The slow and painful death of drag strips across the country has become a common problem, their memories often bulldozed into the ground to make room for housing developments or strip malls. Thankfully that fate won’t be befalling the historic Island Dragway located in Great Meadows, New Jersey, anytime soon.
When it was announced that Island Dragway was closing in December of 2012, the news was a big blow to fans of the track and drag racing in general. The track first opened in July of 1960 and it is where drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits made history with the first recognized 200-mph run. The strip became great place for drag racing locals to get together and test out the fruits of their labor by bangin’ out new quarter mile times.
Once it reopens, it will still be an NHRA certified member track, but there is a lot to do to get it back up to speed. A massive cleaning effort is likely going to be required and will be scheduled when all pending permits pull through by Melissa DeMarcky and John Ringwald, Island Dragway’s new management team.
In order to reopen, an outside EMS service needs to be brought in until the state approves the licenses. An ambulance is already in place and is perfectly certifiable and the EMTs are ready and licensed, but the state of New Jersey license renewal will take 2-6 months to complete. If someone you know is on a local squad that may be willing to bring a crew, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, outside food vendors looking for a weekly spot and must be certified by the New Jersey Department of Health.
More help is expected to come in the form of donations! If you have change to spare and care about the fate of the historic raceway, donate!
You can send donations through paypal through their website or snail mail them here:
PO Box 184
Great Meadows, NJ 07838