Old Bridge Township Raceway Park has hosted the NHRA Summernationals since 1971. (Harry Cella Photo)
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. — Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, which has hosted drag racing since 1965, will not conduct quarter-mile or eighth-mile drag racing at the historic New Jersey drag strip this year.
Owned and operated by the Napp family, the decision has been made to end drag racing at the facility and refocus the business on other types of entertainment. The decision comes after years of complaints by neighbors of the facility, which has hosted the NHRA Summernationals for the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series since 1971.
Raceway Park will retain and use the “stadium” portion of the facility, including the VIP hospitality tower and grandstands and continue most of its operations including the spring and fall auto swap meets, numerous car shows, both motocross racing and practice, kart racing, as well as drifting, a full schedule of road course activities, mud runs, monster truck shows, musical concerts, festival and more.
The long-standing Old Bridge Township Airport, owned and operated by Raceway Park will also continue to operate as normal.
The new reorganization reflects the company’s plan moving forward beginning in 2018 while allowing Raceway Park to still continue to operate as it has in the past with the exception of drag racing.
“The Napp family wishes to express their most sincere gratitude to the NHRA, and the many thousands of racers and fans, without whom would have never allowed Raceway Park to become the iconic and nationally recognized drag racing facility it has over the past five decades,” the Napp family said in a statement. “The Napp family would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the employees that have served our drag racing customers so well over the previous years. It is with a great sadness that the Napp family is discontinuing drag racing, however the family looks forward to continuing to provide the best outdoor events in this new era of Raceway Park.”
The Napp family has owned the track since it opened on July 4, 1965.
NHRA officials confirmed on Wednesday that the Summernationals will not be held this year.
“NHRA drag racing events have been held at the track in Englishtown for almost 50 years,” said NHRA president, Glen Cromwell. “The Summernationals have played an important part in our heritage and we hope that fans in the area will try to make it to another one of our events. Our focus remains on making the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series a memorable experience for our fans, racers, sponsors, partners and tracks.”