2012 Dover Nostalgia Drags

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4th Annual Dover Drag Strip Nostalgia Drags, August 11th-12th, 2012 at Lebanon Valley Dragway

For the fourth straight year it seems the Dover Drag Strip racers, fans & friends just won’t let the old track be forgotten. Spurred by enthusiastic interest generated on the Dover tribute website, the racers gathered together to race again first back in 2009. That first Dover Drag Strip nostalgia drag event at Island Dragway in New Jersey was a rousing success. Over a 195 cars showed to race, like the good old days. In 2010, they did it again, switching to the now popular two day event format. That afforded the thousands that attended more time to socialize and reminisce with their many long lost buddies from the 60s & 70s. Last year the event was moved to Lebanon Valley Dragway, back in their old home state of New York.

Opened in 1961, Dover Drag Strip in Wingdale, N.Y. was at the time New England’s most modern drag racing facility. It filled the gap left by the closing of racing at the old Montgomery Airport just across the Hudson River. Organized drags were happening all over the country as efforts to get street racers off the public highways. The track was the brainchild of Brookfield’s Chet Anderson and Danbury’s Joe Archiere. They spent an entire year working and convincing the people of the town of Dover that the track would be beneficial. It first opened in June of 1961. It operated for 15 short years before it succumbed in 1976 to a poor economy, a gas embargo and the end of Detroit muscle cars. Other tracks had opened and gave it competition, with more modern equipment and better benefits to the racers. A vast amount of history, stories, newspaper clippings and over 4,000 photos have been gathered and documented on the DoverDragStrip.com website.

The Dover Drag Strip Nostalgia Drags was a way to get the family together again and do what they do best ….RACE. But where? The original track was torn up, so the Stormville Airport was a first choice. Nope, can't happen there, so a couple of guys e-mailed Island Dragway. They did two there at Island, then moved the show up to Lebanon Valley. Located about 45 minutes north of the old track on Rt.22, Lebanon was Dover’s oasis to run if it rained out in Wingdale Last year they had over 265 cars in competition. Cars came as far as Canada and Florida. Connecticut’s own Wayne Hoffman won Top Speed of the Meet at 209 mph (his dad Al Hoffman was a Dover racer, too). A fantastic relationship was made with the track operators and they added a car show with the assistance of the Capital Area Rods.

The main difference with this Dover Nostalgia Drags and other period-correct events is its primary purpose to be a Dover Revival and Get–Together. That is why there’ll be a "Dover New" eliminator to include all the Dover veterans that are still racing with their current car and not exclude them with a cut-off year. Also included in the eliminator format are brackets for “Dover Old”, 4-Speed and Competition Eliminator for dragsters, supercharged and altereds. Other features include a “Powder Puff” race for women only, A King Of the Hill Race for the four bracket winners and special awards for Long Distance, Top Speed, Oldest Running Dover Car and Club Participation. Along with the Dover races are points races for NETO and the East Coast Gassers. Special attractions include exhibition runs by period-correct funny cars.

The two day event has time trials, test & tune, grudge runs and a gamblers race on Saturday. NETO will run on Saturday as well as the East Coast Gassers. Sunday will be the big car show and Dover eliminators, another NETO race, with the funny cars running both days. The event’s title sponsor is M&M Speed & Custom, a still-operating original Dover sponsor. Other original race-oriented businesses from the Dover era include Fred’s Speed Shop, Don’s Speed Shop, Don Scinto Automotive and Moroso Performance. New supporters this year include: Ct.Cruise News, Boss-Hoss of Stamford, Ultimate Restorations, Upstate Cellular and PowderTech.

Along with the show on Sunday will be a swap meet section for used parts and commercial vendors are also welcome. Contact Dino at 910-997-4444.

Written and submitted by Dean Lawrence