With the Division 1 season not getting underway for about another month here in the north east, deciding on a topic for this month’s post was tough at first. It finally hit me one night what I wanted to write about and some pictures that surfaced on Facebook were what really triggered that. I’m talking about the pictures of the drag strip at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey being torn down.
Every racer has a favorite track and mine just so happened to be Englishtown for reasons I can explain and reasons I can’t. I only raced on the 1/8th mile junior dragster track once the first year I ran juniors but I went to the track with my dad throughout my childhood and raced on the 1/4 mile track every year for the divisional and national events from 2013-2017.
I know that doesn’t seem like much compared to the guys who had been going to the track since it’s opening in 1965 but Englishtown held a special place in my heart.
Englishtown was the track where I got to experience one of my biggest wheelies. That wheelie was so high and came down just a little hard that I dinged up the header pipes and even cracked a tooth.
I distinctly remember watching Top Fuel later that day with my parents and felt a sharp spot on my tooth that was never there before. That constituted a trip to the dentist the following week when we got home.
Luckily, the folks at Auto Imagery were able to get a beautiful photo of it and it’s been my favorite action shot ever since.
Englishtown was the track that had the perfect location to watch finish line racing: the beer garden. I don’t think I ever drank a beer up there but I can say I spent many days up there getting sun burnt like a truck driver on one side of my body watching people drop the noses or taking a couple car lengths too much stripe.
Englishtown was the track where you felt like a rock star pulling through the lanes around the wall and waiting patiently under the tower while the pair in front of you did their burnout and threw rocks off their tires back at your windshield.
Englishtown was the track where I went to my first semi-final round in Super Stock in which I was paired up with Peter Biondo. Growing up, Peter’s brother Sal drove our Firebird for several seasons so the chance to show my skills against a Biondo was exhilarating for me. I personally love a good challenge.
Call me crazy but working hard for success is something I will always enjoy. Don’t get me wrong though… I will always greet luck with a smile. Pete and I were both .011 over our dials but he was .022 to my .035 reaction time giving him the win. As much as losing sucks, I was pretty proud of myself for throwing up a run like that against the Terminator.
Englishtown was the track with the most beautiful sunsets over the lake and the always annoying flashing lights for the airplanes coming in and out overnight.
Englishtown was a lot of things for a lot of people. Whether it was your favorite track or not, Raceway Park held a lot of really rich history for drag racing on the east coast and I’m positive it will be missed by all.
“Ah ha ha ha ha ha Raceway Park!”
About the Author: After growing up around drag racing, Brittany Boltz began racing Jr. dragsters at 13. Just six years later she took over her father’s Super Stock Firebird. Brittany currently races her 1991 Firebird in NHRA Division 1 Super Stock. In addition to her racing efforts, Brittany is a Certified Pharmacy Technician and also operates Platinum Promotional Products.
For the 2019 season, Brittany will represent sponsors Cam D Machine Shop, Mickey Thompson Tires, Lupo’s Dynamic Converters and Transmissions, VP Racing Fuel, Daniels Racing, Biondo Racing Products, and Odyssey Batteries.