For those of you that don’t know, they closed Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, which just so happens to be my second home, and I’m extremely disappointed to say the least.
First of all, let’s get into the juicy details... (this has not been proven at all. It’s just my theory/opinion). About three years back, the NHRA added a race to the series right before the Englishtown race. The race was in Epping, New Hampshire. Epping is only three hundred miles away from ETown, which isn’t that far in the perspective of an entire country. It’s also a little suspicious that they put it one weekend apart. I mean, I understand that it’s convenient for the teams, but if anything, it would take money away from Englishtown by dividing the crowd.
The thought behind this is that they knew Englishtown was closing, so they wanted to give the Raceway Park fans another option, and thus have money flood into Epping.
They have even started hinting for the local crowd to go to another event. Here’s the direct quote from Glen Cromwell, the president of the National Hot Rod Association: “We hope that fans in the area will try to make it to another one of our events”
It also seems odd that they’d close a track after fifty years. After a certain point, tradition is tradition, and you don’t break tradition. Not to mention, this is one of the top five most historic NHRA tracks (according to the NHRA themselves). That was the track where Jungle Jim Liberman won his only race, Garlits had his famous blowover, and Kurt Johnson made the first six second pass in a pro stock car. This track has been around longer than many of the people who loved it, and it’s sad to see it go.
For all of you NHRA fans near Englishtown, don’t worry. Maple Grove will probably never suffer the same fate as so many tracks before it because they pay rent for the entire township, and that track is pretty historic itself.