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Thread: Abandoned race tracks?

  1. #121
    Registered User Ganassifan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rappel View Post
    A Chip Ganassi project that didn't last 5 years, I don't think. Also, home of a horse racing track that failed. It didn't produce quality racing at all for the open wheel cars.
    Much of that stellar film "Driven" was filmed there. Must be a Freudian thing.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelican Joe View Post
    What about Stardust International in Vegas?

    I'd also like to pay tribute to my "hometown" track...Hales Corners Speedway! A tiny, clay oval located just outside of Milwaukee. Opened in 1950. My dad and his cousin used to spend every Saturday night out there during the summer. One of my dad's favorite stories is sitting in the stands next to J.C. Agajanian and Parnelli Jones sometime in the 1960s. J.C. tried teaching my uncle how to pick winners during a midget race. Alan Kulwicki got his start at this track...and a lot of famous drivers ran there over the years. It was shutdown in 2003 and is currently the site of a very large Menards. There is a large, old tree, however...that stands in the field between the Menards and the neighboring Ford dealership that I remember we always used to park by. Other than that...nothing is left. I did run out on the track after the final race and scoop up a large handful of clay that I'll forever treasure!
    We used to make the drive up Rte 45 to Hales Corners many times, loved that track. Around 1966-67 time frame, to see the "modifieds".

  3. #123
    Registered User Ganassifan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambig88 View Post
    Man... I would like to see IndyCar go back to Nashville. It's so stupid they ripped the seats and everything out.
    I was at the last IndyCar race there. Firestone had an ad that ran for a while that showed a shot looking at the grandstands from the pits and there is a huge bolt of lightning in the background. That was that race. Dixon and Kanaan battle, TK pits and Dixon somehow does not see or here he's supposed to come in. He's now in first, then the huge storm hits, case closed, Dixon wins by making a mistake.

    In the afternoon we went over to watch the lights race and another huge storm hit. We are all standing in this metal grandstand, underneath the seats and you can't see the scoring pylon right across the track it was raining so hard. They are trying to get all of us out of e metal stand...it was amusing to say the least. The good news is that the concrete track dried in about an hour.

  4. #124
    Quote Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
    Ontario Motor Speedway
    Now it is the Ontario Mills mall.

  5. #125
    There is no substitute. Spike's Avatar
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    No, the Ontario Mills mall sits on land just east of where OMS was located. There are lots of other industrial (and some residential) developments on the OMS site and the Citizens Bank Arena sits right on what was the infield. On Google Maps/Earth you can still see remnants of turn 3 in the landscape.

    I watched them build OMS as a kid. I never dreamed such a great facility would be gone in such a short time. So very sad.
    "I would really like to go to NASCAR. I really enjoy NASCAR and if I could be there in a couple of years that's where I'd want to be." - Jeff Gordon (after testing a Formula Super Vee)

  6. #126
    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Knight View Post

    Hockenheimring Forrest, Germany

    I spent a bit of time working in Germany not far from Heidelberg & one of the best things I did while out there was to take my road car on a fast lap around the Hockenheimring. This was back in 1992 when the old course was still in use. The track was amazing to drive Crying shame what it's been reduced to now.

    **Another somewhat abandoned track in the UK is that of Aintree. It hosted the British GP several times back in the 50's/60's & was home to Stirling Moss' first win. It's only used now for a few sprint events, so similar to Hock, not totally abandoned but definitely a shadow of it's former self/status.

  7. #127
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    my home State Fair Speedway in OKC. The mayor got rid of it a couple of years ago. They just didn't like the idea of "dirt track racing". This was great facility built by Bud Carson in 1954. It was in the movie "State Fair" in the early 60s with Pat Boone racing his "home built" (D Type Jag) on the dirt.

    This was Haffa Mile & inner Quarter Mile. Lanny Edwards converted it to 3/8 mile for the last few years. We easily had 5k attendance every Firday night with car counts over 125. 2 ASCS wing sprint classes, UMP modified, dirt late models, dirt pro stock & factory stock.

    Carson moved the weekly show there in mid 60s when the guys started building those fast Super Modified. take a look:
    http://www.racingfromthepast.com/

    this was our racing in Tx, OK, KS

    we had AMA motorcycles, USAC, factory Stock Cars. At one time they ran the cars of Friday and motorcycles on Saturday.

    I'll be rooting for the OKC Thunder but for some reason, we had to use the same civic dollars to shut down the track as well as building them an arena. Word has it the same guys want the land for a conference center or for state fair offices. They deliberately let the facility get run down and they even shut Lanny out a year early. We was making a buck and....anyway, 5000 fans, 100s of drivers & teams, and 50 years of history are gone.

  8. #128
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    Kinda OT...but does anyone have any pics Atlanta before they turned it into a cookie cutter? You can see it in Days of Thunder, as well as North Wilksboro, and Bristol before they added seats...
    "We named the dog Indiana"

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganassifan View Post
    Much of that stellar film "Driven" was filmed there. Must be a Freudian thing.
    CMS and PacWest nostalgia there.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajax View Post
    Berger's final lap at Hockenheim - this is a great video. Check out the flags and enthusiasm of the fans for his last race.

    I always felt that this (IMO) should be a track that oval fans could enjoy because of the forest section. Before they added chicanes it was incredibly fast!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYG687mlSc0
    Hockenheim was a classic track...before that %$*!!## butcher Hermann Tilke got ahold of it and took out all the good parts. Now it's just another circuit. Yawn.

    But, in the interest of accuracy...

    Gerhard Berger was Austrian, not German. Watch when he crosses the line. The only enthusiasm is in the Benetton pits. The flags aren't waving.

    Now wait 20 seconds....

    THERE's your enthusiasm and flags waving. It's not for Berger, it's for the guy who finished second. I think his name was Michael Something-or-other. Schumacher maybe...


  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbholland View Post
    Kinda OT...but does anyone have any pics Atlanta before they turned it into a cookie cutter? You can see it in Days of Thunder, as well as North Wilksboro, and Bristol before they added seats...
    That was an unreal day, Atlanta 1992.

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  12. #132
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    Whatever happened to building a new track at the Meadowlands?

  13. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by slkornya View Post
    Hockenheim was a classic track...before that %$*!!## butcher Hermann Tilke got ahold of it and took out all the good parts. Now it's just another circuit. Yawn.

    But, in the interest of accuracy...

    Gerhard Berger was Austrian, not German. Watch when he crosses the line. The only enthusiasm is in the Benetton pits. The flags aren't waving.

    Now wait 20 seconds....

    THERE's your enthusiasm and flags waving. It's not for Berger, it's for the guy who finished second. I think his name was Michael Something-or-other. Schumacher maybe...

    I know he's Austrian - just pointed out the flags because they were quite prevalent for MS during these years more then any other driver at any other track that I have seen in the last 30 years. THAT along with the track itself and the racing made the ring very special.

    BTW I tried to find the final lap of the 1994 race - which I think he won but could not get anything. I picked the next closest thing - a second place to his fellow neighbor from Austria.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by rappel View Post
    Whatever happened to building a new track at the Meadowlands?
    The local politicians went with something that would bring far more bribes. A giant eyesore mall called Xanadu, which ran out of money and never opened. Currently Mall of America is securing funding to finish it and open it by 2013.
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  15. #135
    500 History Buff! Pelican Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzlor View Post
    I agree with you of course, but by the 70's, you can see in the race footage there are houses, in some cases, perilously close to the backstretch. Sadly it's impossible to stop the developers, because housing/retail means a lot more taxes than race track.
    There are houses on the backstretch of the Mile. Just the fence...a narrow service road...a strip of grass and then you're on a residential street. In fact...the track itself is right smack dab in the middle of a residential area. I'm thankful that nobody was able to kill the track over the years.
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  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganassifan View Post
    I was at the last IndyCar race there. Firestone had an ad that ran for a while that showed a shot looking at the grandstands from the pits and there is a huge bolt of lightning in the background. That was that race. Dixon and Kanaan battle, TK pits and Dixon somehow does not see or here he's supposed to come in. He's now in first, then the huge storm hits, case closed, Dixon wins by making a mistake.

    In the afternoon we went over to watch the lights race and another huge storm hit. We are all standing in this metal grandstand, underneath the seats and you can't see the scoring pylon right across the track it was raining so hard. They are trying to get all of us out of e metal stand...it was amusing to say the least. The good news is that the concrete track dried in about an hour.
    Yup, we were there too. Last race my wife ever went to...I remember us huddling under the grandstands wrapped in a vinyl banner we'd won at the Downforce pre-race party. Came in pretty handy, that did.

    Ontario: if you ever have reason to fly into ONT, there's a large scale overhead photo hanging on the wall on the concourse, and you can see OMS plainly. Very cool, if bittersweet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajax View Post
    I know he's Austrian - just pointed out the flags because they were quite prevalent for MS during these years more then any other driver at any other track that I have seen in the last 30 years. THAT along with the track itself and the racing made the ring very special.

    BTW I tried to find the final lap of the 1994 race - which I think he won but could not get anything. I picked the next closest thing - a second place to his fellow neighbor from Austria.
    My bad. The flags for Schumi were awesome. The only thing I could think that would compare (and I can't find any good video) would be the flag waving for a Ferrari driver at Imola or Monza, or for Senna when he finally won at Interlagos.

  18. #138
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    Answer Man Revved Up to Discover Old Marlboro Raceway Personalities

    Someone else posted a link to this site and this track caught my eye....
    Old Orchard Beach Speedway

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevMcNJ View Post
    Closed in 1984 (?)

    A baking company makes cookies there now

    Funny story about that- The locals were more than happy to see the track shut down becuase it was noisy.

    A former Islip driver was a trucker Monday-Friday and it turns out he ended up pulling loads out of the factory where the track used to sit.

    So whenver he left the factory at 4am he would leave with his air horns shattering the silence of the neighborhood just to annoy the NIMBYs

    I forget where I read that.

    If it aint true, it should be
    Soo right, if true.

  20. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelican Joe View Post
    There are houses on the backstretch of the Mile. Just the fence...a narrow service road...a strip of grass and then you're on a residential street. In fact...the track itself is right smack dab in the middle of a residential area. I'm thankful that nobody was able to kill the track over the years.
    I just took a look on Google Maps and that's nowhere near how close Trenton was to residential. Like, Armco, then houses.

  21. #141
    Formerly MikaF1fan BuddyCarSeries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atlindycarfan View Post
    looper speedway in north georgia...closed when they damned the hooch to make what is now lake lanier!




    If you remember when we had that drought the lake level went down and you could see the top rows of the concrete grand stands.
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  22. #142
    Registered User MD-IRLFAN's Avatar
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    This thread leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth. While I love the history and the stories of these old tracks. The fact that they're no longer around for us modern fans brings an incredible sadness.

    Thanks to everyone for the great info on these tracks. Keep the info and pictures coming.
    To a New Yorker like yourself, a hero is some type of weird sandwich. Not some nut who takes on three Tigers!

  23. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Long View Post
    I just took a look on Google Maps and that's nowhere near how close Trenton was to residential. Like, Armco, then houses.
    Oh yeah, the videos are almost unbelievable. There's little kids playing on a swing set maybe 20 yards from the armco! Milwaukee, like IMS, has certain ordinances as to what time of the day and week cars can run there.

  24. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandaidwacker87 View Post
    How about Mid America in Wentzville, MO....

    The track appears on Google maps but not on Bing Maps. Closed in 2004 for good. It's been bulldozed for housing. The road course hadn't been used in many, many years. I was there in the early 80's at a rod run swap meet on the drag strip and wandering over to the road course sections found them in very bad shape. Great Trans Am racing there for a few years though in the late 60's. I believe MAR had one of the very first SCCA Trans Am races in the country. The drag strip was always the big draw and their radio commercials were infamous on St Louis rock radio stations.

    Track still there:
    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Wentz...1381&t=h&hl=en

    Track gone:
    http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=qg6...=b&form=LMLTCC



    Apparently a new mid America is being built some 20- 30 miles or so North of Wentzville. Opening in spring of 2012??? I haven't heard a thing about it yet.

    http://www.marpark.net/

  25. #145
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    Just wondering, does anyone know of any old tracks that are used as recreational facilities now (other than the lake)? As a runner, I think it would be cool to use some of these places that still exist as a place to run or bike. I thought about trying to see about doing this at Nazareth until I learned they put holes in the track and it is still owned by the jerks at ISC. There are a lot of old rail lines that are now being used for recreation. It would be cool if some tracks could be used for that too, especially if it were road courses.

    On a related note, I ran a 10k at New Jersey Motorsports Park a couple years back. It ran around Lightning Raceway (not the Grand-Am track, but their other track) and then some sections outside the track. It was pretty cool, except barely anyone showed up to run the race.

  26. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbholland View Post
    Kinda OT...but does anyone have any pics Atlanta before they turned it into a cookie cutter? You can see it in Days of Thunder, as well as North Wilksboro, and Bristol before they added seats...
    November 1991. I remember very little about this weekend. Spent most of the it driving from NJ to Georgia and back









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  27. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevMcNJ View Post
    Must be Riverside. I wasnt into road course racing back in the 80s

    But I always looked forward to the annual Winston Cup races at Riverside

    We sorta live in suburbia so I really cant talk, but that looks like Hell on Earth to me
    X2 I live dead center in the middle of a pretty small town but developments like that just really irritate me.

  28. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillyIRL View Post
    Just wondering, does anyone know of any old tracks that are used as recreational facilities now (other than the lake)?
    The long gone Columbia (SC) speedway is still used by bicyclists.

    It was a true half mile asphalt oval.

    I think its claim to fame is Richard Petttys first race ever was at Columbia

    I have recent pics of this track I will scan some later

    Pitman-Alcyon Speedway in Pitman, NJ is a quaint little park. I was only there once but I think the cement forms for the stands are still in place

    Part of Trenton Speedway is some sort of park

  29. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I wondered for a long time why they killed the long circuit after they did the short version. They had to move the trees removed from the new site into the old.
    They built the short course to save the track itself. The environmentalists would have loved to see the whole track closed.

  30. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Red5 View Post
    The environmentalists would have loved to see the whole track closed.
    Must resist....cannot...say...what Im....thinking!!!!!

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