NJ’s historic Raceway Park shuts down drag strip, cancels NHRA Summernationals

Dodge used Raceway Park as the setting for the launch images of the Challenger SRT Demon, which is the quickest quarter-mile production car in the world.

One of America’s most historic drag racing strips is shutting down.

New Jersey’s Old Bridge Township Raceway Park abruptly announced the move on Wednesday, citing a restructuring of its business.

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Old Bridge Township Raceway park is a multipurpose motorsports facility that also has an airport.  (Google Earth)

The facility will continue to operate the adjacent road course and motocross tracks that it also operates, along with hosting swap meets, mud runs and other events.

stadium

The stadium section will be used for concerts and other events.  (Google Earth)

Old Bridge Township Mayor’s office for Economic Development executive Steve Mamakas told NJ.com that the stadium section of the track, including its VIP suites, will be used as a concert venue in the future, while the rest of the track is being leased to an auto auction company, according to Jalopnik.

THAT TIME FOX NEWS AUTOS TOOK A COP CAR TO RACEWAY PARK:

Fox Car Report drives the 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV

AND A PICKUP TRUCK:

Fox Car Report takes the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor to the drag strip at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ.

The track opened in 1965 and was set to host the 49th National Hot Rod Association Summernationals this June.

“NHRA drag racing events have been held at the track in Englishtown for almost 50 years. 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,” NHRA president Glen Cromwell wrote in an official statement on the closure.

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In 2008, NHRA driver Scott Kalitta was killed at the track after his engine blew at around 300 mph and he crashed into a barrier at the end of the runoff area. The accident led to one of the biggest changes in the history of the NHRA, when it decided to shorten the races for its fastest cars from a quarter-mile to 1,000 feet.

Mamakas said he’s raced at the track himself, but the costs for fuel and equipment have risen so much in recent years that he and a lot of drivers he knows don’t go to the amateur events as often as they used to.