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.

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

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

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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

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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.

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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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