Hightstown Speedway Memories
From the Visitors of the Vault


Before the 1/2 mile East Windsor Speedway that most of us are familiar with opened in 1965, there was a smaller track on the same parcel.  If you were there as a fan, crew member, driver, etc, and can provide us with information about that first track known as Hightstown Speedway, please email us your comments and we'll add them to this page.


Click on the Thumbnails Below for a Better View
(note for first 6 photos below:)
 
The pictures below show the cars coming out of the pits and passing the stands.  At one time they were across the track and the entrance was through the opening on the back stretch.

Provided by Lisa Morgan
April, 1960

Provided by Lisa Morgan
April, 1960

Provided by Lisa Morgan
April, 1960

Provided by Lisa Morgan
April, 1960

Provided by Lisa Morgan
April, 1960

Provided by Lisa Morgan
April, 1960

Provided by Jones Collection
more on the way...
       

Hightstown Speedway
Provided By:  Bob McElvaine

Here’s a few things I remember from the good old days:

The track was built by Al Eckert who also owned the airport.  I kind of remember it starting as dirt and then it was paved.
Racing for the most part was on Friday. A lot of the drivers also ran at Wall on Saturday and at Long Branch on Sunday – with the same cars most of the time.
Track photographer was the one and only Ace Lane. (I never saw him without a smile.)
Some of the local drivers even had their cars in the Memorial Day Parade. The Joie Chitwood Thrill Show was there in 1954.
At one point the Bell Racing Club from PA was promoting with their 6cyl only cars.

Here is a list of drivers I remember being there:

Art Miller Shrimp Hewitt Don Stives Joe Vigue Francis Reynolds Ed Prior Fred Dey Clint Brown
Stan Bozowski Pappy Hough Ken Smith Bill Disler Dutch Van Pelt Bill Wincklehoffer Jimmy Glover Lou Mohr
Gus Tornquist
 
Barney Jones Jim Linke Chas Ugi Ben Nero Earl Pullen Otha Johnson John Perdoni
Santo Intravartolo Duke Di Brizzi Jack Stackhouse Harold (Soupy) Campbell Lou Stanaker Dusty Malsbury Ed Houseman  

If I think of any others, I will send the names. They weren’t household names, but where would racing be without these men.
 (From Bob McElvaine Greer, SC - 01.11.10)

Here's Your Memories of Hightstown Speedway
(Most Recent Comments Appear at the Top of the List)


Bruce Paladino   08.02.22

Attached is a newsclip (I assume from the Hightstown Gazette) of my mom driving what I assume is my uncle’s car, the 8 Ball. Both my dad Vincent Paladino and my uncle Howard ‘Soupy’ Campbell drove at Hightstown, as well as our next door neighbor, Mick Cullen, and his wife Ruth, who drove in the Powder Puff races with my mother Pearl.



I went to my first race at the age of 3 months, which would make it about September 1950. The track was still dirt then. My mom had grown up with Bee Rogers, who owned the Town Shop in Hightstown, the local upscale woman’s clothing store. Bee and her sister Connie Borsuk, never having been to a race before, showed up for the races dressed in white. The dresses weren’t white at the end of the show, and all you could see of me supposedly was the whites of my eyes.

As a young kid of 5 or 6, we would go to the speedway every week (my parents having ‘retired’ when my brother was born in 1852). Thanks for the photos; they reminded me that the road from the pits to the track went right in front of the stands, so you could get a closeup view of the cars as they were going onto the track. Very impressive for a kid!

For those of you familiar with East Windsor, the Hightstown track was right on Airport Road, not off of the road like East Windsor. As fans came off of Airport Road at the main entrance to enter East Windsor, the Hightstown track would have been right off to your left. Off to your right, where the East Windsor pit road entrance was, was the airport mentioned elsewhere, which was really just a landing strip.

And to tie in with what others have said, as a young kid my favorite driver was Don Stives (I loved the story that his son sent in by the way). Don drove a #3, and I put that number on my ‘racing helmet’, as well as ‘Cousin Brucie’, thanks to the DJ on WABC.

As I said, we would go to Hightstown Speedway every week, and once in a while we would ‘splurge’ and go to Old Bridge. Then Hightstown closed, but when East Windsor opened in 1965 when I was 15, again, we went every week.

My favorite memory was the day (it was early in the season before Reading opened) when Pee Wee, arriving at the track as the consi was about to get started, unloaded, won the consi, and then came through the pack to spin out Tasnady, who was leading the feature. They threw the red flag (it had to be Tex Enright, but I’m not sure), and Pee Wee pulled up next to Tasnady, got out of his car, and danced on Tasnady’s roof. All I can say is, you had to be there!

I eventually built my own car, and ran small blocks at East Windsor, and then at Bridgeport. Guess I still had that clay dust in my nose from when I was 3 months.

Bruce Paladino


Aaron Overton  11.24.20

My memories of the speedway are very vague. I was 6 or 7 when my parents first took me to the speedway. I best lived across the street from and his family went week to cheer for a local driver named Bunky Robins. That night to my surprise Jackie McLaughlin showed up with the 026. He was my favorite from Flemington. Jackie won the feature and the crowd was not happy because it the first time he visited HS and he beat the local favorites. Track officials found a reason to DQ him and we left very disappointed.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.
Sincerely, 
Dale Overton


Andy Davis    01.29.16

#57 (in the picture table above with the moose on the side) was driven by Dave Davis, son of Jack "Moose" Davis, who promoted the track in 1960, give or take a year or two. Moose owned Moose Motors in Langhorne. Dave was also in the car business, later owning Willis Honda in Burlington, Davis Acura in Langhorne and all the current Davis Dealership stores in NJ and PA.


Bob Stives    01.16.14

Looking several of the lists of names shown as Hightstown racers brings back a lot of the connections. Jack Stackhouse was my mom's first cousin. Jimmy Glover was from Princeton, and got Dad started in racing. Fred Dey owned the Gulf station at Rte. 130 & Princeton-Hightstown Road. The State Polie Barracks were over the station on the secnd floor. Clint Brown was a farmer on who lived Old Trenton Road. Dusty Malsbury was Dad's neighbor on Conover Road, a resumed racing when East Windsor opened.
 
My dad, Don Stives, partnered with Lou Mohr, on one of the old #3 cars. I once drank some dirty cleaning fluid (ethanol, I think) out of Coke bottle in Lou's garage in Hightstown when I was four. Hey, it was brown and it was in a Coke bottle! One of them yelled out, "Don't drink that!" Even though they were only a few steps away, they weren't able to stop me. Dad through my in the back of his 1995 Chevy, and proceeded toward Princeton Hospital at 100 mph! We lived in Grover's Mill at the time. At 100 mph, he made the decision to go to the house and administer first aid there because I might not have had enough time to make it to the hospital. That involved baking soda and water, orders to drink it and him holding me upside down by my ankles over the toilet. I am here today as a result. He would have been 24 or 25 at the time.


Ed Duncan    01.16.10

Hightstown opened for the 1955 season on July 2nd.  Here are the results from that night:
1st Heat: Jack Stackhouse, Bob Boudinot
2nd Heat: Don Stives, Jim Linke
3rd Heat: Lou Diering, Ken Smith
1st Semi: Jack Stackhouse, Don Stives
2nd Semi: Jake Jacubus, Ed Farley
Feature: Otha Johnson, Bob Boudinot, Lou Diering, Jake Jacobus
The track was called the Airport Speedway and was sanctioned by the New Jersey Stock Car Racing Club.
The flagman that night was Howard Warren.


Steve Elias    01.15.10

I raced the old Hightstown track one time in 1951, I drove the 01 owned by Ned Stanton from Atco.  As I remember they were giving flashlights, lunch boxes and very little money.  On the way home that night the tow car broke down and I had to push him the rest of the way with the race car.


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