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BangShift Exclusive: Ohio’s Dragway 42 Has Been Sold And Will Remain A Functioning Drag Strip

BangShift Exclusive: Ohio’s Dragway 42 Has Been Sold And Will Remain A Functioning Drag Strip

BangShift.com has learned that Dragway 42 in Ohio (which we told you was for sale about a week ago) has indeed been sold. Normally we fret such things, but sources close to the deal have informed us that the buyer has full intentions of keeping the track open and running as a drag strip. We have been asked to keep names and specific details private until such time as the deal is finished (as early as tomorrow) but we wanted to let those racers and fans who call ol’ 42 home that the place has a future and there will be racing there for many years to come. During our live streaming broadcast of the California Hot Rod Reunion we’ll spill the beans on who bought it, why the bought it, and what their plans are, assuming that the spill those same beans to us. While Dragway 42 may not be some cutting edge super track, it is a facility that is an important place for the racers and hot rodders in its general area and losing any track is a blow to the health and well-being of hot rodding in general.

Long story short, we’re super excited to break this news and we’ll be even more excited when we get to unmask the new owners and share their motivation behind purchasing one of Ohio’s longest running and most historic tracks. You think four-wide is a new deal? It was going on at 42 DECADES ago!


We’re totally enthused by this fact that this track ended up in the right hands and not some jerk face idiot that would raze the place!


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33 thoughts on “BangShift Exclusive: Ohio’s Dragway 42 Has Been Sold And Will Remain A Functioning Drag Strip

  1. Cougrrcj

    Just so they PAVE THE TRACK! Only the ‘slow’ class racers run 1/4 mile because the track is so bumpy towards the top end. Most of my buddies do not race there because the starting line traction is non-existent for the quicker cars.

  2. James Boos

    I’ve come close to scraping the rear bumper on the ground there and have run mid 9’s as well. It’s not perfect, but a face-lift can not hurt. The new owner has deep pockets and hopefully the friendly atmosphere doesn’t change.

    I’m four days into my off-season and I’m already looking forward to racing next year!

  3. Charles Doan

    Dragway 42 may no longer be a premier track, but every historical racer that became a racing icon raced at 42 sometime in their career. 42 was the place to race in its’ day. The first 4 wide track, separate tracks for pro and sportsman racers, a track that in its’ day was so renowned that both AHRA and IHRA wanted to hold national events there. It definitely has gone down hill and not the place it once was, but it has some history. Thank you for the update. Good luck to the new owner.

  4. Shawn P

    It’s in need of repair. Some of which is not the fault of the current owner, some of which is. The track needs addressed and the pits are in need of repair. Grading the old roads so dragsters and low chassis cars can get in and out of the grass would be a huge start. There is still plenty of usable assets at the facility. Not a complete bulldoze and start over but it is going to take time. Rome wasn’t built over night. Good luck to the new management.

  5. NMar20

    Great news !!! that place is a part of me. I have many memories growing up there, Glad its staying open

  6. Shelly

    Great, would of hated to see it turn into farm land and not be able to go racing there next year. Its so close and convenient to go racing at and its nice to be able to be home in the summer and hear the calls going down the track.

  7. Patty K

    Love hearing the cars. Loved hearing the jet car. Wish they could extend the strip but not possible.

  8. Hal Clark

    I first race there in 1972. After My Dad and I went there for AHRA National’s. I started racing at Thompson in 1970 with my ’57 Chevy.

    1. Mike

      Dragway42 the place to race.Sure hope the rumor is true.From the conversations I had last weekend they had several offers to buy it as a dragstrip.Hats off to the Ermantrauts for all there hard work and dedication the past 24 years and for taking the time to find buyers willing to keep it a dragstrip.

  9. Neal

    Been to 42 for the Rock and Race, I know there is a numerous members of a Family that go to it that race as well. Hope they keep it. Regardless glad to hear it is going to stay open.

  10. Clifton

    Sunday… Sunday….. SUNDAY
    Dragway 42
    West Salem Ohio
    When you are near it, you’ll hear it.

    It’s WHLO 640 fan appreciation day!

    1. Ron Mullett

      Loved running the Rock Race with our N/TF car The Hemi Slayer Hope they have more Nostalgia Fuel races in the future can’t wait !

  11. Tim

    I raced there in the late 60s and i didnt go back till three years ago ………It has gone down hill , but it can be brought back…..best of luck to the new owners.

  12. Rich Myers

    I Loved going to 42 all my life and i worked there in the 80’s, Went to Rock & Race every year but one glad it is staying open !!! I have some early black and white photo’s from the mid fifty’s early sixties if anyone wants to see the let me know.

  13. terry smelko


    1. Anonymous

      We raced there for the past two years with our one eyed jack thunderbolt, about 2 years ago about the first 300 feet of the track was replaced with concrete, it s true the track is not the best, but we ran 9.90 at 137 Mph on a 9 inch tire. Carrying the wheels about 2 feet in the air for about 40 feet. Dragway 42 is very convenient since we live in medina. Glad to hear the track is going to stay open and hopefully it get’s a much needed facelift. Rocky bellino and Ed Morel

  14. Small Scale Racer

    Congrats to Ron Matcham, the new owner of Dragway 42 – it will indeed remain a raceway, and Ron is already in the process of facilities improvements. Knowing him through his other businesses and seeing how avidly he attacked the NHRA season this year with his own Super Gas Mustang Cobra Jet, you can rest assured he will create a first class racing and family fun facility! As someone who grew up in the 70’s going to 42 with my dad to see the “sunday Sunday SUNDAY” match racing and big events, I’m excited to see the great things I know Ron and his staff will do!

  15. Old Ford

    Wow…. for all those saying cars don’t hook there, you must have your slicks on backwards. I know alot of racers that say they have had there best 60 foot times there, and the MacAttack funny car made his fastest pass ever there during the night of Thunder

  16. corvair 283 small block

    Jack&toby Are a good example of gear heads that still have a gracious additude and old school style respect for honest hearted people they more than just once went out of their way to help me out & other racers wen our cars broke not expecting monetary compensation no matter what shape the 42 track is in they are kind people and we need more people like them in the business ! THat is what makes a business successfull.

    1. Robert Denslow

      Thank Ron for buying the race track and making repairs which I notice today when I was in West salem. I hope that I get a chance to come down and run my car this summer coming. thanks again Robert ” Red ” Denslow

  17. J. Jones

    Hubby Darmon H. Jones raced there in the 70’s.. Ford Fairlane. If you remember him let me know- I’d love to surprise him.. also does anyone know where I could get Dragway 42 t-shirt?

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