Throwback: Flemington Speedway

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

In this story, we’ll look back on Flemington Speedway that was previously based in Flemington, New Jersey from 1915 through 2002. During its heyday, it was known was considered the fastest 5/8 dirt track in the United States.

The track was previously known as Flemington Fair Speedway from 1915 through 1990.

Flemington Speedway
Flemington Speedway (Aerial photo from Google Earth)

Originally, the track was made as a horse track. Eventually, it was converted to a dirt oval. Motorcycle were the first to compete at the facility in 1911.

The facility also held its first automobile event on its half-mile dirt oval in 1915. This event was hon by Ira Vail, according to reports.

During the 1966-1967 off-season, the track became “The Square” when it went to a 5/8th mile facility. The track changed its configuration following the 1990 season.

In 1992, the track held a public appearance by then-Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot. There were more than 25,000 people at the appearance that day.

When this track was in operation, it was the longest-running Saturday night short track before it closed its doors.

After several injuries, including one to Ray Evernham, the track became the pioneer for the SAFER barrier. Today, nearly all tracks have a SAFER barrier for safety.

According to Racing Reference, the track hosted events that are now known as the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races when they held the Stevens Beil/Genuine Cart Parts 150. They held four events from 1995 through 1998.

Ron Hornaday Jr. won two of the events, while Mike Skinner won in 1996 and Terry Cook won the last race in 1998.

They also had a race that is now the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Ricky Craven won the lone event in 1991.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour also competed at the event from 1991 through 1998. Mike Stefanik won both of the 1997 events.

George Kent Jr., Doug Hoffman, Jan Leaty, and Ed Flemke Jr. also won the NASCAR Whelen Modified events.

In 1999, the track also has a ARCA Menards Series event. Frank Kimmel won that event.

The Flemington ARCA 150 was initially scheduled for August 14, 1999. However, due to a thunderstorm, the race was postponed to August 15th in front of a small crowd.

Besides these events, the track also held the Race of Champions from 1992 through 1995.

When the track when to the Oval, Stacy Compton set the record with an 18.8 second lap around the track in 1998 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event.

Flemington Speedway shut down after losing money. The track officially closed on November 8th, 2002. It was then sold to developers, before being demolished in January 2005.

Today, the Raritan Town Center, along with a Lowe’s store is located on the former track property.

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