Saturday, April 13, 2024

Throwback: Langhorne Speedway

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

At one-time, there was a stock car track in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. The track was located in Middletown Township, that ran from 1926 through 1971.

It was also nicknamed “The Horne,” “The Big Left Turn,” and “The Track That Ate the Heroes.” It also has a nickname as “Puke Hollow” for Turn 2.

For the majority of its time, the track was known as Langhorne Speedway. It was initially known as New Philadelphia/Philadelphia Speedway from 1926 through 1930.

The National Motor Racing Association was the inaugural owner of the track from 1926 through 1929. The track then was sold to Ralph “Pappy” Hankinson, who operated the track from 1930 through 1941.

The track was then sold again in 1941 to Earl “Lucky” Teter, who had the track under his ownership for two seasons. The track did not have an owner from 1942 through 1945, before John Babcock purchased it in 1946. He had ownership of it from 1946 through 1950.

Irv Fried and Al Gerber were the final owners of the track, who had the track under its ownership from 1951 through 1971.

The track was known for its AAA Championship Car Langhorne 100. This signature event went from 1930 through 1955.

The USAC Championship Car Langhorne 100 also took place at the track from 1956 through 1970. The NASCAR Grand National took place in Langhorne, PA from 1949 through 1957.

In addition, the Langhorne National Open happened from 1951 through 1971.

Many of racing’s prominent drivers competed at this facility — and won — including A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Gordon Johncock, Lloyd Ruby, and Eddie Sachs.

The site of the once-famous track is now a shopping center, including a Sam’s Club, among other stores. No physical remnants of the track remain at the location.

In 2006, the site was named a Pennsylvania Historical Marker.

While there was a lot of good racing at the facility, there were 18 drivers, including five motorcycle drivers, three spectators and one flagman, according to reports, who were killed at the location. Larry Man, Frank Arford, Bobby Marvin, John McVitty, Joe Russo, Mike Nazaruk, and Jimmy Bryan were some of the individuals, who lost their lives at the track.

In Sept. 1949, the Langhorne track hosted the NASCAR Strictly Stock Series. They held the sanctioning body’s fourth race that season, in which Curtis Turner won.

The NASCAR Strictly Stock Series became the Grand National Series in 1950, before becoming the Sprint Cup Series in present day.

Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso IIIhttps://thecapitalsportsreport.com
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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