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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/24/12 10:01 p.m.

On the way home from Thanksgiving, Mrs. Editor and I stopped to visit a ghost track: Augusta International Raceway. This 3-mile road course went silent more than 40 years ago, but much of the pavement remains--a few pieces of the original layout now forms the driveway through a park, yet the rest can be found hiding in plain sight.

This thing would be a monster today. Most of the turns are banked, and there's some serious elevation changes. I'm guessing back then the trees didn't stop at the edge of the track, though. The Wikipedia entry says it has 21 turns. I didn't count them, but I'd believe it.

Photos? I have some on my phone--we'll go back and do a real shoot when we have some time. You can see some pics here: http://www.historicmustang.com/lap.html

N Sperlo
N Sperlo UltimaDork
11/24/12 10:11 p.m.

We had a thread about this a few months back. I plan on photographing some ghost tracks along with ghost towns. I can't remember who, but someone else was interested in a trip with me to do some ghost track photography.

conesare2seconds
conesare2seconds Reader
11/24/12 10:16 p.m.

Very cool. Looks like something from the Australian V8 Supercars series.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/24/12 10:48 p.m.

The track originally hosted something you might have heard of: NASCAR. SCCA and USRRC also ran there.

erohslc
erohslc HalfDork
11/24/12 11:17 p.m.

I fly every week for work, and I always get a window.
Sometimes, I will see what were obvioulsly tracks of some kind.
With ovals, it's hard to say if they were for horses, cars, or both.
Drag strips, or rustic airstrips? Both?
But road courses, though rare, do show up, sometimes as add-ons to ovals or drag strips.

CGLockRacer
CGLockRacer HalfDork
11/24/12 11:17 p.m.

I have the Pete Hylton Ghost Track books. I read them cover to cover in less than 3 days. It would be cool if GRM did some stories on old tracks :)

irish44j
irish44j UltraDork
11/24/12 11:59 p.m.

Yeah, I work a few miles from the old Marlboro Motor Raceway. I've thought a few times about trying to stop by, but

  1. it's in a pretty bad area these days....my car would probably get stolen while parked there...

  2. I hear it's really overgrown now....such that a car can't drive on it. A while back someone on some forum got to walk the old course (he was doing a utility survey for work) and though the whole track is still there, it has trees growing through the pavement and such.

Anyhow, there has been talk here and there about someone buying the land and redoing the track, but since the area is pretty built-up nearby I'm sure it would be a no-go even if the finances could be found.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/25/12 12:25 a.m.
CGLockRacer wrote: I have the Pete Hylton Ghost Track books. I read them cover to cover in less than 3 days. It would be cool if GRM did some stories on old tracks :)

We've done some ghost tracks in Classic Motorsports. That's where this story is headed. Plus there's a few others I want to chase down.

FooBag
FooBag New Reader
11/25/12 1:12 a.m.

Last year on the Midcoast Road Rally, I had the opportunity to drive around the remnants of the Greenwood Rodway in Indianola, IA. It was used for SCCA races in the mid '60's, but closed after only 4 years as the surface began to fall due to poor pavement. Here's a few links about it.

http://www.chuckbrandt.com/greenwood.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwood_Roadway

There were some rumours circulating locally that it's been purchased by someone with the money to restore it, but I don't how much credibility there is behind these.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltraDork
11/25/12 3:30 a.m.

As N Sperlo said, it's been talked about a few times on here about Ghost Tracks.

The one I always talk about is Meadowdale International Raceway in Carpentersville, IL. It's a very interesting track. 3.27 miles, couple hundred feet in elevation change, and a Monza wall. The track is still there but barely, luckily it was made into a forest preserve for all to enjoy.

MIRPA has done a lot to help preserve what's left. http://www.mirpa.org/

1961:

What it looks like today: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&t=k&ll=42.117023039610864,-88.29952261370852&z=15

Oh, didn't mean to threadjack.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
11/25/12 12:15 p.m.

there were three near here. One was called the "pleasantville speedway" and it is not completely gone.. it's wooden track having succumbed to becoming an industrial park

There was an oval near Hammonton that supposedly rivaled Indy for both size and number of cars and spectators.. the land is posted, so you can't go looking.. but you can see the remains of the track from the air.

A third was in Vineland.. it is now on the grounds of the Cumberland County College and the remains are open to walking and biking

aeronca65t
aeronca65t Dork
11/25/12 1:02 p.m.

The first track I raced on (wheel-to-wheel) was Bridgehampton.

~Here~ are some photos of the remains of it from about 10 years ago (taken by one of my SSSCBDS buddies).

I walked part of the Vineland circuit a few years ago when I was at a conference at CCC.

On a more positive note, there are rumors that the Thompson road course may re-open.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/25/12 2:21 p.m.

Here's a pic from yesterday's outing:

I'm assuming there was a little more runoff 50 years ago.

westsidetalon
westsidetalon Reader
11/25/12 3:18 p.m.

This stuff is so cool. I remember Sportscar magazine doing articles on ghost tracks and can swear they had pics of VIR as a ghost track as well. This stuff reminds me of finding abandoned 1970s concrete skateparks as well.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
11/25/12 3:51 p.m.
aeronca65t wrote: The first track I raced on (wheel-to-wheel) was Bridgehampton. ~Here~ are some photos of the remains of it from about 10 years ago (taken by one of my SSSCBDS buddies). I walked part of the Vineland circuit a few years ago when I was at a conference at CCC. On a more positive note, there are rumors that the Thompson road course may re-open.

One day this winter.. I will make it out to Vineland and take some pictures. I would LOVE to get out on the old track in Hammonton.. but if you believe the internet.. they do NOT like strangers on it.

the Pleasantville speedway I actually remember my father racing his Opel Kadett Rallye there in the early 70s.. (at least before his hip operations)

jimbbski
jimbbski Reader
11/25/12 4:01 p.m.

Here's a link to one site that has info on a number of midwest tracks. The owner of the site used to race wheel-to-wheel and raced at most of the tracks listed at the site. A good friend of mine as well.

http://ghosttracks.homestead.com/

Woody
Woody MegaDork
11/25/12 5:47 p.m.

I'm enthused by the rumors that the road course at Thompson may make a comeback. The fact that they already host oval track racing there gives the prospect a fighting chance.

And, of course, I'd offer my services as your Thompson Motor Speedway Road Racing Correspondent...

Snrub
Snrub New Reader
11/25/12 6:39 p.m.

Dunnville Autodrome was only open for a couple of years and it was forced to close a couple of years ago. It was a small course good for lapping days, etc. They didn't have the proper permits/land use authorization. I believe it remains a small airport. Oddly people don't mind aircraft...

CLynn85
CLynn85 Reader
11/25/12 7:16 p.m.

Cool pics, thanks for sharing.

I made it out last fall to Vineland Speedway and is was way cool. Out of all the ghost tracks I've been able to visit it has been the most complete by far and very accessible. I have a bunch of pictures I'll have to get hosted and post.

Appleseed
Appleseed PowerDork
11/25/12 8:52 p.m.

This is what Meadowdale Raceway looks like today.

getfast
getfast Reader
11/26/12 10:19 a.m.
westsidetalon wrote: pics of VIR as a ghost track

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4kwF5mg1Vg

http://www.virhistory.com/vir/modern/interregnum.htm

Claff
Claff Reader
11/26/12 11:14 a.m.
irish44j wrote: Yeah, I work a few miles from the old Marlboro Motor Raceway. I've thought a few times about trying to stop by, but 1. it's in a pretty bad area these days....my car would probably get stolen while parked there... 2. I hear it's really overgrown now....such that a car can't drive on it. A while back someone on some forum got to walk the old course (he was doing a utility survey for work) and though the whole track is still there, it has trees growing through the pavement and such.

I snuck through the gates at Marlboro and took a hour+ walk around back in 2007. You are correct, it is in bad shape. The oval is in better shape than the road course but even that would take significant investment to be driveable again. I followed the road course until I got to a point where the pavement and the earth underneath it was completely washed away by floodwaters at some point, and took that as a sign that it was too far gone and I should get out of there.

I brought a camera and shot a bunch of pictures but I'm going to have to go to the backups to find them all. I made a few web-friendly JPGs and posted them up (somewhere) shortly after my trip:

The grandstands for the oval, which can be seen from Route 301

I'd always wanted to go back and figure out who I should talk to to get real actual permission to be on the grounds so I could spend a longer visit and take even more pictures, but it's pretty low on the list of things to do here.

oldsaw
oldsaw PowerDork
11/26/12 12:07 p.m.
Woody wrote: I'm enthused by the rumors that the road course at Thompson may make a comeback. The fact that they already host oval track racing there gives the prospect a fighting chance. And, of course, I'd offer my services as your Thompson Motor Speedway Road Racing Correspondent...

The rumours about Thompson's road coures re-opening have been going around for years. It would be nice if they finally came true.

Thompson is the birthplace of my passion for racing. I went to my first-ever race there when I was six; stock cars on the oval. When I was nine or ten, I went there to see my first sports car event on the original full road course; the dam had burst. The last time was seeing the Continental series, precursor to the F5000 series. Young guys David Hobbs and Sam Posey were competing. That event used the roval and considering how short the oval section was, it was odd but still entertaining.

If they resurrect the road course, I hope they avoid the oval like the plague.

fidelity101
fidelity101 Reader
11/26/12 1:15 p.m.

rallycross anyone...

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
11/26/12 4:39 p.m.

this thread prompted me to go find Pleasantville Speedway.. The remains of which are only a couple of miles away.

sadly, while I did find it.. there is nothing to see but a oval depression in the ground where the oval track and the circle 8 track once sat... looks more like an overgrown sandpit than the remains of a race track

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