Friday, September 25, 2009

New Jersey Motorsports Park

I attended my first race last Sunday at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersesy.  The track had been talked about for about five years and after getting a lot of approvals, and attending many town meetings and satisfying some, but certainly not all local objections to noise and environment,  were allowed to finish Phase I construction last year.  There are two main tracks, the smaller Lightning Raceway, and the larger Thunderbolt Raceway.  They also have a very cool go-kart track where people can rent go-karts or bring their own, and race.  It's a pretty big operation sitting on a lot of land next to Millville Regional Airport.  See the pic below from the air.  (Click on it for a bigger picture.)

I had never been to a race course before so really didn't know what to expect.  There are different stands for people to sit on at different vantage points along the tracks.  There's the start/finish line where they wave all the flags, turn one where you see the cars slowing down from the straight-a-way, taking the turn fast, then speeding up to the next turn, and a couple of other stands.  Pretty cool for a newbie racing fan.  They also have cycle races where you see the cycles tilt on their sides taking the turns with the racers legs seemingly touching the pavement.  It seems like they have a first class Park with a clubhouse, rows of open garages where you see the guys working on their cars, a new restaurant, vendor tents selling all kinds of things, and more.  Plans are for a Phase II and Phase III in the future which will have villas for people to rent, a hotel, more restaurants, you get the picture.
We were there to see a race of classic Ferraris from a couple decades ago to the present race each other.  (See the pic below, click on it as well)  We walked around, explored the flavor, and decided to watch from turn one.  We had a good vantage point from there.  The cars were loud, but not crazy loud.  They did roar past and you could feel it in your stomach.  The Ferrari I liked best was the oldest, a hemi I think it was called.  It finished in 3rd place.  It was cool to watch faster cars pass the slower ones.  I think they paced my favorite a couple of times.  The race itself only lasted about half an hour, shorter than I thought.  But for a family to spend several hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon,  it was a good experience.  I would like to go back.

For those thinking about going I know they have several differnt kinds of races, depending on car make, classics, cycles, and others I probably don't know.  We got tickets from a friend who had them and paid almost nothing but I think generally they range from $25-$50.
One more thing;  a couple of weeks ago I had another friend that told me that it was just a mattter of time before they brought in some NASCAR races, but had another friend tell me that the track built was just below NASCAR standards so I don't know.  I do know that when they were getting approvals, NASCAR racing was pretty much not in the equation.

Inaugural video from last July below.

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