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Thread: Semi O/T- Nazareth Speedway today

  1. #121
    Registered User indyfan320i's Avatar
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    ISC still owns the Staten Island site and it's at a loss of money. Their financials are public as they are publicly traded.

    http://www.internationalspeedwaycorp...l-Results.aspx
    FIGHT. WIN. PREVAIL!!


    IndyCar fan since birth

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  2. #122
    Insider hdolan's Avatar
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    "Pocono is easily the worst viewing experience of any oval track. "

    Indianapolis is worse...always has been...but, you are right about ISC shutting Nazareth down...businesses are in business to make money...the track wasn't doing it...

  3. #123
    Is Bat Boy KevMcNJ's Avatar
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    We used to be twice a year visitors to Pocono. Three times a year even some years when Race of Champions was there. You cant go cheap on tickets @ Pocono. Anyhting lower than 15 rows from the top will not work.
    We decided to go at the last minute one year and ended up in that lowest section down near the track surface. Really bad. You saw the cars maybe 15 seconds a lap
    Its been 20 years since Ive been there but the track and stands havent been moved so Im gonna assume that still an accurate assessment

    Indy can be rough but its Indy. You go knowing youre not gonna see everything.
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  4. #124
    indycar fan since 1995 vegasGPfan's Avatar
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    12 - 2010 photos of nazareth speedway



    I'd rather be living in Indianapolis or Long Beach instead of Charlotte, NC as there hasn't been an IndyCar race here since 1999.

  5. #125
    Some guy with a red name.
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    Good pics, but can you get them smaller?
    Insert something witty here. I don't care.

  6. #126
    indycar fan since 1995 vegasGPfan's Avatar
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  7. #127


    My favorite track. FU ISC

  8. #128
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    Makes me sick, thanks for the updated photos though!

  9. #129
    Micro Sprint Driver Dez1013's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctorindy View Post
    Three Cheers and Hooray for ISC! Destroyed a popular, challenging, one mile oval with 94 years of history, all in the name of "progress."

    RIP Ontario, Riverside, Trenton, North Wilkesboro, PPIR, Nazareth, and countless others.
    More cookie cutters for the made for TV racing.
    US24 Speedway Non Wing Rookie of the Year - 2012

  10. #130
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    I just found this thread when looking for some pictures of Nazareth. Kevin was right, there were actually two dirt tracks at one time. There was a supermarket next to the small dirt track which ran weekly modifieds. The track was closed in the late 80s and the supermarket moved over. That small dirt track was falling apart before it closed. There were train tracks across 248 and a couple times we went up there to watch the weekly races. The small track was where I probably saw my first race ever. I still remember cheering for a blue Shammy Shine sponsored car because it looked cool. To be a kid.

    I don't quite know the history of the big track when it was dirt because I was really young then. It hosted USAC races. I think it was more of a national event type of track. I'm amazed at how big its grandstands were. When it was paved, they put temporary small stands up at first. I thought I heard that they moved them back and forth from Michigan every year. It sold out every year, but didn't have much capacity at the time. There were small stands from turn 4 to turn 1 and a couple sections in turn 2. I think around '94 they added the first of the big stands. It was a silver section in the last turn. The following year or so, the red and yellow stands were added. I believe the capacity was 40,000. It was never full when they added all those stands. There was talk about building suites, but that never happened. The capacity increased right around when the split took place. It might've died anyway without the split, but that sure didn't help the track survive.

    The track was always too narrow, but in the early years traffic made the racing interesting. By the later years the race really became a bore because the leaders couldn't even get by lapped cars. I remember one year specifically where the leaders would catch the back of the field in 5-10 laps and couldn't get around them so it was just a parade. Really the area never took to the race and the action became boring, so I can't blame them for closing the place. The race date didn't help much either. In the early years, it was late Sept or Oct and could get quite cold. Then they moved it to April and it was still could or rainy. One year, it actually snowed out. The place wasn't the best for watching a race, but I still miss it though. It is where I grew up. They actually hosted the Marlboro Challenge one year too. We probably have enough photos on here, but I'll post more sometime when I go up there and walk around the track. I wrote this Nazareth Speedway tribute a couple years ago.



    For all of us there are places from our childhood that led us to our many passions in life. They are the building blocking of what we enjoy and they bring back fond memories. For me one of those places is Nazareth Speedway.

    Nazareth Speedway is the place where I first fell in love with racing. Sure, I used to sit with my dad when he watched races on TV and it'd set up my hot wheels to have them compete with each other while the big race was on the tube. Even without Nazareth Speedway, perhaps I would've been a huge racing fan. What I do know is that the track did so much to influence my passion for the sport.

    Nazareth Speedway is a small one mile oval located less than two miles from where I grew up. It wasn't the fastest track, most historic track or the one with the most wheel to wheel action, but it was my track. It was the track that brought all the stars of Indy Car racing to my hometown. It made me proud to know that my little town had a big event. I wish the rest of the town and area felt that way, but that is another story.

    The track was only opened from 1987 to 2004 and I'm pretty sure I never missed a racing season there. In its first few years of existence, it had movable grandstand that went between there and Michigan. It had limited parking too and nothing like the impressive scoring tower that would later sit on the frontstretch.

    I will never forget those early years. That was a rare time as you had superstars like hometown driver Mario Andretti and others towards the end of their careers, such as AJ Foyt and Al Unser. You had second generation racers in their prime such as Michael Andretti and Al Unser, Jr. You also had other elite stars such as Roger Penske's drivers Rick Mears and Emerson Fittapaldi just to name a few.

    To me, there was nothing quite as exciting as when the cars came to town. On the Friday during race weekend, you could here the sound of the engines from recess at the elementary school. It always led me to the anticipation of practice and qualifying on Saturday afternoon. We didn't attend the sold out races in those early years.

    We'd be there every year for the Saturday sessions though. I'd go and cheer on my favorite driver Rick Mears. Watching those cars blow by just a few feet in front of you at nearly 200 miles per hour was like nothing else I had ever experienced. I used to wander everywhere around the track with my dad and pick up free cigarettes which came with rewards points, just so we could get Marlboro Team Penske hats, shirts, posters and such. Of course being a kid, I really loved that McDonald's was the track's vendor too.

    Some interesting stuff happened away from the track as well. All the dazzling painted up haulers parked at the nearby Holiday Inn for the first few years. You could hear the helicopter flying over our house as it took participants from the hotels to the track on race morning and back after the conclusion of the event. You didn't dare drive anywhere after the race was over or you'd be stuck in a traffic jam.

    I remember being so excited the one year because they had a Marlboro Challenge All Star race on Saturday in addition to the practice and qualifying. I was so thrilled to see the cars actually race live. Every race day in those years was spent on the couch at home. Even then, it was amazing seeing the track that I had been at the day before on national TV, along with shots from around my hometown.

    My best memory though without a doubt was the day we snuck in late in the race and sat in turn 2 for the final 50 laps. Since whoever was working the gate either left already or took a bathroom break, we were able to walk right in. It was the 2nd to last race of the season and Bobby Rahal and Michael Andretti were locked in a heated points battle. Rahal went on to win the race and the title.

    When they expanded the stands to permanent metal bleachers, we finally started attending the race. The new red and yellow stands provided an excellent view around the entire track, especially once camping was disallowed in the infield. Of course the ironic thing was that there really wasn't a lot of action to see with little passing going on.

    I'll never forget the year that the race was canceled due to snow. The event never had a favorable spot on the CART schedule. It bounced from September to April. When I was in high school it actually was postponed due to snow. I skipped school and went to the race on Monday afternoon. That was certainly interesting.

    Throughout the years, I saw many great drivers come through the Indy Car ranks. Chips Ganassi's team with Jimmy Vasser, Alex Zanardi and later Juan Montoya were always dominant. Of course Roger Penske has always fielded elite cars. In the later years, those included Gil De Ferran and 3 time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. Scott Dixon made his mark early on in his career at the track and the late Greg Moore came through as a dominant Indy Lights driver and later a star in the big cars before a crash took his life. Of course some of NASCAR's top drivers came through Nazareth as well with the Busch Series. I remember all the hype when Dale Earnhardt Jr. came through along with the actual champion that year, Matt Kenseth.

    Sadly, the track closed in 2004. It now sits with no grandstands and overgrown vegetation on its straightaways and turns. Only a few of the souvenir buildings and the media building still remain. It was hard for me to complain as the racing had become dull on the narrow technical track. Lap traffic was the only thing that made the race interesting at all.

    Even though it wasn't the best track on the circuit a will probably be forgot by most in a few years, it was still my track. There are so many things I wish could've happened and maybe there would still be racing today. I wish the community would've really embraced the event more. I wish CART had given it more favorable summer dates. I wish open wheel racing didn't split into two series. Even though I don't care much for NASCAR, I wish they would've raced here in the early years. Maybe that would've led to vast amounts of stands surrounding the entire track just as I had always dreamed. Maybe some of these factors could've saved the track or maybe it just never had a prayer.

    Now I travel hours and hours to attend races, whether they are Indy Cars or one of the many other series that I go to. I enjoy road courses more than ovals. I've seen many tracks that far surpass the little Nazareth Speedway, but it's still a place I'm very fond of. It's a track that holds many memories from my youth which I'll cherish forever. Nazareth Speedway, you might not be missed by many, but I'll never forget you.

  11. #131
    Insider Grizzlor's Avatar
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    Well, we "may" be going back to Pocono, so you and I will have somewhere to go again close by.
    "If your car was a dog, then you had to figure it out and test your own limits. And we didn't go to a wind tunnel – we did it in the first turn at Indianapolis."

  12. #132
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    with the possible exception of Indy, my favorite track day of the year was Friday of Nazareth weekend. Easy access to drivers, owners, teams, ... Some of my best track days were there for sure. On Sunday, the best race was the Silver Crowns (by a lot).

  13. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by Joonyah View Post
    All someone has to do is buy it from ISC, sell it to someone else for $20, buy it back from them, and the ISC terms no longer apply.
    Incorrect. Deed restrictions run with the land - they never go away unless a Court orders it or the original parties agree to remove it.

  14. #134
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    Tonight after work I'm going to pop in the 1994 race from Nazareth and think of the good old days. Those pictures of the track just make me sad. Ernest

  15. #135
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    I am a runner and I'm involved with a few running groups here. I was thinking that it would be cool to clean it up and let people use it for running/biking until someone actually plans to do something with it. Not quite a mile, but close enough. When I saw that ISC still owned the track, I just gave up on that idea. They'd never go for it if I could even get in contact with the right people.

  16. #136
    TrackForum Junkie CrewChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzlor View Post
    Well, we "may" be going back to Pocono, so you and I will have somewhere to go again close by.
    Now that will bring back my childhood memories...basically grew up at Pocono during the Indycar races of the 70's and 80's.

    Is it May yet ?

  17. #137
    Registered User red5champ's Avatar
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    This is very sad. I was there in 1993 to see my hero red5 nigel mansell win the PPG indycar cup. This was my favorite oval. The Penskes and Andretti always did well there. There was just something about it. Pocono, Phoenix, Milwaukee & Nazareth all had character that the NASCAR 1.5 high banked easy flat ovals such as texas, chicagoland, kansas cannot replicate and are simply boring in my eyes. seeing Nazareth speedway in these photos of grass and weeds cracking up the tarmac and growing up from under just makes tears reach my eyes. Such a challenging oval. There was something about that place.
    And so we came to Road America where we burned up at the lake, but at the speedway of Nazareth I made no mistake

  18. #138
    Insider Grizzlor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillyIRL View Post
    I am a runner and I'm involved with a few running groups here. I was thinking that it would be cool to clean it up and let people use it for running/biking until someone actually plans to do something with it. Not quite a mile, but close enough. When I saw that ISC still owned the track, I just gave up on that idea. They'd never go for it if I could even get in contact with the right people.
    They dug several trenches into the surface, the whole site is unsafe for public use. ISC will never open it up, insurance concerns. I think ISC wants to sell it for commercial development only. They'll get the most money that way. I think it can be sold, unlike the hilarious parcel of landfill they bought on Staten Island!

  19. #139
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    Never looked into that driver. I do have the photos of Nazareth Speedway book. I guess I could go through that more closely.

    The names of the winners at Nazareth over the years is quite impressive!

    Michael (2x), Sullivan, Emo (3x), Arie, Rahal, Mansell, PT (2x), Vasser, Montoya, de Ferran, Dixon, Scott Sharp, Helio and Wheldon

  20. #140
    Insider Nigel Red5's Avatar
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    As always, they got too fast and took the roadcourse wings away to slow them down, but they seriously hurt the racing when they did it. I so loved the dynamics of watching cars race at that place. It definitely combined oval racing with a lot of the dynamics I like from a road course. The elevation changes, the acceleration onto the backstretch and hard braking into 3, the insane change of direction in turn 1... definitely a unique track that will unfortunately probably never be duplicated or revived.

  21. #141
    Registered User Proveapoint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillyIRL View Post
    Ugh, I hate every time this thread comes up. It is bad enough I have to drive by it every week. It's becoming really overgrown now. I think two of the Nazareth Speedway signs are still there. I have to wonder if this track might've survived if there was never a split.
    That's the downside of visiting my parents, I drive by PPIR with half the grandstands gone.

  22. #142
    Registered User Craigar1's Avatar
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    Maybe the fog of history, but I always remember it being good fast racing.

  23. #143
    Insider Nigel Red5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craigar1 View Post
    Maybe the fog of history, but I always remember it being good fast racing.
    good fast racing, yes. alot of passing for the lead in the later years, not so much.

  24. #144
    Purity in racing Cornys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    ISC, the company, has two stock symbols: ISCA and ISCB. They refer to the types of shares sold via NASDAQ and OTC, respectively.
    Wasn't aware of the OTC stock, but I should have known there was one. "A" meaning there's usually a "B".

    Thanks

  25. #145
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    First races were amazing with traffic and everything. Over time, they became terrible parades. I remember one year that was so bad that the leader would catch the lap traffic in almost no time and yet took forever simply passing even them.

  26. #146
    Insider mdkiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillyIRL View Post
    First races were amazing with traffic and everything. Over time, they became terrible parades. I remember one year that was so bad that the leader would catch the lap traffic in almost no time and yet took forever simply passing even them.
    Funny how nostalgia makes us forgetful. I think it was the 02 or 03 race where Al Jr. was leading and it took forever to get around George Mack to lap him.
    "George Bignott's Sinmast Wildcat; delicately built, carefully prepared and boldly driven by Gordon Johncock." -- Keith Jackson

  27. #147
    Is Bat Boy KevMcNJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillyIRL View Post
    Never looked into that driver. I do have the photos of Nazareth Speedway book. I guess I could go through that more closely.

    The names of the winners at Nazareth over the years is quite impressive!

    Michael (2x), Sullivan, Emo (3x), Arie, Rahal, Mansell, PT (2x), Vasser, Montoya, de Ferran, Dixon, Scott Sharp, Helio and Wheldon
    Look familiar?



    JR Crouse

    Thats not Nazareth but he did run there in a blue Shammy Shine car

    Just a wild guess but Id say thats '84-'86

    Somewhere in that time period

  28. #148
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    Today I spent about 2hrs inside Nazareth Speedway. Not a problem getting in. I won't post any depressing pictures. I will just say, the track and infrastructure is sadly beyond repair. The buildings that still stand are trashed, The weeds and trees in parts are over 10 feet. Tree roots are pushing through the track. As I type, I'm watching the last 2004 race at the speedway, it's like night and day, after 11yrs. The only way this acreage would see Indycars again is to bulldoze, and start again. One of the coolest parts of the day was seeing all the signage on the inside walls, the start/finish line, seeing Dan Wheldon's rubber from the donuts, seeing all the rubber in each pit stall from the burn outs. I was in victory lane, and stood on the same podium as Dan Wheldon. I remember, telling my kids on the way home from that last race, *no way this is the last race here, this place is beautiful..* Guess I was wrong.
    Last edited by GerryK; 07-08-2015 at 11:38 AM.

  29. #149
    Please post some pictures! I think we'd all like to see some. Thanks!!

  30. #150
    Quote Originally Posted by GerryK View Post
    Today I spent about 2hrs inside Nazareth Speedway. Not a problem getting in. I won't post any depressing pictures. I will just say, the track and infrastructure is sadly beyond repair. The buildings that still stand are trashed, The weeds and trees in parts are over 10 feet. Tree roots are pushing through the track. As I type, I'm watching the last 2004 race at the speedway, it's like night and day, after 11yrs. The only way this acreage would see Indycars again is to bulldoze, and start again. One of the coolest parts of the day was seeing all the signage on the inside walls, the start/finish line, seeing Dan Wheldon's rubber from the donuts, seeing all the rubber in each pit stall from the burn outs. I was in victory lane, and stood on the same podium as Dan Wheldon. I remember, telling my kids on the way home from that last race, *no way this is the last race here, this place is beautiful..* Guess I was wrong.
    I would assume the only way of resurrecting this racetrack is if somebody buys it through a shell corporation and sells it to the real owner. There is always hope though as long as nobody builds on top of the land where the track sits....I mean VIR was resurrected after being abandoned for nearly 26 years.

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