Raceway Park shuts down drag racing operations

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

RIP Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The Englishtown, New Jersey has officially closed its drag racing operations, as of Tuesday night.

The historic track informed its employees on Tuesday night that the track will not have racing in 2018. We are saddened to report that this is the case, as we were informed by one of the employees that this did happen, as they are now unemployed.

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park starting line

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park starting line

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park was founded by Vincent Napoliello and Louis Napoliello in 1965. After the father’s passing, Louis continued to oversee it, before it was eventually transferred over to the three Napp sons. David, Alex, and Michael Napp — they shortened their last name to Napp when they came to the United States — were owners of the track in recent years.

Michael and Alex were the owners of the track last year. David had little to do with the track, as he dealt with some issues in his life.

The sports complex, which also had a Jr. Dragster track, motocross, and a drifting facility was mainly famous for the NHRA Summernationals. This past year, they held their 48th annual NHRA Summernationals — which was previously known as the NHRA SuperNationals.

It was one of the longest-running events on the NHRA calendar each year. They were tied with the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida with their 48th annual event in 2017.

Only the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals (63rd annual in 2017), Circle K NHRA Nationals (57th annual) and the Auto Club NHRA Finals (53rd annual) were around longer.

Raceway Park was one of the NHRA’s original seven national events. It is steeped in history, as many of the sports historic moments happened at the facility.

Throughout the years, the Summernationals has moved from July to June. The facility has also been known to have a lot of upsets.

The NHRA’s most famous driver John Force, who recently became an honorary doctor, has not won at the track since 1999 when he defeated Cruz Pedregon. He has not appeared in the final round at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park since 2004 when he lost to Gary Densham.

Steve Torrence won the Top Fuel category at last year’s event. Jack Beckman picked up his first win of the season last season, as he defeated Ron Capps in the Funny Car final round.

Greg Anderson, who had an eventful weekend, as his son graduated from high school, then missed Saturday qualifying, as he traveled back from North Carolina, before winning the event in Pro Stock on Sunday. Jerry Savoie also won Pro Stock Motorcycle.

It was also Vincent Napoliello, who also started the Jr. Dragster revolution by making a dragster for his son David. At the 2017 Summernationals, the NHRA honored the 25-year history of the Jr. Dragster program.

While the track has had special moments, it will also be remembered as the place that former DHL Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta lost his life during NHRA Supernationals qualifying in 2008.

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park will now be a storage area for Copart, an online vehicle auction, and services company, based in Dallas, Texas. They have three auctions throughout New Jersey right now.

According to their website, they have auctions in Glassboro East, Somerville, and Trenton. We have been informed that the track has a long-term agreement for auto storage for cars for Copart.

Auto Auction - Copart USA Locations - Mozilla Firefox 2018-01-16 23.56.06

Screen shot of Copart’s New Jersey locations (Photo from Copart.com)

There are 35 comments

    1. gary tramontano

      What the hell are you talking about !! E-Town was one of the best tracks in the country & followed all safety regulations,I have been there hundreds of times both racing & as a spectator.Please dont even comment on that matter !

  1. mike

    Is everything in this “new world” about money? People in the area can’t put up with a little noise and traffic for one weekend a year? If I was a drag race fan in New Jersey, I would take my case to the money hungry a-hole owners and remind them you can’t take it with you.

  2. Bill shortridge

    It’s a huge loss for the drag racing community. I have been going to E-town since 1965, racing a 1957 Olds j-2 as a high school student. I am now 70-years-old and still enjoy running my Hayabusa. I was looking forward to the 2018 season, I hope it didn’t discontinue racing because of the morons that moved there and then complain about noise and traffic? What if they moved near an airport, would they want that closed too? Good luck!

  3. Bobbie manniello

    Here’s another reason Jersey SUCKS!!! A lot of people are heartbroken over this, as it is everyone’s childhood track closed for good. … No more memories…No more fun!!! Not another generation will know the rumble of the cars!!! To hear the commercials still ring in my head!!! People have moved into our towns slowly over the years to change everything that Jersey is about. People knew when they bought their homes it was by Raceway Park, so why buy a home by the track??? What’s next? The boardwalk, Great Adventure, the Englishtown Auction …You pick!!!???

  4. Scott Severino

    The track was there long before the houses. They knew where they were moving to. Taking the best All American sport of all time away from us. Peace out!!!

  5. Chuck

    They been talking about this for some time now about closing the track all the building around it and people were complaining about traffic years ago

    1. Anthony Caruso III

      People were complaining about traffic and also the noise for years. They also had to pay fines to the city for going after 10 pm almost all the time when they had the Diesel Nationals or the Night of Thrills

  6. gary tramontano

    a very sad day for the sport,really bad news… been there many times…one of the best tracks in the country….its a real shame that this is really happening….not only for the NHRA but also for the people who bring and race their street cars ,,,we tell them not to race on the street but now this is not good ( if you know what i mean)

  7. ap

    Obssessed with bracket racing. Host a street night heads up no times and people would have came from everywher even once a week.
    Street racing has not declined.

    Never went to atco, guess thats where we’ll go.

    Im sure Murphy guaranteeing tax increases also scares them into tightening belts.
    Sad day

  8. Tambra sisson

    This stinks, they are making this into a junk yard and the people of Englishtown NJ are allowing this. They should take a stand and soy NO!

  9. Stacey

    This article is very misleading. There is no “RIP Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.” They are still open and hosting many events. Only drag racing is ending. Raceway Park is so much more than drag racing. Read the press release on the site!


    1. Anthony Caruso III

      Stacey. The aspect I was only covering was drag racing. I mentioned that it was ceasing it’s drag racing operations. That means in a way, it’s done. A lot of fans will only remember it as a drag racing facility. I’ve covered events at Raceway Park since 2007 — and yes, I did read the press release and the NHRA comments. I touched on that it had other events BUT this story was about it’s drag racing operations


    Thanks a lot Napp brothers!!!! You’ve taken away New Jerseys fastest form of motor sports. I hope your new endeavor TANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. William Timko

    well I’m sitting here this I’ve been going to Raceway Park since the late 1970s was it that the park wasn’t making any money?

    1. Anthony Caruso III

      I don’t know. And the track did not say on their website when they released a statement on Wednesday morning. If you were at the Summernationals last year like I was, it was way less people than in years past

  12. Darwin Doll

    The story is incorrect. When Vincent Napoiiello died the sons, Richard and Vincent took over the track and ran it with the help of Uncle Louis Napoliello. The track operated as such until
    Richard passed and finally was turned over by Vincent (Vinnie) to the children Michael and Alex,

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