Austin Raceway Park

Another excuse for posting some photos. My records indicate I took these photos in March 1968. Apparently I was using my brother’s Petri 35 mm SLR. In May 2005 I was out on my own in Tucson without much else to do in my spare time, and I scanned the negatives.

Austin Raceway Park was fairly primitive in those days, and I don’t think it ever got much better. However one thing I enjoyed about ARP was their casual way of running their operation. Nowadays I would need solid press credentials and an iron clad waiver of responsibility in order to get this close to the action. I forget how I did it back then, but most likely I just told them I wanted to take the photos, and they had me sign a form, and told me where I was not allowed to go.

All that was fair enough, and as a result over the years I obtained some memorable images, including one of Kenny Bernstein’s engine explosion.

Just the machinery involved makes for some interesting photos.







Setting up to race involved a log of jockeying cars around in the staging area.






The street racers were always interesting. Owners took a lot of pride in their machinery and personalized the cars elaborately.File0015







The rail jobs turned in the most drama. Taking off from the grid and unloading through the speed trap made for the best photos.File0055



There was this guy there one day who had a souped up van that would do wheelies. He wowed the crowd with multiple runs until after I left for home. Then, I was told, he lost it completely and rolled it. I should have been there for the photo.


About John Blanton

I'm a retired engineer living in San Antonio, Texas. I have served in the Navy, raced motorcycles, taken scads of photos and am usually a nice guy. I have political and religious opinions, and these opinions tend to be driven by an excess of observed stupidity. Gross stupidity is the supposed target of many of my posts.
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1 Response to Austin Raceway Park

  1. James Presnal Jr. says:

    Thanks for this blog posts. Brings back great memories. My Dad was one of the owners of ARP. It was way out in the country just north of the actual Scofield Ranch north on 1325. The chicken farmers tried to get it shut down claiming their hens wouldn’t lay. We beat the eggs but not reality. The track was ultimately a failure. But the memories remain…Little Augie, the Green Gang, the $1000 bonus if you could break 200mph in the 1/4. The oil rig that served as well observation platform and race HQ. The smell of rubber and nitro.

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