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After 50 years Elmsford Raceway has closed


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#26 Cheater

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 10:05 AM

I spoke to Michael del Rosario a week or so ago and he indicated that they couldn't find anyone to run the place, so I dunno...

BTW he did tell me that Lou has moved back to the Philippines permanently.

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#27 jmkunka

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 12:23 PM

Hi Cheater,

Thanks for adding me here. I live only 15 minutes from Elmsford and I'm sorry I haven't stopped by more frequently in the past couple of years. I think I was there maybe a year ago and unfortunately Lou was out. I guess I felt since he survived so long, Lou, Barbara and Elmsford Raceway would always exist.

I would love to get in touch with Lou, Michael, or Paul if you have any information to reach them.

Thank you!

Joe
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#28 Cheater

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 12:32 PM

You can reach Michael at ERI Associates.


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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#29 jmkunka

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 01:16 PM

Hi Gregory,

I will reach out to Michael.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas!

Hope it's a great New Year for you!

Joe


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#30 MG Brown

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 04:26 PM

Sad news and made worse at this time of the year.


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#31 Dennis David

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 09:24 PM

I was able to visit the place once when I was working on a project in New York. There was snow on the ground and I was a long way from California but I just had to go there, ya know.
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#32 jmkunka

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 11:54 PM

As a kid in the '6os I went there once with my dad. Didn't even race or rent a car :-( I wanted to, so bad, I was too embarrassed to ask my dad if I could. I was 10 years old. My favorite cars back then, and still are, were the Monogram Chaparral 2 and Cox 2E. Back then, we couldn't afford a $10 slot car. My brothers and I did have a fair collection of HO slot cars and track though.

For 25 years that memory haunted me. I knew the raceway existed, and I finally stopped by Elmsford in 1989. It was like a time machine, and I was 10 years old again! I looked around, paid for a 15 minute rental, and left with a controller and a Parma Flexi NASCAR. I was hooked! I raced in the NASCAR stock car series for a year before I won my first race. At the time, concours was my focus. I usually won concours which gave me lane choice, and some advantage. Until then I was convinced, everyone was cheating!!! So funny. Didn't understand the, how important the car set-up, along with motor break-in was. Live and learn. My winning motor was a stock 16D from a Womp that I raced at home, on an old Strombecker track with my three-year old son Jason. It probably had dozens of hours of break-in time on low voltage, and I realized that was a key factor. That went into my NASCAR, a Richard Petty Pontiac, and I won my first race! I won multiple NASCAR and GTP series titles after that. It was a lot of fun!

When Jason was five years old, I started bringing him to Elmsford, to race in the NASCAR series. He won at least three titles in as many years! How cool, beating guys that were my age! Jason and I won our first six-hour enduro when he was seven years old. It was awesome, and so exciting! Jason drove like he was on rails. Three years later we almost won the enduro again with Jason and my other son, Peter. We lost by less than a couple of laps to Paul Gelman's team. Second place wasn't bad with a seven-year old and a 10-year old for teammates!

I'm so sad I won't be able to share this fun and excitement with my grandson Hudson. He's nearly two, and I had plans of taking him soon with his dad, Jason.

I had many enjoyable years at Elmsford Raceway, thanks to Lou and Barbara. I even helped out behind the counter for awhile, when in between jobs. Actually, Lou was able to help me land a job as a graphic artist, in Elmsford, which lasted two years and eventually launched me into the more stable career at McCann Erickson in Manhattan. Thanks, Lou!

Those years of racing with my kids were some of my fondest memories, win or lose. I wish I could race there one more time with them, and Lou. I honestly wish I could keep it going.

To Lou and family,

All the best!

Joe Kunka
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#33 NSwanberg

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 06:05 AM

Go fund me to keep Elmsford open? The story above plays pretty well.


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#34 MSwiss

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 11:13 AM

A picture from the pits, at the 1984 World Championships at Elmsford.

 

20161224_100541-1.jpg


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#35 jmkunka

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 12:43 PM

 That is Elmsford, with the plan of the de Portago on the wall, correct? Great photo, thanks for posting!

Joe


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#36 MSwiss

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 12:48 PM

Correct.

 

I edited my post to make it clear.


Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
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Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
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#37 mjsh

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 12:54 PM

Stuart, Les and P.A.?


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Michael Shepard

#38 MSwiss

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 01:03 PM

Yes.

It's kind of nice to have a pic of four "lifers," and that are all alive.

Thanks, as always, to Gary Puetz for taking and giving me the pic.

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
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Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#39 slotcarone

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 04:38 PM

Why the face mask?

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#40 MSwiss

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 05:01 PM

I was hand cutting a steel center section.

Actually perimeter chassis #003.

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder
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mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#41 Weedracer

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 10:28 AM

As an infrequent visitor here I have a tendency to resurrect old threads, but at least this one isn't in the Memorial forum. At least not literally.
 
I can't say that I was surprised that Elmsford closed, but at the same time it is sad. It was always there even during times of racing inactivity. I definitely missed the best times there starting later than some of you, but did have some great times there and a margin of success.
 
In 2005 or 2006 maybe, a Winter Nationals was announced after a long period of inactivity and I made the trek with the old standby gear from the stone age and it still worked fine and I got a second as I remember. Attendance was a bit weak, but all the usual suspects that you'd expect were there and we had a good time. I'm guessing that this was the last wing car race held on that track.
 
Without exception, the same thing happened to me that day that had always happened. In practice nothing seemed to work... panic set in as always, but then I remembered to just relax and run the race and like magic, the race started and everything was fine, the car was on rails as it always was and I had a blast. Andy Wasserman ran his antique Ray Kalio chassis (a true work of mysterious art) and won his class of course. I ran a wire and hand-cut steel gadget made by a fella named Gary Pierce that I still have with an O/S Royale SE body.
 
Jaz mentioned me not being able to collect my winnings there once, and I had forgotten about that, but while I now remember being a bit PO'd about it, the value of the win in the face of all of the adversity made it not really matter in retrospect.
 
Early on I got a lot of mentoring from Kieth Keeler about car set-up and racing on that track and will always appreciate that. I had a wire-to-wire win there in a Winter Nationals that remains the most satisfying race I ever had. The braid was falling out by the yard, there were no track calls of course, the dogs were running all over the place and gluing and marshaling was always a challenge. Cars would go under the bridge and disappear, having gone straight and over the railing by the front door... no track call. Good times.
 
I hear that Lou has moved to the Philippines and that Barbara is not well. 
 
I wish them well and thank them for doing what they did for so long for so many.
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