WESTHAMPTON Was running way early in Dover’s first years and was a fequented often by many Dover runners ,especially from Westchester and lower Conn. Thier guys came up to Dover Too…so it’s almost a “sister Track. Lets Hear your stories and get some history here.
If there’s any interest,Ron Catronio’s family operated Westhampton Dragstrip.
Ron can be reached at Peterson’s Harley Davidson of N.Miami.1-800-545-2561.He prolly is a wealth of info on the track. 😉
I think we used to run on Saturdays at Westhampton back in the 1960’s.
The track operated under various names, including Westhampton Raceway (1953-1971?), Suffolk County Raceway (1971?-1972?), Hampton Raceway (1980s), Long Island Dragway (1991-1996), and finally Long Island Motorsports Park (1996-2004).
thanks John…WillDo …Need some info…Did It open Before Dover While Montgomery was still running ? and why & when did IT close.
I’ll be contacting Ron C. about the Track and We’ll Step lightly about all the derogitory history…See if he can shed some input.
Westhampton Speedway… Yeah…
Been there twice. Once with The Gramatan Dodge guys.
Does the name Al Topping mean anything to anyone here…??? He ran a red street driven ’62 Chevy convertable with a 409. Anybody got a picture of it…???
Al Topping is quite an impressive guy. He lives here in South Florida and was one of my bosses where I work before he retired about two years ago.
On the second time that I went out to Westhampton, I pulled into the parking spaces and overheard a couple of guys talking about a black guy racing a 409. I didn’t think much about it, but later in the racing day at about 3:00 PM while watching the starting line from the staging area I got a glimpse of him. It was labor day weekend in 1965. Anyway, Years later here in Miami I got to talking about drag racing with him at work all of this came out… big suprise… I remembered seeing him all those years ago.
Al went on to becoming a big executive for Pan Am Airlines and was in charge of the whole Pan Am operation in Saigon Thailand during the Vietnam crisis. When the deal went down there, Al managed to sucessfully evacuate many of the Pan Am employees in a very heroic “Last Flight Out” and it was all made into a special Television drama with James Earl Jones playing the part of Al Topping. I have a VHS casette copy of it that Al himself made for me as a gift.
If anybody here has a picture of him and his car please get that to me and I will e-mail it myself to him.
Interesting… very interesting.
Didn’t Ed Eaton have something to do with Westhampton too…? I think Ed is in Boca Raton.
Yeah… and they raced on DIRT…!!! Pavement came later.
I’m quite sure Ed Eaton had a hand in N.Y.Nat’l.,as well as some Detroit tracks.I know he was a very good friend of Frank Marrata.Don’t know about Westhampton,can find out.
Ed Did run N.Y.National…He had a history of owning tracks…will search it out. And I wish we could find Darrel Humphry …The announcer ….MY favorite next to John Lundburg. Someone ‘Thought” Darrel was at Dover …but Not too sure .
I don’t think that Ed Eaton had anything to do with Hampton but I know Bob Lindig did. He would come over to my spot at the Rhinebeck Swap meet up until 2 yrs ago, haven’t seen him since I’m going to try his last address that he gave me, coincidentally its down the road from Lebanon Valley
I vividly remember going to National Speedway on Saturdays and Sundays to race Hamp’s GTO and watch the match races between Grumpy Jenkins and Sox and Martin! I was definitely a GM man, but I loved Sox and Martion as well. The Barracuda and the Camaro were giants and can still smell the rubber and nitro when I think about it. I also remember going there one weekend and my uncle raced my mother’s 68 Cougar that had a 289 and won the class race.
I was excited to bring home the trophy showing our win, but needless to say my mother wasn’t! 😯 There was nothing mechanically wrong with it and Hamp said he would fix anythinig that was wrong, so it ended up being a good day. The last trip we made to the Island was to test and tune the bikes we were running and I just found the picture so I will download it either today or tomorrow and add it to the board.
Check out this topic at Jalopy journal Hamb forum…Coupe that ran Westhampton FOUND IN ARIZONA…lots of documentation with car …unbelievable
Why did it close? In a nutshell, greed and mismanagement. I have read posts on LI Drag Racing sites that
the place just wasn’t run right. The last year nobody seemed to care what went on there, it was a mess. There were still some good people working there but the place was just totally mis-managed. If it was managed at all.
they stole from investors
stole from racers
stole from event sponsors, (who returned to burn down tower)
violated EPA laws repeatedly
violated local sound abatement guidelines
repeatedly kept the point fund money and didnt send roster to Div. 1
stole from employees, etc, etc.
The Southampton Town Board rezoned in amid noise complaints from neighbors, and voted to put up a senior housing and the track closed in 2004.
This I found in other post.
..BUT WHAT YEAR DID IT OPEN ?