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Mod134
09-02-2006, 06:48 PM
LI beat most places in the country in the concept of racing around a football field (ie: the current Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC has a 1/4 mile oval).

Freeport Municipal Stadium was built 75 years ago this year, in 1931.

Freeport hosted motorcycle races in 1933 and 1934.

One year later, the track's first auto race was held on May 4, 1935 on a 1/5 mile dirt oval layout, which lasted until 1939. Its first promoter was Bill Heiserman.

Later that same season, the track was paved and saw its debut on June 16, 1939. Freeport ran until September 23, 1941. With the outbreak of World War II, Freeport Stadium hosted high school football in 1941. Despite a ban on auto racing during WWII, Freeport ran an Outlaw race in 1944 :). Once hostilies had come to an end, racing returned to Freeport on August 30, 1945 and operated through 1974.

Freeport was expanded to a 1/4 mile layout in time for the 1975 season. It ran this way through its final race on September 24, 1983.

In 1989, the track met its ultimate fate: the wrecking ball. The former race track site was occupied by a Caldor's Department Store, which operated from 1992 through 1999. The site is an industrial building today.

Sources:
"The History of America's Speedways: Past & Present" by Allan E. Brown
"Freeport Stadium: Remembering some flat and furious racing" (http://www.stockcarracing.com/thehistoryof/31638_freeport_stadium/) by Ken Spooner

Mike Fields
09-02-2006, 08:56 PM
The industrial building that it is now is actually a BJ's Wholesale Club.

Jaws
09-04-2006, 02:41 PM
Thats a great picture. The 3rd/4th turn wall was plywood, on race nights it faced one way for the track and on baseball nights was moved to form the out field wall. Many a night that wall was knocked down by cars going through it and coming back onto the track in a different spot and continue on.

I also loved the houses on the backstretch!

Those were the Kenberg & Donaldson days of promotion. They raced Tuesday, Friday and Sat every single week. They promoted the place until the Campi brothers took over and expanded the place to 1/4 mile and ran NASCAR.


We didn't go too often, as we lived in Orient at the time, and it was over 2 hours to get there (LIE didn't go to Riverhead in those days).

And yes, Mike, you are right, it is a BJ's.

W. J.
09-04-2006, 08:10 PM
It's kind off an unusual shot. Notice the grass placed on the pavement in the turns (football field end zone area) for what is obviously an upcoming football game. It's also quite an old photo, considering there appear to be no seats in turns 1 & 2.
I also notice you don't see any of the surrounding junkyards...er... car dismantling businesses that existed at the end of Freeports run. Great places to get parts after a wreck in a qualifying event, so you could make the consi. :lol:

OTIS RATBONE
10-26-2006, 08:17 AM
Freeport Speedway Closed In 1983,i Worked As An Offical That Year.

Mike Fields
10-26-2006, 09:16 AM
It still operated "unofficially" after that. How many of us took our cars there, though the open pit gate and onto the track. Then after a year, the village piled a large mound of dirt on turn three. Personally, I found that if you hit that turn just right, I could keep the speed up, with my very own "Freeport Stripe" on the station wagon that I'd have to try and explain to my wife that night!

art11758
10-27-2006, 10:09 AM
That "stripe" was courtesy of the gentle shape of turn four out by the wall. My pal Dave Veltman said it was like looking at the backside of a question mark and if you were really hauling, the wall "came out to meet you". Ahhh, good times.

Dwight Clock
10-31-2006, 08:04 PM
I was about 15 when I first started going to Freeport in 1963. I lived in Bay Shore and would take the Utility Lines bus to Freeport. Some nights I would have to run to catch the last bus back as the feature would just be getting over. Great memories of Bruno Brackey in his sedan, Ed Brunnhoelzl in his '55 Chevy, and those 7 window sedan tanks that were called the novice division. Also the many terrific ARDC races at Freeport.