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For 60 years the Atco Dragway has thrilled area racing fans with drag racing competitions on it’s 1/4 mile track.  But according to comments in the May 2020 Pineland’s Commission Meeting Minutes, a buyer has signed a contract to purchase the dragway property, presumably pending approval of “change of use” to an automobile storage and auction Facility!

We are not clear on if “change of use” means they are adding additional uses to the property, or if the days of drag racing at the Jackson Road complex are running out.

This story was first published earlier today by DragZine.com.  Please read their article here, and like their Facebook page here.   Also a big thank you to a 42Freeaway reader for pointing out the article.

Devcloping in the Pinelands

So back to the story!  That area of Atco is part of the Pinelands, a 1,1 million acre protected natural reserve, under the watchful eye of the State’s Pinelands Commission.  The Pinelands were created in a Congressional Act in 1978 and it is the first National Reserve in the United States.

So it’s kind of a big deal.

And you can’t just go into the Pinelands and develop things or change the land’s usage without approval from the Commssion.  The Commission has a legal right to know and approve plans for Pinelands properties to ensure that it doesn’t impact the Eco-System.

So the new buyer is doing the right thing in getting approval for his new use of the property (and I would bet before he completes the purchase of the property)

In the May 8th Pinelands Commission meeting minutes they share the following item.

Staff held a pre-application conference with a contract purchaser of Atco Raceway to discuss the potential change use of the raceway to an automobile storage and auction facility. The applicant anticipates submitting an application to the Commission in June.

Also in the same meeting minutes there were questions on a prior land clearing:

Chairman Prickett asked about the status of the clearing that occurred at Atco Raceway.
Director Horner said approximately 17 acres at the raceway were cleared for an agricultural use several years ago. He said there was a rumor that the cleared area was actually for additional parking at the raceway. To date, an agricultural use has never been established and the area has not been reforested.
During, the pre-application meeting, the contract purchaser said that there was a plan to reforest the area.  Commissioner Avery said staff may want to evaluate the benefit of creating a managed grassland in the cleared area rather than reforesting it.

Hopefully there is a good explanation and the Commission doesn’t hold a grudge!

The folks over at DragZine say they reached out to the current owner, but they were unavailable and had to leave messages.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. If the Atco Dragway does change and drag racing comes to an end where can ALL of the racers, race legally? I know Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is an option if this happens but not a lot of people wanna travel that far. The last thing we need is for racers, fans, friends and families who worked so hard to improve their racing experience and love for this track to fade away. Please for the love of God, don’t let the buyer take away our beloved drag strip away from us.

  2. my father brought me to the track in 1963 i am 67 yrs old now an still take my grand kids an race my hot rod thay love it! all the in provements made over the last few years its a track we love to go to . why did the pine barrons bust balls! seems every time the track wanted to hold big events the nabors bitched about the noise ! why move near a dragstrip ,thats been there 60 or so years as a teen agner thay would race till late nights,the tax money it raised could have come back if thay would yust stop being afucking pain in the balls! now were the hell are we going to race or cars ? well there will be deaths on our back roads, yoll see! save the track please!

    1. Well if thay do away with the track guss in front of it on Jackson road.send all those ass hole yuppys back to the city.sounds good to me.

  3. Old Bridge Raceway Park is no longer a drag strip. Was closed in 2018 and the dragstrip has been removed. Think they still doing moto cross, karts and formula drift.

  4. I am 79 have raced there for my whole life and won a MLK medal for my work talking kids to race at a track not on the street NOW so people can do things to get kids racing on the streets the cost can be very high and no one cares. I hope it is not one of the pine lands kids that gets killed.

    1. I am working to find a ne buyer so the kids of today do not die on the streets so some person can buy it with hundreds o empty places they can buy and keep kids alive They have killed Englishtown and now atco so they can put crappy cars leaking oil on a dragstrip

  5. Want to start taking my grandson down acto.just thinking bout it the other night first time I was down there was 1967 brother had a 57 ford fairlane 500 hardtop 312 4v three speed on the colom dules with steel packs had a smile from ear to ear.i was hooked.i got old enough I got a 57 hardtop.but mine had a worked big block dule quides 4 speed 456 gear ran pertty good.every friday night.i was going to start going again till I heard this.hope it dont go through.my grandson next gen.for the track.

  6. Well you know we can always take the race cars to philly. And run them on the city streets. Atleast till someone gets killed. Then both drivers and any one flagen it all go to jail for murder. Sounds great doesnt it. It’s bad enough cops like to arrest you just for watchen. Dont take any car with jersey tag to philly after 12pm. They will pull you over. I lost all my friends in philly just because I wont drive over there at nite/after work. Sorry for the rant really hope atco stays open.

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