Speed TV Fastest Quarter Mile Track

Dated: 08/06/2012

Views: 3555

If you’re a NASCAR fan then you might just appreciate this. On Sundays, May through

September, from 1927 through 1938, thrill-seeking

Crowds packed the stands of “The World's Fastest Half-Mile Race Track” on St. George's Avenue in Woodbridge, New Jersey. The speedway was located on the site of the present Woodbridge High School. 

Built by Wilbert Baine, managed by Ralph A. Hankinson and promoted by Joe Heller, this track was well known. 

At first the track was constructed of wooden boards, an important feature of this era between 1910 and the early 1930s, a time often described as the “golden age of American car racing”. 

Unfortunately a few racers died during this wooden track era, one being Gus Iannacone of Westfield, NJ. (Photographed here in the driver’s seat) Gus was my great uncle and unfortunately I never had the pleasure of meeting. While finding out as much as I could about Gus, I read this story below. 

Gus Ianacone and Al Stevens, the Damen and Pythias of auto racing, will battle it out with each other tonight at Troy Hills Speedway, Bloomfield Avenue, Troy Hills, near Caldwell, with these two racing buddies off and on the track, pitted against each other. 

The friendship of Lucky Gus and Al, both of whom hail from Westfield, dates back to their childhood, and has survived many a neck and neck race on the dirt tracks. 

So keen is their friendship that when Al turned over recently Gus drove his car up into the infield, leaped from the machine and rushed to pull his pal out from under, leaving his own car to stop by itself. 

While I think about what it would have been like to live back then or even met my late great uncle Gus, I now know why I love to hear the “rumble” of a race car and can’t wait to work on my car. Thanks Uncle Gus for the gift you’ve left me!

 

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Rick Saparito Jr

I grew up in Broward County, Florida close to Ft. Lauderdale Beach. Toward the end of my senior year of High School my family moved to Barnegat, New Jersey where I met my wife Maryellen. We have 5 kid....

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