall why they fell on hard times again but it shut down in the mid 80s when I think Penske bought it and paved it

Heres a clip from the half mile
You cant see it but the Mile track would be over the cameramans left shoulder. Its nice to wonder what if concerning the half mile track but I doubt theres anyway it would still be open in 2011. It was smack in the middle of town and they ran on Sunday nights. The townspeople didnt care about such things way back when but theres no way that would fly in most towns these days



Its not in very good shape but heres a clip I found from mile when it was dirt. At 3:34 you can see a red white and blue fence behind turn one. Thats the fence that seperated the spectator stands from the parking lot @ the 1/2 mile track
This shows just how close the two tracks were to each other


Its not very good but I like this clip because I was a dumb 17 year on my first solo run to a race track that was more than 30 minutes from my house on this day. I sat in turn one Also note it was run in December. I forget why they had to push the date back but they had to run it the week after Thanksgiving. People were freaking out because Pennsylvania in December can get pretty cold. But the luvked out and it was t-shirt weather for much of the dayHope this answered your questions.

I really miss the small dirt oval. I remember watching Buzzie & Wayne Reutimann running modifieds there. I would always climb up to the top of the grandstands and look back to see the concrete wall of the big track.
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indyfan320i 01:03 PM 07-09-2011
Originally Posted by Grizzlor:
With the attendance that bad for all the events, can you blame ISC for closing it?
I wouldn't blame them for shuttering it, but deliberately destroying the racing surface is another thing.

But life goes on...
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The Stickman 01:18 PM 07-09-2011
Originally Posted by Grizzlor:
Nazareth was part of the Penske buyout/merger. The NNS date was not replaced until this year with Iowa. I don't know exactly why they closed it, it wasn't like the Rockingham or Pikes Peak situations, where a date was needed or they wanted to build a new track. That said, the IRL events there I don't think drew 10K people. Even with Firestone's sponsorship, it probably made no sense, plus ISC was hoping to capitalize on the prime real estate market by selling it to developers, but that never happened.
Part of why they closed it was it was at the same time they were looking to get into the NYC market and bought that parcel of land on Staten Island. They were fully expecting to have a race in or around NYC and did not want to compete with themselves. They were just very over confident that they would get that track built. BTW I am pretty sure they still own that parcel of land that turned out to be a huge mistake. But again I am not sure the town was ever fully behind racing. One year they had the fan fest or whatever you want to call it In Allentown. They closed down Hamilton street for it. It was a great time. But one would think Nazareth would have done things like this and more to get people to patronize their local business.
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