Yesterday afternoon I attended a program at the Saratoga Automobile Museum. This was the second session of their Lost Speedways series; the first was held during the spring blizzard last year and still was well attended. The session yesterday was effectively a full house, heavily attended by many old drivers, owners and fans who remembered many of the now missing tracks of upstate NY and New England.
There were a number of speakers focusing on different tracks; the quality and preparation varied. Ken Gypson did an excellent job with a number of tracks in Rensselaer County (Clearview, Pine Bowl, Burden Lake, Route 66/Hollywood Bowl, and Clearview, and filled in for the absent Len King on Empire/Menands. The next presenter, I think, didn't quite realize what he was getting into, but still had some interesting things to say about Sky High over in West Richmondville (I didn't quite get his name, or the exact location of the track, which I understand is still clearly visible on top of a mountain SW of Cobleskill.) Bill Ladabouche, author of the excellent Catamount Stadium site covering Vermont tracks presented on several of those; he did a nice job but mostly covered material already on his site. Gary London came up from Long Island to talk about Freeport and Islip, and finally Lew Boyd of Coastal 181 Publishing (Motorsports books) talked about two tracks at which he used to race, Morris Fairgrounds and the short-lived Cairo Fairgrounds.
This was a really fascinating session and I've already updated a number of the track pages with the more accurate info I collected in my notes. They've promised Lost Speedways III in the spring, and I am very much looking forward to it if the schedule works out. They want to talk more about Whites Beach Speedway among other things.
The update cycle for tracks is pretty hard to manage; right now I'm going through state-by-state, using demographic information from Google Analytics about site traffic to determine the order (which is why Texas is done, California is next, and New York after that, they are the top three states in the stats, although the order shifts between them -- right now California is first, Texas second, and New York third.)
Because this takes so long, tracks that have closed or reopened may take a while to get updates here. So if any of the regulars on the site see a track open or close near by, please drop me a line, either in the recently-fixed Discussion Board, in comments here, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ted Goddard, an old NER hand with a longstanding affiliation with Bryar & NHIS has positively identified the Mystery Track as being Bryar during its first year of operation, 1965. I'll be moving the gallery later to reflect its new non-mystery status.
Charlie Richardson sent me some pics of a track, probably east coast, ca. 1965. He's looking for an identification. My tentative identification is early Bryar, right after the road course was built.
If you have a guess, post in the comments. The lake inside the long right hander adjacent to the pits should be a pretty strong identifying feature.
I just received a press release from the folks who want to build the Prairie Hills road course in Indiana; they have received preliminary approval from the local planning board and are preparing to move forward.
I added a new link to the local Watkins Glen page; at the top of the Track Maps/Imagery section, there's a link to a google maps view that shows the outlines of the first two courses overlaid on the current map, and also shows roughly where the third course differs from the modern short course.
I was able to find a course map and have applied the course outline on the Google Maps link from the local Ascarate Park page. Go to "Track Maps & Imagery" and click through on the Google Maps Imagery link to see.
I'm also looking into these; I know Bergstrom (Austin, TX) was used in 1953 and 1954; I have no information at all about when Brooks (San Antonio, TX) was used. Any details, track maps, years of operations, etc., would be greatly appreciated.
I'm looking for info on a temporary circuit at the "Austin Fairgrounds", which may correspond to the "River City Road Course" referred to in America's Speedways that ran at the Texas Expo and Heritage Center from 1977-1980. Details, course maps, etc., much appreciated. Update
Of course, if I were paying attention I'd have noticed that there were two street courses in Austin, one at the Fairgrounds and one at the Convention center. So I need to sort this out. Again, any help is greatly appreciated.
Updated (twice) at bottom
I am currently researching Aloe Field, aka Victoria Dragstrip, which apparently was on an airfield near Victoria Texas (perhaps the current Victoria Regional Airport?). If you have any info on the exact location or on the use of the field as a temporary road course by the SCCA should feel encouraged to contact me via email or the comments section of this blog (email is rwelty at krusty-motorsports.com). Update
Ok, I've now established that the current airport replaced Aloe Field as the local airstrip in 1960. Aloe Field was Here and has since been converted to an industrial park and had a texas highway built through the middle of the facility. I'm still interesting in finding out years of operation and track layout information. Update 2
The first cut at an Aloe Field page is Here.