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Old 06-10-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
Racer997
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Defunct Racetracks

Oh man does time fly. I've been to a few now-defunct race venues, so I thought it might be fun to have a look-see at them. I'll add more tracks later, but maybe we can get this thread moving along with the participation of others, eh?

In another thread recently there was a mention of Wheels Raceway, an old race track that populated the CMRA (then CRRC) schedule in 1990 and 1991. Because TWS (Texas World Speedway), in a state of disrepair and seeking new ownership, was one step from the grave in for a couple of years starting in 1989, the CMRA went shopping for other race venues, and there weren't many; Green Valley had died three or four years prior.

In 1990 and 1991, we raced at Oak Hill, Hallet, Monterrey, Mexico, and made the trek Wheels Raceway in Wall, Texas, near San Angelo. In those days we were track poor, not at all like today, and pickings were slim, so Wheels Raceway was a viable candidate for a road course, even though it was a largely pathetic excuse for a race track. The track was an old airfield, a left-over from WWII, and orginally named Vancourt Aux 6. One of the runways was being used as a drag strip at the time (the diagonal one in the below photo), and the other was for spectator parking (the one on the far left in the below photo). The runways were concrete and corn fields, iron pipe and barbed wire fences surrounded various parts of the track. Huge rolls of hay were places at "dangerous spots", but this didn't stop some riders from running off the concrete and into the corn fields; the "drop" to the cornfields was, in some places, more than a foot. Even so, I don't remember any serious injuries.

When TWS (Texas World Speedway) came back to life in late 1991, the CMRA was quick to add it back to the schedule for 1992 and drop Wheels Raceway like the godawful place it was.

I cannot verifiy that Wheels Raceway is still operational as a drag strip today, but I know it was still serving as a drag strip in 1995 or so. Pictures are scarace, and the ones I have at home don't do a good job of dipicting the course. Precious few of the airfield on the Internet, too.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=...52185&t=h&z=15

http://members.tripod.com/airfields_..._Abilene_W.htm

VanCourt TX rw 94

Vancourt TX 96
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:20 AM   #2
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almost looks like the GSS parking lot.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuck View Post
almost looks like the GSS parking lot.
These are very similar tracks, actually, especially since both were former government airfields. The old GSS was way more screwed up in regards to surface, but that's not to say that Wheels was much better. Both are expansive and offer no amenities, too. The Valcourt complex is bigger, though.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:46 AM   #4
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That's cool Linz.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:05 AM   #5
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Great write up Linz.
I love hearing how about how things were done back in the day.
Makes me appreciate what we have now even more.


I bet the guys that came before you probably had some good stories to tell as well.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:21 AM   #6
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Thats hardcore..I dig it! Cool post.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:37 AM   #7
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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My In Law, Melvin Joseph was the builder and part owner of Dover Downs. Melvin and several other racer/investors looked at Texas World to see if it were viable ,I think 92 or 93. he and Richard Childress looked at it and because of several issues they passed on it. They knew Texas had the market and that TWS (Texas World Speedway)'s location was actually better than TMS. I talked to him about the water issues and the sinking of the track in general. I loved TWS (Texas World Speedway), I feel it's just a shame the way it's history turned out! I still race it at night in my dreams!
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:31 PM   #9
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How about Green Valley, the old drag strip. We ran there and you had to be careful running through what would have been the staging lanes and pit area for the cars. A lot of left over oil and other was still there on race day!
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:59 PM   #10
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