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Old 06-03-2016, 06:08 PM   #1
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Default New interest in old U.S. 30 Dragstrip (Merrillville, Indiana)

You can still see the old dragstrip in google maps. The runoff leads up to a subdivision I bet it would be very hard to make this happen. The area isn't exactly in need of dragstrip with US41 kicking ass this year, Byron out west and GLD up north.

My in-laws live in Dyer and I might have to make a visit over to the track and check out what's left.

7920 Clay St Merrillville, Indiana 46410

New interest in old U.S. 30 Dragstrip | Lake County News | nwitimes.com



HOBART — Reopening the former U.S. 30 Dragstrip could create an attraction in the city, but there would be several challenges to overcome to make that happen.

Justin Waldon, of Shelburn, Indiana, consulted with the Plan Commission on Thursday to explain his vision to bring the racetrack off Clay Street and north of U.S. 30 back to life.

Although the U.S. 30 Dragstrip closed more than 30 years ago, there are many racing organizations that support reopening the track, Waldon said.

Commission member Dan Waldrop said he wants to protect property values and the quality of life for adjacent land owners. If the project were to be successful, it would need the support of neighboring residents.

Waldon said he has no problems meeting adjacent property owners to get their opinions of the track reopening. He agrees cooperation is needed to bring back racing there.

Waldon said the track length would be reduced if the facility is reopened, and the shorter track could reduce some of the noise created by the vehicles.

The track property currently has a residential zoning, and the city's code doesn't include a zoning classification for racing, City Planner Sergio Mendoza said.

The property's zoning likely would need to be changed to a planned unit development to accommodate the activity, he said.

The commission also expressed concerns that Clay Street couldn't handle additional traffic the track could create on the road.

Waldon said the facility would charge a $5 parking fee to attend races, and that charge could promote car pooling and reduce traffic. He also said $2.50 from each charge would go back to the city.

Commission member Stuart Allen said the site could be a popular attraction, but there are many tasks that would need to occur before the panel could consider approving the project.

Among them would be establishing a site plan that includes how Waldon would bring utilities, such as water and sanitary sewers, to the property.

Waldon said he doesn't own the land of the former track, but he has been in contact with the current owner.

He said he also hasn't started fundraising for the potential project. He believes if it's approved, he would be able to generate the funding needed to resurrect the track.

“We understand it's going to cost a lot,” Waldon said.

In addition to racing, Waldon suggested the property could be used for car and bike shows, fundraisers for emergency responders, swap meets and other events.

“The possibilities are endless,” he said.

One of Waldon's next steps for the potential project could be meeting with city staff to find out all of the requirements needed before the commission could consider approving the initiative.
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:34 PM   #2
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It's amazing the land hasn't been turned into a subdivision and the track is still there. I spent many times there banging gears in my 68 Road Runner..
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:55 PM   #3
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Wow never knew there was a track there.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:36 PM   #4
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I spent a lot of time at US 30 as a kid. My dad raced there.

"Smokin' US 30 dragstrip... Where the great ones... RUN!"

^^ If you can remember this commercial... you're old.



LOL at this video. "He blew the supercharger right off that motor! That's probably a $7,500 motor and blower explosion there!"

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Old 06-03-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
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race tracks get shut down so quickly by residents in already populated areas. Anything new would need to be at least a mile out from any incorporated subdivision. People just don't want to deal with the noise.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:32 PM   #6
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this has been discussed before..track has some great history...doubt it will happen,would be great if it happens..it was the only local track we had,back then ..lots of memories
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyn View Post
I spent a lot of time at US 30 as a kid. My dad raced there.

"Smokin' US 30 dragstrip... Where the great ones... RUN!"

^^ If you can remember this commercial... you're old.



LOL at this video. "He blew the supercharger right off that motor! That's probably a $7,500 motor and blower explosion there!"

Yeah I'm old and was probably in the stands in those 1975 videos as a young 17 year old gearhead. :-)
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OffshoreDrilling View Post
race tracks get shut down so quickly by residents in already populated areas. Anything new would need to be at least a mile out from any incorporated subdivision. People just don't want to deal with the noise.
What annoys me is when the track was there before the sub-division.

Should be a grandfathered law. This dragstrip was here before your house, if you don't like the noise move elsewhere.

Personally, I love hearing the sound of cars going at it. I'd love to live around Road America and hear the cars screaming around the track.
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