LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

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LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby DINO » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:28 am

Our closest Neighbor track to the North... Lets keep this topic "Perod Correct" with a Dover connection (As with the other tracks) with OLD stuff from this track that still runs today. Like 1960's-1970's while Dover was still open. Haven't done the research on this ...So when did it open? -photos - and who were dover regulars that ran up there ? Many a time I remember Dover rained out...we'd call up Lebanon to see if they were running, and if so ....THE CONVOY NORTH WAS INCREDIBLE ! ...30-40 cars ...maybe more ! ...towing inline heading for any place to race ! You should have seen the expressions on the peoples faces, as we towed thru all the little towns .... and with the guy at the gate when we immediatly inlarged thier pit area parking .Lot of swiching back and forth with familiar race cars. The sponsor city-states lettered on them tell the story.It became a Dover AND Conn. Dragway replacement when the two tracks , pulled the rug out from under the racers by closing.
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Re: LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby storm king » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:13 pm

That was such an awsome track! They've got it all covered up with signs now, but back in the day you'd be watching cars making a pass down the strip, and see guys out in the stream fly fishing!
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Re: LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby JVore » Sun Dec 21, 2008 5:00 pm

Another nice strip, visited many times, can remember Bill Lawton, and his Tasca Ford 63 lightweight, running a 11.9, with the announcer screaming that it was the first superstock on the East coast to break the 12 second mark! Can remember hanging on the fence, like in the early pictures submitted, thinking that's a bad ass Ford, and this from a chevy guy! As I read, it is still being run by the same family(Commanders), they have been able to survive by staying a NHRA affilliation and kept up with the safety aspects. Jim.
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Re: LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby storm king » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:00 am

My cousin Ted Ryan, was the starter at lebanon for quite some time. I remember Mike Commander, who was my age, and still too young to drive, and I running around all over the track in some Impala rag top of his folks. it was a stick as I recall. I do have two surviving pics of shirley in her B/fuel injected car there. We're scanning some of that now to get on here.
I thought the lebanon jacket was the Holy Grail of racing fashion, and I've got some movies of me fooling around with Freddie Murphy at Dover's trophy booth while I'm wearing mine. Red jacket, with a yellow lightening bolt and Lebanon Valley stitched on it. Very cool.
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Re: LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby DINO » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:18 pm

Newer "Hellzapoppn" and some other familiar names like Broughton,etc.....1965
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Re: LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby jzucks » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:31 pm

Went up there once. Memories include the ticket I got on the Taconic @ 5:00 AM and the red track jacket with the lightening bolt on the back.
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Re: LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby BOBBY S. » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:04 pm

few pictures I found of Carmel Fords F/C at the Valley '71.
looks like the injected motor,
anyone hear from Drake
hope he did'nt get stuck in a snow bank..........................................[Photos editted-dino]..."I Fix ! "
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Re: LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby DINO » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:19 am

When did Lebanon OPEN ? think 1963? right? Was Howie the original owner... And was it always Sanctioned....taking a little credibilty from Dover? like to do some more HISTORY on our neigbor to the North...now that our Race is there!
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Re: LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby DINO » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:23 pm

Can't find Too much at all of Lebanon's early years except it OPENED Aug.18,1963. Better call Howard on this and pick his memory.
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Re: LEBANON VALLEY DRAGWAY

Postby DINO » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:45 am

OK...went to the "Commander" in Chief Himself. Howard was tickled to know we're looking for the real story....so Here Goes:
Way back when.....1962 to be exact...This "Drag Racing" thing was catching on big time. He Saw how Dover ,So.Glens Falls and Fonda were packing them in.He already had a circle track in operation with plenty of parking and acreage to expand.Now, right down the street was Red Barn Speed Shop.They had a big corn field, and rumors were floating around about them buiding a Strip.Howard said 'Itwas Them Or Us".So he got a bunch of High School buddies and started knocking down trees.Then in came Charlie Putnam with about 5 pieces of land clearing euqipment,and things started to take shape.NHRA was called in ,and they were always sanctioned from day one.That was August 18,1963.They began with a flag starter.The first Starting Lights consisted of two trees .One for left lane and one for right lane.NHRA eventually made them go for one center one. Since no real commercial timing equipment was available, they home built their own. Interestingly ,the man who built and continued to maintain them,was Mike Nesland from non other than Dover Plains.He had seen Dovers Stuff and said "I can do it better". As Howard states..."We pretty much put Fonda and So. Glens Falls out of Business".As depicted in the movie"Heart Like A Wheel" and hinted at, that Shirley Muldowny got here license at Raceway Park ....is Not true.She Did that at Lebanon.Don Prudhomme ran his first 5 second run there, and they continue to have a Division One Event, the Division One Bracket Finals, Night Of Fire, Musclepalooza, years and years of Capital Area Street Rod Shows and Drags and of course now ....The annual Dover Drag Strip Nostalgia Drags.He Added,"Everybody Loves Your Race"
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