New England being sold? (3 Viewers)

James

Nitro Member
Word is an entity is trying to purchase NED and it's future as a drag strip is in doubt.
 

mgty3whlr

Nitro Member
The problem is, Dragstrips are already prepped for land development. Instead of purchasing a plot of land where they have to clear trees, etc. and remove topsoil to start. Plus majority of the utilities are already cut in.

ATCO Raceway has been on the market but, A company like COPART wanted to purchase it however, they wouldn't want to meet the environmental guidelines such as, Every single vehicle that enters that property Must have all of the fuel and other oils removed. They said that they wouldn't be able to keep up with the volume of vehicles coming in. The new trend, automotive wise is, buy the total loss cars from the insurance companies, part them out and make bank. Englishtown is an example of an open space opportunity.

The Amazon. Walmart, UPS, etc. are constantly looking for open space so they can build a hub for online buyers.

Sorry for ranting but, This is the future of what's gonna happen to our favorite tracks. A company comes in an waves a monster wad of cash for that property that would take you a number of years to even come close.
 

Jimbo

Nitro Member
Englistown and Atco are both located in New Jersey, are they draining all the fluids out of the cars parked at Enlishtown?

I think the other problem is it has never been easy to get a decent ROI when buying a drag strip.
I understand having a love for the sport and that might be a good reason to purchase your favorite drag strip, but finding ways of making a great investment are not easy.

Just my opinion Jim Hill
 

Notch1320

BerserkoBob
Nitro Member
NED.jpg
NED2.jpg
NED2.jpg
 

Dennis

Nitro Member
I'm just spitballing here, but I believe at some point NHRA is going to have to identify key tracks and ensure that they are a majority shareholder in said tracks. The reason is twofold.

1.) Every standalone dragstrip in the country has a better alternate use (from a dollars and cents standpoint).
2.) Dragstrips structured as a corporation are probably one or two major shareholder votes away from being sold.

Did we ever think we'd see the day that Old Bridge Township Raceway Park would close?

I guess the bottom line, for me anyway, is NHRA needs to be more hands on with tracks. Not involved in the day to day operations, but to the extent that they are ensuring the longevity of the sport. If that involves contract renegotiations, extra events at a given facility, marketing assistance, then it is what it is. NHRA can't survive without the tracks but the tracks can survive without the NHRA.
 

Pete

Nitro Member
I'm just spitballing here, but I believe at some point NHRA is going to have to identify key tracks and ensure that they are a majority shareholder in said tracks. The reason is twofold.

1.) Every standalone dragstrip in the country has a better alternate use (from a dollars and cents standpoint).
2.) Dragstrips structured as a corporation are probably one or two major shareholder votes away from being sold.

Did we ever think we'd see the day that Old Bridge Township Raceway Park would close?

I guess the bottom line, for me anyway, is NHRA needs to be more hands on with tracks. Not involved in the day to day operations, but to the extent that they are ensuring the longevity of the sport. If that involves contract renegotiations, extra events at a given facility, marketing assistance, then it is what it is. NHRA can't survive without the tracks but the tracks can survive without the NHRA.
...and NHRA being a majority owner will help how? Atlanta Dragway might be a sampling
 

Pete

Nitro Member
Englistown and Atco are both located in New Jersey, are they draining all the fluids out of the cars parked at Enlishtown?

I think the other problem is it has never been easy to get a decent ROI when buying a drag strip.
I understand having a love for the sport and that might be a good reason to purchase your favorite drag strip, but finding ways of making a great investment are not easy.

Just my opinion Jim Hill
Epping has a unique location, immediately off RT101 with access (15ish miles) to Interstate 95 and the area has been growing exponentially in the past 20 years.

Like Jim Morgan, I grew up at and eventually cut my teeth racing at New England Dragway. The uniqueness of ownership (i.e., Shareholder owned) will hopefully keep the doors open! We can only hope/pray!
 

sdwarf36

Nitro Member
How many board tracks are left? They used to have them that sat 100k. How many horse tracks are left? There used to be hundreds-if not thousands. How many people show up at a drag strip now a days? For a national? For a normal Sunday? Its just may be that we are over drag racing as somewhere to sit in the sun on a weekend. At least to the ones who have to make ends meet it seems. How can that be? We still love it! Personally-I haven't been to a national event since the death of Scott Kalittla. I haven't raced at a local track for 15? years. Am I the cause? I don't think so. Ask a 20 year old what their favorite funny car is. (A what?) Ask them what racing magazines they get. (Magazine?) Ask them what their favorite car is-hell ask them if they have a drivers license! I don't want to look to see if the Drone Racing League has higher ratings. It's time to determine if you want to hold on to everything the way it used to be-or move to the future. NASCAR finally got off its ass trying to make things like the good old days to get all the old timers back (that had no plans on coming back since Richard Petty retired/Dale E. got killed.) This year they tried all kinds of things-dirt- Better amenities- road courses-iRacing in the off season. "Best season ever". I think they did it. The grumpy haven't changed-but they got a bunch of new eyes. I don't know what it will take to get asses back in seats at the strip though. "Nite of fire" "No prep" "Lights out". They pack the stands. Why aren't people interested in 4 rounds of Top Fuel and 4 rounds of Funny Car anymore?
 

Dennis

Nitro Member
...and NHRA being a majority owner will help how? Atlanta Dragway might be a sampling

See the points made. Stand alone dragstrips, in and of themselves, is not the best use for any property. NHRA, as an organization, cannot last with the loss of many national event caliber drag strips. Drag strips, however, can keep the lights on with smaller events.

An investment in drag strip ownership shows that NHRA is serious about the future of the (professional) sport.

Alternatively, just do nothing and "hope and pray" and see how that works out. Edited to add...Ironically, I wrote this post before I read your response to Jim Hill, so I guess hope and pray it is. :)
 

Custom Body Fan

Nitro Member
This really is getting ridiculous. There will only be a handful of dragstrips left! NASCAR owns a lot of its tracks, with SMI owning a bunch too, giving them pretty good protection. At this point, for the reasons stated, values of the dragstrip properties such as Atlanta and apparently NED and others have gotten so high it seems unlikely NHRA could afford to buy them.

Also, the reason the autos stored at Atco would need to be drained is that the property is on a major aquifer providing water to a lot of S. Jersey. Raceway Park is just on some plain old land, so the draining was not an issue. I read a looonngg article about the Atco situation, and I think it said (I read it a couple months ago and my memory of it is not fully clear) that most of the property was gravel, but for some reason it couldn't be paved (the article said why) to prevent liquids from getting into the ground.
 

65 Goatboy

Nitro Member
The problem is, Dragstrips are already prepped for land development. Instead of purchasing a plot of land where they have to clear trees, etc. and remove topsoil to start. Plus majority of the utilities are already cut in.

ATCO Raceway has been on the market but, A company like COPART wanted to purchase it however, they wouldn't want to meet the environmental guidelines such as, Every single vehicle that enters that property Must have all of the fuel and other oils removed. They said that they wouldn't be able to keep up with the volume of vehicles coming in. The new trend, automotive wise is, buy the total loss cars from the insurance companies, part them out and make bank. Englishtown is an example of an open space opportunity.

The Amazon. Walmart, UPS, etc. are constantly looking for open space so they can build a hub for online buyers.

Sorry for ranting but, This is the future of what's gonna happen to our favorite tracks. A company comes in an waves a monster wad of cash for that property that would take you a number of years to even come close.
Chicago
 

65 Goatboy

Nitro Member
I'm just spitballing here, but I believe at some point NHRA is going to have to identify key tracks and ensure that they are a majority shareholder in said tracks. The reason is twofold.

1.) Every standalone dragstrip in the country has a better alternate use (from a dollars and cents standpoint).
2.) Dragstrips structured as a corporation are probably one or two major shareholder votes away from being sold.

Did we ever think we'd see the day that Old Bridge Township Raceway Park would close?

I guess the bottom line, for me anyway, is NHRA needs to be more hands on with tracks. Not involved in the day to day operations, but to the extent that they are ensuring the longevity of the sport. If that involves contract renegotiations, extra events at a given facility, marketing assistance, then it is what it is. NHRA can't survive without the tracks but the tracks can survive without the NHRA.
Look at Nascar.
 

Pete

Nitro Member
See the points made. Stand alone dragstrips, in and of themselves, is not the best use for any property. NHRA, as an organization, cannot last with the loss of many national event caliber drag strips. Drag strips, however, can keep the lights on with smaller events.

An investment in drag strip ownership shows that NHRA is serious about the future of the (professional) sport.

Alternatively, just do nothing and "hope and pray" and see how that works out. Edited to add...Ironically, I wrote this post before I read your response to Jim Hill, so I guess hope and pray it is. :)
I understand your point now. I don't believe NHRA ownership in any track is a benefit...Epping has been a racers for racers track since the first shovel of dirt was taken...James Morgan can attest that everything at that track has been recycled over the years. They did what they had to do to keep going. The new President of the track is a long time racer, who has great ideas for the future, he just needs a really good General Manager/Operator to schedule and book in shows. Epping is still one of the few tracks that has a good points program and consistent match races....again, they are doing the best they can with what they have. I moved to Virginia 11 years ago, but still stay in touch with many friends that race up there and they have said some things have changed, but the line at the gate on a points day is still pretty long...fans still buy tickets for match races. I just hope they continue to see the value of the track.
 

Dennis

Nitro Member
I agree - I grew up in MA and spent many weekends at NED. I know the track was created with the best of intentions but the mere fact that someone has doubts that this could happen is what's concerning. The first offer is never the highest offer. I fully expect whatever developer it was to come back with a higher offer. I always look at Englishtown - 20 years ago selling that track would have never crossed my mind. Losing Etown is the same as MLB losing Fenway. It should have never happened.

I guess where I'm going is trying to figure out what NHRA's long term plans are. NHRA lost Englishtown, Atlanta and Memphis, is losing Houston, there was drama at HPT (fully settled?), rumors of Chicago being purchased, and now NED is in question. When a track, like Etown, makes more money being a parking lot rather than a drag strip it causes me to question what NHRA's role is in all of this. Not pointing the finger or casting blame, honest question.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
Not just drag strips but other tracks as well. Arizona Speedway is a dirt track, sprint cars, etc. They are closing after 20 years. We had a famous dirt track called Manzinita, where many famous Indy 500 drivers raced, & it closed some years ago. I think we only have 1 oval track in Phoenix area now. Still wondering what will happen with Wild Horse in the next few years.
 

Nunz

Nitro Member
Not just drag strips but other tracks as well. Arizona Speedway is a dirt track, sprint cars, etc. They are closing after 20 years. We had a famous dirt track called Manzinita, where many famous Indy 500 drivers raced, & it closed some years ago. I think we only have 1 oval track in Phoenix area now. Still wondering what will happen with Wild Horse in the next few years.
When I lived in Phoenix I really liked going to the old Speedworld dragstrip, I think it was in Surprise AZ. Great little track, and I'm not sure why it closed, some kind of zoning beef or something. Cliff you probably know the details better than me.
 

Cliff

Nitro Member
I loved Speedworld. What I heard was that the land is owned by the State of AZ and it was run by Maricopa County (Phoenix area). Track built in 1963 by Mel Larson (?) , the man who ran Beeline. Anyhoo, Speedworld was leased by various people over the years. Bob Curley ran it in the 1990's and had Div 7 races there. He did a good job of it. He passed away and someone else took the track over. The last guy who ran it also had motocross tracks and bicycle tracks. He evidently extended the motocross tracks onto county land and also built some ramps without permits. He got into beefs with the County and that eventually led to the tracks' closure. Also heard that he just wanted motocross and didn't much care for the drag strip. ?? I always hoped that someone would lease the track, but it would cost waaaay to much $$ to fix it up today. Weeds all over the place, buildings need to be torn down, etc. Not to mention that lots of people have moved into the area now. Sigh....

 

ol21stud

Nitro Member
Drag racing Hall of Fame member, writer, announcer and historian emeritus, Bret Kepner recently said there are more active drag strips in the USA today than at any point in the past. Listen to the recently taped interview by Joe Costello of Bret on WFO radio where he talks about the number of active drag strips today verses "the good old days". https://wforadio.com/bret-kepner-talks-drag-strip-history-with-joe-castello/

From my top end of the bleachers viewpoint, the issue isn't the lack of active drag strips. The issue is the viability of National Event caliber tracks spread out around the country near major population areas vs. any developer who wants to make big bucks developing them.

When NHRA's nitro show loses a major track, there's always another track ready to replace it. Bristol has just replaced Route 66. In the wings are tracks like Keith Haney's Tulsa track and if IHRA sell off Memphis to a racing group, their new owners would probably be interested. The owners of Cordova, SGMP and others might jump at the opportunity. (I don't mean to start a rumor about IHRA selling Memphis to anybody. It just makes sense to me that they would since they just sold their three other tracks.)

The huge number of smaller or lessor known tracks have never been a problem for NHRA's big show. In fact, many of the small tracks close when NHRA's nitro show is in the area because their racers and crowds will be sniffing "big show" nitro fumes. Active small tracks, NHRA sanctioned or not, are a valuable NHRA asset as they grow avid fans to replace us old farts when we can't climb the bleachers anymore.

For NHRA, their highest income stream comes from their National Events.
For the long term health of drag racing in general, success is at the local dragstrip.
 

mick

Nitro Member
.........For NHRA, their highest income stream comes from their National Events.
For the long term health of drag racing in general, success is at the local dragstrip.
completely agree. and you are rite when nhra loses a nat. event track, there are others waiting in line to step up, but what is potentially bad is if a region of the country loses
an event and there is no replacement in the area, and there are a few of those tracks on the tour.
 
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