From Alan Moore
So this past New Year's Eve I knew I was heading up to the Hamilton, NJ area for a New Year's Eve party. I don't know why I didn't think of it before in previous trips to Hamilton, but this time I figured I could stop by and "visit" East Windsor Speedway since it was just up rt. 130 from where I was heading. Me and my girlfriend rolled up to Mercer St. (rt. 33) and immediately I was shocked to see a HOME DEPOT just before Airport Rd.... By now my heart was racing because I hadn't been to EWS since 2000 and everything looked SOOOO different. We made the right onto Airport Rd. and proceeded down to the spectator entrance as the pit roads were chained off. My heart sunk as we approached the main ticket window building. Everything is intact but it really looks like its been closed since August 2002.
We went to the pits and on our way past the sign in booth I made mention to "Eric." For those that don't recall, Eric Korman (Bridgeport Sportsman) was the kid who sold programs at the gate.
I had a mission while I was here. Well, two actually. Take a LOT of pictures, and to fill up some mason jars with the black clay. I immediately walked across the infield, box of jars in hand, and went to the front stretch PILE and started digging. (see picture IMG_7036.jpg on my linked page below) I filled up a few jars, some for me, some for some friends of my father's who introduced myself to EWS, and one person of note is for Kirk Hewitt (known for his front stretch flip) who I work with and have to look at his picture of a heat race win hanging up in his office.
As for the track, aside from all the clay being dug up and piled up around the track, it was interesting to see all the red clay, and especially how much was dug out in the turns, as much as two feet UNDER the guard rails in the turns down to the gravel base. The infield is an overgrown mess. The "welcome race fans" sign is still intact but the "east windsor speedway" portion of the sign is MIA. Another interesting item was all the tear-offs behind the guardrails that were now exposed because the base was now exposed.
The pictures will speak louder than any words I could type. The buildings are shot for the most part, but interesting to see the toilet in the pit bathroom still had the green cleaner water in it. The pitshack was a mess with one of the walls being knocked in. After taking a ton of pics on this side we moved over to the stand side.
The condition of everything was to be expected. The bathrooms, and concessions stands were rundown as were the rooms under the tower and in the office buildings. The main office building looked ransacked
But what I found on the floor was interesting. It was a copy of AARN from August 20, 2002. Didn't EWS close the Friday of that week?
I walked up the ramp to the turn one tower, which was rickety and actually broken through in one spot, good thing I have long legs.
The grandstands are intact for the most part, almost in the shape they were when they were open (which was never that good to me.)
The start/finish line tower has all of it's windows busted out.
I then did one thing I wish I could have done when the track was operational. I climbed up into the flag stand. Wow what a view!! I could only imagine what it could have been like having those screamin' small blocks whiz on by.
After gathering up over 200 pictures, me and my girlfriend Candice got into our vehicle and headed away...
...but not without going to the "coming soon" house sign and Flipping it off. We made what will probably be the last trip I ever take down Airport Rd. which is a shame, I always enjoyed those Friday nights in Hightstown and have yet to find a suitable replacement for entertainment on those nights. Now while I am not a true East Windsor regular, my heart goes to Bridgeport, I am glad to say I was apart of what had to have been the best track that wasn't under the DIRT stranglehold, and had what I feel was the best breed of modifieds. I always enjoyed when EWS regulars would show up at Bridgeport on Saturdays and "hot lap" their EWS cars and spank the big blocks. Too bad they couldn't race the cars, because of the DIRT stranglehold, and they had to switch to 92x13's and no sail panels.
The sad thing about all this is, with the right amount of effort, the place could be operational this spring. Everything is there. Refab the buildings and concessions, fix the bleacher seating, wire everything back up and other basic facelift items, some landscaping, and spread out the clay again, and it's ready. If only it was that easy. Those damn houses in turn 3/4 will never allow this to happen. Pictures do not do it justice just how close those houses are.
I'm talking throw a rock and hit the house close. Just on the other side of the access road in turn 3/4 is the grass back yard. UGH. Perfect housing for a racefan.
It's such a shame to see a great place just sit idle in ruin. One thing we all have to realize the place was on a downward trend the last few years anyhow. The facility itself was in need of a major revival. There were many nights I wondered JUST WHEN the boards in the stands were going to break apart under me. And all those nights of not having a full field where everyone qualified were never a good sign. One thing though, the place was never about a flashy top of the line appearance it was a place to come see GREAT racing. A place where the cars were not under the stranglehold of a sanctioning body with limiting rules, EWS was about the OUTLAW modifieds. In all honesty, I wish the place would just be leveled ASAP because I think a lot of people would rather go down Airport Rd. and say "that's where a great racetrack used to be..." more than to see everything just sit there withering away, at least I know I would.
Anyhow, here is a link to about 100 plus pictures from 12-31-07. I tried to get as much detail as I could. Also pay attention to pictures "IMG_7054.jpg" through "IMG_7071.jpg" It is one full lap around the track, the last lap..........
Enjoy the pics.
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