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Dead Drag Strip File: The Mysterious And Overgrown Footprint Of Milton Speedway – Milton, Vermont

Dead Drag Strip File: The Mysterious And Overgrown Footprint Of Milton Speedway – Milton, Vermont

So I am a little bit of an obsessive guy. As soon as Greg Rourke’s story on the long lost Seneca Drag Strip ran I immediately went into dead New England dragstrip mode. Yesterday I told you about the strip that ran in Charlestown, Rhode Island for nearly a decade in the mid-1950s into the middle 1960s and today we’re going to several hours north into Vermont to look at another strip that’s been closed for decades. Milton Speedway in Milton, Vermont is a place that very little information exists about. I can’t tell you when it was specifically opened, although 1965 seems like a year that has come up in the research I have done. I cannot tell you when it closed, but by the looks of the place it had to have been in the 1980s or earlier. I don’t know who sanctioned it, who owned it or who operated it, but I do know for a fact that it was there. Google maps and a few first hand accounts from old competitors verify it.

Milton Speedway as a dedicated drag strip. This was not an old airport or an old military facility converted into a race track by enterprising hot rodders. There was a circle track nearby that may or may not have inspired the building of the strip but there’s no way to tell as the circle track is now an industrial park and the only thing that’s related to the drag strip in Milton is a place called, “Drag Strip Bingo” located on the grounds of the old track. From best we can tell, the facility was a half mile long from the starting line to the point that the asphalt seems to terminate in the woods. That would have been A-OK for cars of the era, but obviously it’s extremely short by today’s standards.

The most famous thing about Milton that I have been able to find is that Shirley Muldowney raced there with her first husband Jack. We’ve read that Shirley raced a super stock car there a couple of times but we’re  not sure she ever competed at Milton in her gas dragster or anything that burned fuel. Most people forget that Muldowney began her racing career in the New York, New England area hitting strips like Milton, Lebanon Valley Dragway, and others.

Like an odd ghost track, we cannot find a single photo of the facility from when it was open. That’s pretty wild in today’s day and age where old photos seem to bubble up about everything. Not Milton Speedway, apparently. We have dug up some neat stuff though. A scanned page of an old Eastern Drag News paper tells the story of the Royal Bobcat Pontiac crew visiting the track and taking on all local Pontiac comers. There’s also an ad from the facility that advertises their weekly purses which is neat.


Know anything more about Milton Speedway? Spill the beans!


Photo Credit: Obscure Vermont

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10 thoughts on “Dead Drag Strip File: The Mysterious And Overgrown Footprint Of Milton Speedway – Milton, Vermont

  1. Tim Clark

    I don’t know the exact dates of opening and closing,but I remember hitchhiking up to the Milton strip when I was 14 or 15 in the mid sixties. As I recall it was NASCAR sanctioned for awhile.
    I recall seeing Shirley in a Corvette one season and she was back the following season in an injected rail.
    I also remember Santa Chevrolet in Plattsburg,NY sponsored a 55 or 56 Chevy gasser that ran there along with the “Mr. Blister” 66 SS Chevelle. Hard to believe that was 50 years ago or so.

  2. Don

    In 1963 I got a ride to my first Drag Strip in Flemington NJ. Back then you couldn’t get in the pits unless you were 18. I was only 14. It was pretty easy to sneak over into the pits at the right moment. Flemington is long gone now but maybe somebody can post some old photos or do a story on the old place one day. There was a beautiful 55 Chevy called the Jahns Jammer that I haven’t been able to find a picture of. I saw Tony Feils Super Grape purple Anglia and later on in life when I was in my thiry’s I got to meet Tony and was able to go to some races with him . Great guy. Memories I will never forget.

  3. Kevin Crowley

    Believe it or not…I own a car (and still race it) that has been down that track. Along with Sanford and Norridgewock, ME. My dad raced, and has handed it to me. Thanks for the write up!!!

  4. Old Dog

    I lived in Vt the summer of 66 before I went in the Navy. I went up to Milton a half dozen times. I also recall it being Nascar sanctioned when I was there. I remember the dealerships brought out the 396 chevells and 390 fairlanes every time I was there. I also saw some AFX match racing including one of the falcons (Huebert Platt maybe?) ending up in the field next to the track. As I recall he came back to race again.

  5. Tom Bergeron

    I’m pretty sure it closed in 1970 or 71. I live in the next town over and know several people that raced there in the sixties. I have pictures and video of my Chevelle and a bunch of my friends car’s doing burnouts on the old strip back in the nineties.(until the Milton PD showed up and kicked us out). The local car club does a car show on the end of the old track every Summer for the last few years.

  6. Del

    My son sent this article to me 2-23-13 and the day before I had breakfast at the Milton Diner , which is right next to the old dragstrip. The two guys I had breakfast with were Woodard and Keefer who are mentioned in the newpaper clipping attached to this article. They raced the A/FX , Vermonster at Milton back in the 60’s. I have pictures of the dragster but I’m not sure how to attach them to this comment site.
    About 3 months ago the three of us stumbled onto the old dragster in a barn about 10 miles from the old strip. We’re in the process of getting it back and restoring it , to take to local car shows.
    I think the strip opened in ’64. I believe Jack Dudrul , a local businessman built it.
    Shortly after he built Catamount Stadium oval race track just up the road a couple of miles. There were many guest drivers there over the years . Richard Petty, Lee Roy Yarbrough,Tiny Lund ,Benny Parsons, Kevin LaPage, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison,
    to name a few.
    Milton was the “race town ” in the 60′ & ’70’s.

  7. mike

    i remember going to Miami Hollywood speedway back in the 70s & 80s, can you find some pics…i saw shirley, don prudhomme, don garlits many others test there back in the day

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