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Thread: Indy cars at Langhorne photos- 1968

  1. #1
    Is Bat Boy KevMcNJ's Avatar
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    Indy cars at Langhorne photos- 1968

    http://www.usa50.com/DisplayMsg.asp?...%20cars%201968...

    Lifted the link from the same place I got the 1973 photos last week.

    I was 5 or 6 when that place closed. Grew up maybe 15 miles away and I never saw a race at Langhorne.

    Enjoy.
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    I love this sport so much dalz's Avatar
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    Great photos. I don't see much of the Langhorne paved era. Even paved the place was still unloved by drivers.
    "If you see you're gonna miss, grit your teeth."--Evel Knievel

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    Is Bat Boy KevMcNJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalz View Post
    Even paved the place was still unloved by drivers.
    A driver buckling up there had to feel something like a Marine stepping off for a patrol on some island in the Pacific.

    The possibility of not seeing the next sunset was very real.

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    Dirt biker/carp hunter Stick500's Avatar
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    So is that a steel guardrail around the place? Odd that it appears perfectly flat, unlike what we typically see with Armco.
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    Is Bat Boy KevMcNJ's Avatar
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    I think it is steel plating.

    I say "is" because while Langhorne Speedway is gone the track barrier is still being used at a dirt track an hour South.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevMcNJ View Post
    I think it is steel plating.

    I say "is" because while Langhorne Speedway is gone the track barrier is still being used at a dirt track an hour South.
    Bridgeport?
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    Is Bat Boy KevMcNJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
    Bridgeport?
    Yup.

    Stands and boiler plate from Langhorne went to Bridgeport.

    Langhorne closed in 1971 and Bridgeport opened in 1972 or 73

    Since Langhorne was a mile around they stacked the boiler plate two high at Bridgeport which is a little over a half mile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevMcNJ View Post
    A driver buckling up there had to feel something like a Marine stepping off for a patrol on some island in the Pacific.

    The possibility of not seeing the next sunset was very real.
    A wee bit melodramatic? That could be said, to a degree, for any track during those years. While Langhorne has a reputation, there was a ridiculous amount of racing that took place there to reach the toll it had* Much like how Legion Ascot gets labelled "killer track" when they had 30 races a year on it during an era of cloth or crude hardshell helmets, limited to no use of seat belts, and the medical knowledge of the era.
    Quote Originally Posted by dalz View Post
    Great photos. I don't see much of the Langhorne paved era. Even paved the place was still unloved by drivers.
    At least from quotes I've read, I think they disliked it even more after it was paved. Some remarked it was worse, because the speeds were much higher and there were still visibility issues with the corners. USAC Championship drivers reluctantly agreed to a "final" race. When USAC scheduled a race after that date, the drivers/owners rebelled and forced cancellation.

    FWIW, I talked to two drivers who raced at Langhorne when it was dirt, one in stock cars, one in Championship Cars, and neither had much good to say about it. The championship driver said it was weird and "a scary place", because everyone seemed to have different spots to pick up the throttle. The stock car racer was far less kind, saying: "I absolutely hated that place."

    *Riggs' book on Langhorne counts a misreported fatality that didn't happen.
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    I love this sport so much dalz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JThur1 View Post
    At least from quotes I've read, I think they disliked it even more after it was paved. Some remarked it was worse, because the speeds were much higher and there were still visibility issues with the corners. USAC Championship drivers reluctantly agreed to a "final" race. When USAC scheduled a race after that date, the drivers/owners rebelled and forced cancellation.
    Thanks. I can't fathom what "visibility" issues there could've had. Was the infield raised from the racing surface in areas? I've seen the paved configuration, it was kind of an oddball, and I'm sure wicked fast. You had the curved front straight and the inside guardrail; did it continue around "turn 2"? I personally don't think I'd care for the long backstretch leading into essentially a 90deg. turn 3.

    Clint Brawner (count him as a Langhorne hater) talked about the driver mutiny against the track in his book. He said that the track owner/manager put out a statement that the dislike for Langhorne was due to "an accumulation of fat" and that "drivers have to work a little harder here, and they don't like it." I'm sure that didn't help relations at all.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dalz View Post
    Thanks. I can't fathom what "visibility" issues there could've had.
    Most of them were driving lower cars than in the dirt track days, and I believe the paved version was surprisingly bumpy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalz View Post
    Thanks. I can't fathom what "visibility" issues there could've had.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norman J Crump View Post
    Most of them were driving lower cars than in the dirt track days, and I believe the paved version was surprisingly bumpy.
    Visibility in regards to sight lines, not dirt or dust. Drivers complained that there were track issues unchanged by paving. I recall one driver saying: "It's even worse now." If and when I get a chance, I'll try digging out the old racing paper to see exactly who said what.

    In 1970, USAC scheduled a second Langhorne date and a return to Dover despite drivers saying they would boycott races at either track.

  12. #12
    The sight problem was with the speed and driver sitting lower you couldn't see a problem and have enough time to react. I essence you would have to apply your brakes before you saw anything in order to stop in time. Mainly down the back stretch heading into #3. Make sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JThur1 View Post
    A wee bit melodramatic? That could be said, to a degree, for any track during those years.
    A bit perhaps.

    That being said, It sounds like many drivers hated going there and some flat out refused to race there.


    That says something since about the place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevMcNJ View Post
    A bit perhaps.

    That being said, It sounds like many drivers hated going there and some flat out refused to race there.

    That says something since about the place.
    Indeed, it does.

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