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.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE MAP SHOTS, AND HISTORICAL INFO WE’VE FOUND ABOUT MILTON SPEEDWAY ALONG WITH A PHOTO OF ITS MODERN STATE
Know anything more about Milton Speedway? Spill the beans!