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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
and submitted by Dean Lawrence