With Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, jumping into drag racing’s national event ring beginning way back in 1968, the track is certainly rich with history. But the Englishtown facility really got traction back in 1971 when it hosted the first annual NHRA Summernationals. Witnessing nearly 50 years of national event drag racing, the track’s legacy runs deep, and with that comes a very knowledgeable and boisterous fan base that have seen some of the most dramatic and exciting moments in drag racing.
In the wild 1970’s, the track hosted numerous booked-in Funny Car shows featuring 32-car fields, which brought in the sport’s most famous Funny Car drivers, including Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Tom “Mongoo$e” McEwen, Ed “The Ace” McCulloch, Raymond Beadle, “Big Jim” Dunn, and many more. E-Town is where locals claim the late “Jungle Jim” Liberman as the track’s first legendary homegrown hero.
Fast forward to 2017 and the Summernationals has shifted from its usual scorching hot weekend in July to a typically cooler date in June, which was a good move for the fans, yet didn’t cool down the racing in the slightest. With an entry list of over 330 cars, there was plenty of hot, straight line action for Bowtie fans to take in.
Highlights of the event included former Pro Stock Champion Greg Anderson, in his 2017 Camaro, taking home the Wally in Pro Stock. Other Chevy brand winners included Peter Biondo in his 1969 Camaro for Stock Eliminator, Timothy Fletcher and his 1969 Camaro took top honors in Super Stock, and Rickie Smith driving his 2015 Camaro was in the winner’s circle for Pro Mod.
Old Bridge Township Raceway Park was rocking the baddest drag racing the East Coast has to offer, so we’ve put together this massive Chevy photo gallery from the 2017 NHRA Summernationals.
Photos by Steve Embling, Dave DeAngelis, and Phil Hutchison