Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, originally known as Madison Township Raceway Park, is an American auto racing facility located at Old Bridge Township, New Jersey (with an Englishtown ZIP code), in the New York metropolitan area. Raceway Park was opened in July 1965. Their radio and television commercials featured the slogan: "Ah ha ha ha ha ha Raceway Park!" and "Rrrrrrrrraceway Park! ... Be there!". Raceway Park "is one of the most fabled drag strips in America, and it ranks among the country's top five tracks".
Raceway Park was founded in 1965 by Vincent Napoliello and Louis Napoliello. The site was originally 308 acres on 230 Pension Road, just off of County Route 527 (now Englishtown Road). Since then it has grown to 500+ acres with multiple motorsports activities. The track opened with a single 1/4 mile dragstrip. Raceway Park now offers 2 dragstrips, 3 motocross tracks, a 1.3-mile (2.1 km) road course track, competition go kart racing track, autocross track, ride and drive site and adjacent Old Bridge Airport.
Racing events available
The two dragstrips on the property are available for a large variety of vehicles.
The 1/8-mile track hosts the junior dragsters and "trophy" classes.
The 1/4-mile track hosts everything from street-driven vehicles to the quickest in the sport, the top fuel dragsters.
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
|1986||July 10−14||17th NHRA Budweiser Summernationals||Top Fuel||Darrell Gwynn|
|Funny Car||Kenny Bernstein|
|Pro Stock||Warren Johnson|
|1990||July 5−8||21st NHRA Budweiser Summernationals||Top Fuel||Gary Ormsby|
|Funny Car||Chuck Etchells|
|Pro Stock||Darrell Alderman|
|2006 NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series season||June 15–18||K&N Filters SuperNationals ||Top Fuel||Rod Fuller|
|2007||June 21−24||38th ProCare Rx NHRA SuperNationals||Top Fuel||Larry Dixon|
|Funny Car||Tommy Johnson, Jr.|
|Pro Stock||Greg Anderson|
|Pro Stock Motorcycle||Craig Treble|
|2011||June 2−5||42nd NHRA SuperNationals||Top Fuel||Spencer Massey|
|Funny Car||Mike Neff|
|Pro Stock||Allen Johnson|
|Pro Stock Motorcycle||Matt Smith|
|2016||June 9−12||47th NHRA Summernationals||Top Fuel||Steve Torrance|
|Funny Car||Ron Capps|
|Pro Stock||Greg Anderson|
|Pro Stock Motorcycle||Angelle Sampey|
The riding surfaces on the practice motocross tracks are mostly soft loam, which is known to be one of the best surface for a nice ride, and are slightly angled to allow for drainage. The tracks are also regularly maintained to keep the jump faces, bowls, and whoops from rutting and cupping out. The tracks provide both good length straight paths for speed as well as challenging obstacles like off cambers, banks, ledges, ditches, and more.
Drifting is hosted by a company called ClubLoose; they have been running events there since 2002, which started off in the parking lot, but now take places only on the road course. With different classes ranging from introductory, intermediate, and the top level which allows tandeming with other drivers on the track simultaneously. Both the car and the equipment being used by every driver get inspected prior to being allowed to participate. Rear-wheel-drive cars are the only cars that will pass ClubLoose technical inspection.
Raceway Park offers a series of car shows and racing events throughout their season. Also every Wednesday and select Friday nights they have Time Trials where the track is open for anyone who would like to race their cars, bike, etc. for practice.
Rules and regulations
There are specific helmet specifications that are required when racing at Englishtown. Englishtown follows the NHRA's regulations.
The NHRA 2010 Rule Book Reads as follows for Helmets and Goggles: As outlined under Class Requirements, drivers in all classes, including motorcycles, must wear a helmet meeting Snell or SFI Specifications. SFI Spec 31.1A = Snell SA, open-face helmet SFI Spec 31.2A = Snell SA, full-face helmet SFI Spec 41.1A = Snell M, open-face helmet SFI Spec 41.2A = Snell M, full-face helmet
Full face helmet are mandatory for all cars that have a 1/4 mile time of 9.99 or quicker. A helmet shield is mandatory for any car that is 7.49 & quicker.
Cars that run a time of 13.99 or quicker must use a helmet meeting Snell 2000, 2005, 2007 or SFI 31.1A, 31.2A, 31.1/2005, 41.1A, 41.2A or 41.1/2005 Specs.
For Drivers in supercharged, front-engine, open-bodied cars and Funny Cars must wear a helmet meeting Snell SA2000, SA2005 or SFI 31.1A, 31.2A, or 31.1/2005 Specs.
Dress Code When Drag Racing
According to Raceway Park, you must be wearing long pants (no shorts allowed). Sweat pants are allowed to be worn, however they cannot be made of Nylon. Also all shirts worn must have sleeves. No tank tops are permitted to be worn while racing.
Cars Powered By Forced Induction
For all cars that are Turbo Charged, Supercharged, or using Nitrous Oxide require the driver to wear a fire jacket or they will be unable to race.
Incidents and accidents
- In June 2008, Nitro Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta was killed during NHRA Supernationals qualifying at the dragstrip.
- In June 2010, Alcohol Funny Car driver Neal Parker was killed during NHRA Supernationals qualifying at the dragstrip.
- "Raceway Park; In These Lanes, 200 M.P.H. Is Slow". New York Times. August 23, 1999.
- "Raceway Park commercial". WABC (AM). 1969.
- "For Fans Around Raceway Park, What's Loud Is Not Always Noisy". New York Times. August 8, 2004.
- "Fuller Wins Top-Fuel Event". New York Times. Associated Press. June 19, 2006.
- "Scott Kalitta, Drag Racer, Dies in Crash". New York Times. Associated Press. June 22, 2008.