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Carlsbad Raceway is still actively in business.
The Dragstrip and Motocross divisions ceased operations in 2004.
In 2004, we shifted our activities full time into our aviation division and continue it actively today.
Any use of the name Carlsbad Raceway, Carlsbad Raceway Corporation, its logos, trademarks and/or copyrights, without express written permission, is a violation of state and federal laws.

  Carlsbad Raceway 2004 to Now (see 2004 to Now and Flying for Film tabs above)   Carlsbad Raceway 1964 to 2004 (scroll below and explore tabs above) This site has lots of photos and may load slowly. Thanks for your patience.   Early Christmas?  Nope.  It’s first turn of the 1986 USGP…
all Red & Green with one splash of ATK snow! ↓ First turn 1986 USGP  

John Taylor forwarded us this Mitch Friedman photo of the 1st moto 1982 USGP start.  In 17 years of the USGP, I don’t remember any of the World Champs/contenders ever whining over mud in the 1st moto or dust in the 2nd moto.  They just raced.  Great group of guys. ↓

1982 USGP 1st Turn from Behind JT  

Thanks to Gregory May for this photo taken from the 1/8th mile dragstrip grandstands before a late 1960’s Sports Car Race.  From the center of the horizon to the far right is where the USGP Uphill & Downhill were soon to be created.

Photo-Thanks to Gregory May for this photo taken from the 1/8th mile dragstrip grandstands before a late 1960’s Sports Car Race. From the center of the horizon to the far right is where the USGP Uphill & Downhill were soon to be created.   David Gerig  

1974 Rex Staton leading Roger for 11 laps before the bike broke.↓

1974 Rex Staton leading Roger for 11 laps before the bike broke  

Before the staging lanes were paved↓

Carlsbad Raceway before the lanes were paved  

In 1972, Russia promised to send their top three riders to compete in the World Championship.  The promise was so legitimate that President Nixon was scheduled to officiate.  The Secret Service even vetted our house for President Nixon to use as an outpost!  Russia didn’t keep that promise on Nov. 5th, 1972 - or ever.  We can’t trust all Man’s promises.

God promised to send His only begotten Son to redeem all mankind.  We celebrate the fulfillment of that promise every Christmas.  God also promised that Jesus would be revealed as King of Israel on a specific date.  Secular historians report that promise was fulfilled thousands of years later on April 6, 32 A.D., precisely as promised.  We can trust all God’s promises.

The Bible promises that Jesus will come again. Keeping every promise of His first coming inspires us to confidently look forward to His second coming.  ‘Till then, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family from Carlsbad Raceway, our staff, and our families!

The Russians Are Coming 1972 Flyer 2017 Grismer Christmas Letter Click either of the above images to go to a larger image (if the image looks small, just click on it.)
If you’re interested in seeing all the footnotes referenced in the letter, shoot us an email and we’ll send them to you.  

By Jeff Grismer
Tom White is no longer with us but his legacy is. Jody Weisel’s wonderful tribute begins with, “All of us have friends and acquaintances, but motorcycle friendships are intense.” I’d like to express my admiration and respect for Tom by explaining why we were both acquaintances and friends.
As owners of Carlsbad Raceway and White Brothers, we were acquaintances. In that regard, I can never add to Davey Coombs’ Racer X tribute or Jody’s “Godspeed! Tom White” in MXA.
But some time after 2000, Tom was at the track [Carlsbad] donating his time and talent preparing for CRA’s annual Brad Lackey Christmas Grand Prix. I commented to my friend and race promoter John Taylor, “I really like that guy!” “Yeah, well, he likes you too.” Then John continued by reciting the story of an incident that had recently taken place at sign-up at a nearby track. Someone in line was expressing all the things they disliked about Carlsbad and me. Tom overheard, and politely defended us [Carlsbad and me] by expressing all the things he liked about us. A gentleman indeed!
Couple days later at the Christmas GP, Tom was announcing the race (for free). I went up in the scoring tower and thanked him. As we chatted, two things happened. We became friends personally and I learned what made Tom tick. Davey Coombs described Tom with the words – philanthropist, generous, loving husband, proud parent, genuine, kind, smart, humble and tough. Sounds like a description of Jesus. And that’s what made Tom tick – his strong faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior. Thus, Tom was Christ-like and is described with many of the same words.
Jody writes that Tom wanted to ensure that his motorcycle museum would continue to exist and that he wanted to help other people in his last days. Again, both are Christ-like. And like Christ, Tom did help people in his last days. And because of his life’s example, his legacy will live on in the museum and in our hearts.
Tom and I shared things beyond a passion for motorcycle racing – massive Vintage Bike collections and cancer were two. I’m blessed that my cancer was found soon enough to overcome it. But it’s our shared belief in Jesus Christ that makes me give a confident AMEN! to Davey Coombs’ opening words:
“Somewhere up in heaven, Tom White is…”

John Taylor sent us this 1969 Inter Am start.  Anyone recognize the guy on the far right side of the gate (our left)?  Looks like a future world champ.↓

1969 Inter Am Brad Number 7 on far left   Lee Holth sent us this shot of a pre-starting gate flag start. ↓ Lee Holth sent us this shot of a pre-starting gate flag start.   Back when our right foot had to do more than just push.↓

Back when our right foot had to do more than just push.

Anthony Murguia on the Uphill - 1987↓
Anthony Murguia on the Uphill - 1987   Anybody know what year? ↓ AnybodyKnowthe Date?   Marty Smith, 1972, Turn 3 after the Hairpin and heading for the Ledge. ↓ Marty Smith 1972     Slicknut Productions was the partnership of completely bald Tom Haggin
(Slick) and Tim Nichols whose racecar was Mr. Peanut (Nut). Anyone want to guess the year?↓ Slicknut Productions was the partnership of completely bald Tom Haggin (slick and Tim Nichols whose racecar was mr. Peanut (nut). anyone want to guess the year?   “It Never Rains in California...” It did in 1982 at the USGP! ↓ 1982 USGP in the rain. MX photo   Ken Sweat's '64 Fairlane in 1972↓ Ken Sweat's '64 Fairlane in 1972   June 1982 USGP Magazine Ad
June 1982 USGP magazine adclick for larger   Carlsbad Raceway 1964. Note the left wing and one propeller blade of dad’s Cessna 180 shown in the bottom right corner. For many years he commuted daily from Orange County Airport (now John Wayne Int’l) to the dragstrip, landing under the SDG&E power lines that cross over the shutdown.
Carlsbad Raceway 1964. Note the left wing and one propeller blade of dad’s Cessna 180 shown in the bottom right corner. For many years he commuted daily from Orange County Airport (now John Wayne Int’l) to the dragstrip, landing under the SDG&E power lines that cross over the shutdown.   Thanks to Roger Davis for this mid-70’s Motorcycle Road Race photo. ↓ Thanks to Roger Davis for this mid-70’s Motorcycle Road Race photo.   Found on the : Chuck Poole’s “Chuckwagon” around 1967.
Found on the NHRA website: Chuck Poole’s “Chuckwagon” around 1967.  

Congratulations to Craig Infeld for being the first to correctly answer the question.  Brad put a Husqvarna tank on his Kawasaki.  He painted in standard Husky layout but in Kawasaki Green.

Brad on The Ledge.

Since no one got the answer about Brad’s tank, here’s a better angle of it.  What’s weird about his gas tank?

  Brad - Can anybody tell from this photo what is so extremely special about Brad’s tank?

Can anybody tell from this photo what is so extremely special about Brad’s tank?

    Sherm80s Shern Gunn at Carlsbad in the 80's.   Dec. 1, 1968 Motocross Flyer

Back before Carlsbad Raceway put the City of Carlsbad on the map, we called the big MX race San Diego International Motocross. ABC Wide World of Sports, the “Hang Ten” (later, USGP) and you racers & spectators changed that. It was a great 40 years of racing. PS: Notice the box in the lower right. Well, you all supported the race and did make it an annual event… abundantly beyond all we hoped or imagined in 1968. Thanks again.


I raced Carlsbad with my '40 Chevy Pontiac-powered coupe from the late 80's through the very last race. Bittersweet day, indeed. I still have a chunk of the asphalt pit in m trophy case at home. The coupe pic is from 1991, I think. --Dale Van Zant

  1982 USGP 250cc Support Class Start

1982 500cc USGP - 250cc Support Class start.
#19 - Scott Burnworth, #44 - George Holland, #9 Jim Gibson (Honda Jersey), #6 Broc Glover, #23 David Bailey, #22 Rick Johnson, #16 Warren Reid (behind #44)
Thanks to Richard DeLibertis for his photgraph

  1st Easter Sunrise Service 1968 First Easter Sunrise Service at the Raceway 1968   Chrondek MPH Conversion Chart

How long since anyone has seen one of these? Did you ever see one? We used various versions of them from 1964 to the late 1970’s.  Think this is the last generation chart.  Until they developed direct read-out M.P.H. clocks, Chrondek crammed in an extra column when AA/F’s broke through the 225.00 M.P.H. barrier.

  circa 19? -- take a guess

Thanks to Lee Holth we can try to guess what year this was taken.

  For 32 years, Charlie was a much better, safer and more trustworthy starter. Thanks for so many weekends, Charlie!

For 32 years Charlie was a much better, safer and more trustworthy starter.  When he pushes the button you know you have a clear and safe 1/4 mile and shutdown ahead.  Thanks for so many weekends Charlie!

  Sidehacks are awesome! This shot is launching up the hill in Rattlesnake Gulch. Thanks to John Taylor for sending us this photo from Mark Kiel photography.

Sidehacks are awesome!  This shot is launching up the hill in Rattlesnake Gulch.
Thanks to John Taylor for sending us this photo from Mark Kiel photography.

  The day we poured the cement starting line in 1994. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago!

The day we poured the cement starting line in 1994.  Hard to believe that was 20 years ago!

  John Taylor sent in this photo from Rapp’s treasure chest of Motocross photos. Photos are great to revive the memory. I had forgotten about this thing being in the pits at the “Bel-Ray” USGP. Looks like they made it out of a DC-3 / C-47. Thanks John.

John Taylor sent in this photo from Rapp’s treasure chest of Motocross photos. Photos are great to revive the memory. I had forgotten about this thing being in the pits at the “Bel-Ray” USGP. Looks like they made it out of a DC-3 / C-47. Thanks, John.

  Carlsbad Raceway Final Saturday Drags August 7, 2004

A very common view… for the last time.

The last Saturday Drag Race.

Aug. 7, 2004.


John Taylor sent me this “Hang Ten” photo recently of an early “USGP.” The 500 World Championship was known simply as “The Hang Ten” for the first five years or so. By 1979, Bel-Ray was the only primary name sponsor. Everyone attempted to start calling it the “Bel-Ray” but the name never took. Then Datsun (later Nissan) became the primary named sponsor and “The USGP” emerged as the title everyone used since. Note the absence of the spectator crossing bridge in the Sandwash and the big one from the Drop-off to the Second Straightaway. --Jeff

  Mike Purdue's Roadrunner at Carlsbad 1986

It’s cool seeing those old pics on your website.  Here’s a picture of me racing my 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner back in 1986.  Thanks for posting them, Mike

    Evel Knievel and Jeff and Lee Grismer

The other day a guy was in my airport office/hangar musing through Raceway memorabilia and asked me what the Red, White & Blue helmet was for.  Evel Knievel gave them to my brother and me.

“You met Evel Knievel?” he doubted.  “Yeah, look on the website. There’s a picture he gave me reminding me to wear it.”  “Doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a signed picture,” he says.  That’s about the time I used my daughter’s, “What-Ever!”

I was at my Mom’s last night.  Look what she had in some old photo albums… guess my brother and I did know Evel after all. -- Jeff

  Paul Hargis paystub from Carlsbad Raceway

Here’s a bit of memorabilia from Paul Hargis.  A pay stub from a check my dad wrote him Jan. 2, 1965.  Paul passed away in 2010.  By chance, both his wife Chris and his oldest daughter Janet recently wrote to the Raceway, just ten days apart.

When I called my dad and asked who Paul Hargis was, he really got excited.  “You remember Paul and Arron don’t you?”  At three years old I didn’t learn last names but I remember Paul and Arron.  They were always out there working from the beginning.  They were our first crash crew driving the Raceway’s 1937 International flat-bed.  I kept a headlight from the ole International when the Raceway closed in Aug. 2004.

Thanks Chris and Janet for the memories.  I wish you could have heard the excitement in dad’s voice when I asked him about Paul.  They were great friends. -- Jeff

  1983 SCCA-Frank Sheffield sent photo

Frank Sheffield from San Diego, CA sent us this photo from 1983.  He was there for a SCCA sports car race going on the same day but took time to photograph these “monkeys” on side hacks.

This shot is just about the end of the first straightaway, just before the Hairpin.

  Carlsbad Raceway Original Group 1965

Here’s the original management and operation staff on the dragstrip startingline in 1965.  The owners -- J. S. “Sandy” Belond (in the back row) was always the tallest, while Larry Grismer (sitting in the front row) was always the shortest.  Great group of guys and gals here.

We Grismers and Belonds grew very close over the years.  My dad had the honor of doing Sandy’s eulogy.  Years later, I had the honor of doing the eulogy for Sandy's wife, Ruth.  There could be no better partner in a business than Sandy and no better partner’s wife than Ruth.  Wonderful people indeed. -- Jeff

    Anthony Murguia near the top of the Uphill in a 1987 Gran Prix Anthony Murguia near the top of the Uphill in a 1987 Gran Prix     Charlie Starns' Ghia in the early 90's  

on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at 6:03 pm. CZ Guy wrote:

Whazzup Jeff? The pic of REX on a CZ (#24) is NOT '78 but is in fact 1975 where he led R.D. (#2) most of the first moto until that paint shaker broke the motor mounts. I don't recall any CZs in '78 and they didn't have coffin tanks. Don't know about the blue shirts but '75 is the year. I am and will always be THE CZ GUY. Right behind BERTUS anyway. Later... Lee.

Leave it to my friend Lee Holth (aka CZ Lee, aka CZ Guy) to point out our TYPO on a photo with a CZ in it! Thanks Lee. So much changed between 1975 and 1978. That is a BIG typo. Thanks for the wake-up call, Jeff.

1978 Carlsbad USGP Another USGP shot from Tommy Nugen. The bike, the riding style, and all that hair scream it’s the 70’s.
The blue track marshals' shirts verify 1978. (Not--see comments above.)   Carlsbad Race 1964 Newpaper Article November, 1964
National Dragster Publication highlights race at the Carlsbad Raceway Grand Opening
  CHRISTmas GP Start
John Taylor started the annual Brad Lackey Christmas GP in 1987 and by its 3rd year it already had over 500 entries. The 17th and last Christmas GP was in 2003. A rather conspicuous rider would sometimes appear… Is it World Champion Brad Lackey or World Famous Santa Claus?
CHRISTmas GP StartSpeedway Ad from August 1985     Ted Gildred SCCA 1983 I really was lucky to drive at Carlsbad, and I remember times there with great pleasure and nostalgia. I took this picture at a SCCA event in 1983. It’s the end of the dragstrip turning back up the return road hill. The "Awful Yellow" car was owned and driven by Ted Gildred and seems to be the prototype for the 1967 Shelby Trans-Am cars. I appreciate your efforts in keeping the memory of the track alive. I have the same kind of thing going for Riverside International Raceway:
-- Frank Sheffield   1978 USGP 500 Carlsbad Raceway
Thanks to Tommy Nugen for this shot. Can you tell what year it is? #2 is a big hint.

The Fuzz

This photo of The Fuzz racing at Carlsbad Raceway was taken as a slide by Joe Kerr of Escondido. My brother-in-law and I bought The Fuzz from the Cantwells in Rancho Santa Fe with the stipulation that we couldn't race it as The Fuzz so we repainted it a metallic charcoal gray and replaced the Hillborn injected Hemi with a 440 c.i. engine which included a high rise manifold and 850 Holley double pumper.
Does anyone have any close up photos of The Fuzz?
We would sure love to get some copies! --Stan Wolfe, San Marcos, CA
  CycleMagPG1Story HerbertSchmitz


Almost every year near the beginning of summer, Herbert Schmitz comes to CA and stays with his and my good friend Craig Leonhardt. During his stay, either I fly out to Fullerton for lunch at the airport or, as we prefer, Herbert and Craig drive my way for another look at the Vintage Bike collection and a little drive for lunch at a winery in Temecula.
Herbert is on his way out this month and I just came across a 1978 Cycle World magazine USGP article. Thought it would be a good post since the final results had to go to the time clock that year… with Herbert just barely missing out to Heikki for 1st overall.
If you want to see Herbert ride again, he’ll be racing June 24th at Milestone with CALVMX. He’s still in great shape and riding fast!


We bracket raced Southern California. These photos are
from one of our trips to Carlsbad raceway. Good times,
great memories,thanks for your website.

Roger & Ann Brown - "WILDFIRE" Fiat.

Raceway Note: Look at the plywood divider we were experimenting
with at the time to prevent the drivers from seeing each other's green lights on the tree.
  The Drop Off 1981 The Drop Off - 1981   Easter Sunrise 1968 Program from 1968 Easter Sunrise Service at Carlsbad Raceway
(click photo above for full-size version)   From book FUNNYCARS by Gerat
In 1967, Austin Coil joined up with John Farkonas and Pat Minick to form the Chi-Town Hustler team. Coil's tuning ability led the team to National Championships in 1982 and 1983. In 1985 Coil joined John Force and within a few years, Force became national champion. Ron Lewis
(From the book FUNNY CARS by Genat)   I want to thank you for keeping the Carlsbad Raceway memories alive. When I was just starting college, in the early '80s, Carlsbad and OCIR were my hangouts. Every couple weeks, I would head south with others from my car club. Driving my '72 Chevelle down the 5 freeway was always a challenge because of the rear gear, but it was worth every moment spent on the highway to get to Carlsbad.
I remember the first time I came out from the staging lanes and backed into the waterbox. Someone in a '65 Mustang was in the other. We were close all the way, but in the end, I took the win. It was also the first time I beat someone in a "legal" drag race.
Carlsbad Raceway will be forever missed, but always in my memories.
--Robert Briggs   Pass for the overall win in 1987 - Quad   I didn't see any pictures of Quad racing on your website, so here is a picture from a race I was in at Carlsbad Raceway. Many large events happened there that brought in lots of professional riders. This was a great place to race at with many great memories. Too bad my son will never have the opportunity to experience the race track. Thanks for keeping the history alive. --Anthony Murguia   For all who remember the Raceway’s Mascot, Honey:
Glen's dog, Honey, became the Raceway’s Mascot when she displayed her
keen instincts to welcome Racers as family and chase Trespassers like cats!
Glen and Honey on closing day.
In Feb. 2004 she got a chicken bone stuck her throat. Glen chose to spend the ,800
it cost to save her believing she’d be around a long time.
Tim, who Honey used as Trespasser Chasing Training

Honey and Tim Training
took it upon himself to make a Donations for Honey’s Surgery Jar
and put it at the ticket booth while he sold tickets.
Honey's donation jar.
SSeveral racers chipped in. We wanted to thank you again.
Honey was about eight years old at the time. She lived another eight years to
this January when it was time to let her rest. Right up to her last day,
she could still muster a good bark and growl at the command,
“Get the trespasser!”
Graying Honey still wanting to get the trespassers.
Proverbs 12:10 says, “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.”
Glen, thanks for taking care of Honey – you chose well.

    GrandOpeningAd-Div1-1985 Remember the Sunday Night Division 1 Speedway races from 1985-1987?   Business Park Sign
This sign above shows commercial move-ins were ready in the fourth quarter of 2007.
That was three years after we closed and it's been another four years to fourth quarter 2011.
Hard to believe it's been seven years. Thanks for continuing to visit our site.   The Drop-off claims two more The Drop-Off Claims Two More

In 1975 my new bride and I drove from Fayetteville Arkansas straight through to
Carlsbad Raceway to watch the 75 Hang Ten US Grand Prix.
We arrived late, but just in time to watch Marty Smith and Tommy Croft freighttrain around the track, then watched as the 500's started. We watched as Roger Decoster, Gerrit Wolsink, and the rest of my motocross idols made their way around the track. We saw Roger Decoster's shocks give way, possibly costing him the race. It was a great day of racing that I will never forget. We took still pictures and some super 8 movies that I still pull out every now and then to watch. Your track was great and made for one heck of a honeymoon for this Arkansas boy. I saw Roger Decoster at the motocross of nations this year and told him the story about driving from Arkansas to watch him race and he graciously told me I was crazy.
--Shane Mhoon


Can YOU help?

I recently purchased this dragster. It does not look like these pictures now.
I would like to return it to original.
It was driven at Carlsbed in the 70’s, and the driver's name was
Dennis Leyer, The Pennsylvania Dutchman
I would like any information anyone has on this car.

If you have photos or other information, please email us at

We will pass the info on....


Dragster-Photo 2   Dragster-Photo     John Taylor MX PHoto. Thanks, John. Thanks to John Taylor for the MX photo from 1970.   Last MX and Dragrace at Carlsbad August 2004. The Last MX and Dragrace 8-8-04   Ed Dufrene's trophy from the late 60s. Photo at Jim Wanger's 80th birthday. Ed Dufrene's trophy from the late 60's. Photo was taken at Jim Wanger's 80th birthday party.
Yes, Ed, we deliberately cropped you out of the photograph!   Guess What Year.... Did you get it right? It was the 1971 Inter-Am.   Entrance to Gate at Carlsbad Raceway in the early 70s Above: Entrance to Carlsbad Raceway in the early 1970s 1983 Carlsbad-SCCA-patch1983 SCCA Patch - The shape of the car is a map of the Sports Car Circuit with the Dragstrip being the straight line from the rear to front wheel.

Sure do miss this track.  A lot of good times and great people!!!  Thank You, Lisa Standley    |  Woody spraying the track (below)

woody spraying the track photo by june schultze  

So the Standleys could do this. (below)

so the Standleys could do this  

The year 1985 -- Mercedes Gonzales easily winning her motos in the regular (mens) 125 Intermediate class was a familiar sight. Approaching drop-off....

Mercedes Gonzales Approaching Drop-Off  

It's Saturday morning and I was waxing nostalgic for the line-up and the pit road and some Test & Tune action to pass the time on a day off.   Bummer. No place to go anymore. And the car is still sitting up on stands in the garage. An expensive paperweight.... Anyhow, I have a bunch of Carlsbad pics I look through from time to time. I even sent you one before. Here's another (below) --the view downtrack from the bleachers next to the tower. It's funny, but the track never seemed that w-i-d-e when you were making a pass.


--Jack Sweet

  Drag strip downtrack from bleachers - by Jack Sweet   motocross pic1 from KandL I grew up in Carlsbad and began riding MX there in the late 70's early 80's.  I attended when Moates won...was on the Drop-Off ...and I was 12 years old. My first outdoor race EVER but I didn't get any pics.
I took pics the year Magoo won.  I have more but here's a few.  I was at Magoo's van  while he, girlfriend, mechanic, and Roger DeCoster drank the victory Big Champagne. Yes I was there, at his van while staring at the Ribi Link Honda 10 feet away leaning on a Honda van. Still ride sorta, race, and do MX photography .  Website .  I actually have one on the
Drop-Off of Andrew Jefferson...the highest ranked Black rider prior to James Stewart.
He was on Pro Circuit Husky. motocross pic2 from KandL

Note the 4’x8’ sheet of plywood missing from the bridge.  For load-safety reasons, these signs lined the bridges to prevent spectators crowding on the bridges for the view.  I remember having to go out in the middle of the 2nd strait-a-way and get that sheet of plywood off the track after those clowns kicked it off the bridge.  Thank God it didn’t hit a rider and that we got it off the track before it caused a crash.  The fans were dedicated weren’t they?  Thanks to for the quite vivid memory!    Jeff


Burnout-TimDiMasi 56Chev

Here’s a pic from the Antique Drags, circa 1997.  Damn shame about Carlsbad Raceway.  As is usually the case, you don’t know how good you’ve got it until it’s gone.

Tim DiMasi

San Diego, CA

  Turn 5 exiting dragstrip pit area Turn 5 exiting dragstrip pit area  

Don't forget the SCCA road racing that went on at Carlsbad.  I raced there in the early/mid 80's and probably have a few pictures that I can send you, if that would be of interest to the site.  

I was lucky enough to race there a few times….including my SCCA drivers school to earn my racing license in 1983.  I have great memories of “hanging a hard right in turn 5 and heading down the hill into the “rubber room” (turn 6, as it was affectionately known).

Thanks for keeping the memory of this facility alive!


David Duffy
Sales & Marketing
- Miramar Strategic Ventures

Turn 7 the dragstrip starting line. Turn 7 the dragstrip starting line.

Below is a 1996 picture of the ‘65 Plymouth Satellite my son and I bracket raced for many years at Carlsbad Raceway. It ran low 11’s with a mild (but stroked) 440.


Dave Conley

  1996 Plymouth - Conley

Request for Information:

I am trying to get ahold of Michael Brennan. My dad has a 1967 Camaro Funny Car that I believe was his at one point. As far as I know, Michael sold it to George D. Brown Jr. At one point the car was supposedly a pro dragster, but I would like to get some info on it. If you can help me that would be great.
Tiffany Marzano

Note: If you have information for Tiffany, please contact us at carlsbadraceway  at (use the @ symbol and remove the spaces) and we will pass the information along to her. Thanks!


Our old 1947 Luscombe -- Either my dad or I am landing at the end of the dragstrip under the powerlines
(circa 1984).

  checkered flagPhoto of opening day Opening Day Flier Raceway Poster  

I, took these pictures in May 2002 at the Battle of the Imports. I do not know who the people driving are except the VW Paradise dragster at Carlsbad Raceway May 2002. Modest exhibition run at 185mph. I'm pretty sure Kris Lauffer was driving it that day.          -- Chris Fish


Photo from C. FishDrags in 2002-1   Photo from C. FishDrags in 2002-3   Photo from C. FishDrags in 2002-2

I'm not sure how to title this text, so many memories by all these great mx names I grew up watching and reading about. It's great and it hurts a little to miss it so much. I raced an nhra pro/stock bike in the late 80's and early 90's. we would sneak down to your place to practice and tune. I had a rush of some very fond memories from that time that I had forgotten until coming across this site. thank you.
I now own what is believed to be Sandy Belond's first dry lakes roadster. A car he built and raced before the war. I was hoping someone might be able to help me with some questions I have about it and some about Sandy. For instance I see he is a SEMA Hall of Fame inductee but there is no photo of him available. I would like to remedy that and I have a few friends at SEMA that could probably make that happen but it is almost impossible to get a photo of the man.
I am currently writing a bio for another early dry lakes pioneer, Jack Mickelson, to be posted on Wally Park's son's site the Society of Land Speed Historians. I already have a lot of info on Sandy put together and it would be so easy for me to work the text into a bio if I can simply gets some dates and places aligned.
Any help would be greatly appreciated and if none is possibly thank you again for the wonderful memories.
--Michael Brennan

Got info? Send it via the contact page, and we will forward to Michael

I am in need of pictures of Brad Lackey's 83 YZ490 that he raced in the USGP.
I am building a replica bike and need all the photos I can get so that I will not miss any details.
I am hoping that maybe you guys can pass along my request. Thanks
--Lendon Smith
If you have pics send them to us via the contact page and we will forward to Lendon.

Johnny O 1985 USGP

Johnny O' smoking the 250 support class @ the 1985 USGP.

Lechien 1985 ASGP

Ron Lechien riding that 500cc Honda like a 125, pulled a big lead in 2 laps then swapped out.
Wow was he fast!! 1985 USGP.

David Thorpe 1985 USGP

David Thorpe riding well @ the 1985 USGP.

Danny Chandler 1985 USGP

Magoo looking good on the KTM.   (above)

Warren Reid in the pits @ the 1985 Four Stroke Nationals, and then riding an ATK @ the 1985 USGP. What a talented and versatile rider!   (below)

Warren Reid 1985 4-Stroke National 2

  Warren Reid 1985 USGP

Thanks to Dave Martinez for the above photos.


Dude, this is so cool.  I would go to Carlsbad with my dad for the outlaw motorcycle bracket drag race series.  It was an atmosphere and collection of individuals like no other.  I’m so glad I found this site. I know our participation took place at the tail end of the life of the track, but it still found a place in our hearts.  That “ol’ broken down hill billy” track was perfect for cutting teeth and learning the ropes of doing a proper run down a ¼ mile.  I do say that as a term of endearment.  I learned how to do my first burnout there.  If this email address is still up and running, shoot me back a reply when you have a moment so I know this isn’t ending up in outer space.  Your efforts are admired and respected.  -- Harly Legowski

I am from tucson and attended all the usgp races, boy can i remember. The sign off the freeway heading north  saying motocross, very cool. Open beachs no mass developement. The euro feel going inland to the track all the farmland. We had a track in arizona same fate, arizonacyclepark huge uphills and downhills, completly lined with snowfence and believe it or not the most rich black no dust loam you could ever ask for, the city of phoenix dumped all there organic matter there it was unreal. I over heard Willie Baurer think thats the correct spelling, any how he was talking to Perrie Karsmakers and stated this was the best soil he had ever ridden on. Any way I only rode carlsbad once. The freeway up hill and long fast downhill what a rush.I don"t know but when the open or 500 class went away as far as I was cocerned motocross died. Now with the beheading of two strokes. Its a real shame. I was able to get the full vip treatment when the Bowmans and Roger Decoster brought the usgp for its short run at glen helen in the early 90s The Bowmans lived in scottsdale and really gave it a try. Now we have notting. I"m not even sure if unadilla gets its 250gp any more. Carlsbad will always be king , I walked down into where the track use to be some years back and after I got chased out I almost cried. I contacted sports illustrated and the gone wide world of sports to try and find out how or if they had usgp cds. Hardly new what I was talking about. I have some footage but would like to upgrade for the future. Thanks -- Bill Peel


My dad and I flew up to the Reno Air Races again last Sept. (something we never got to do when we were having our own races).  As usual we stayed with my good friend, former Raceway employee, high-school buddy and MX local, Jess Harmon.  Going through a bunch of old photos, we came across these prints of his high-school racing days.        --Jeff Grismer

        Jess Harmon - Drop Off 1978.   Jess Harmon turn before finish line 1978.

Raced at Carlsbad many, many times.  Wish I had kept my time slips.  Any chance of getting a decal or any other forms of memorabilia?  Thank you!                --Tyler Ciena

If you have any memorabilia, send an email through our and we'll pass it along to Tyler.


As Woody can tell you, I was a VW guy, that was there the day Carlsbad opened, and because I was covering a VW show in Denver for the magazine I worked for, I had to miss the last day at Carlsbad....This photograph
was taken by Glenn Miller, of the most famous VW racecar of all time, the EMPI Inch Pincher.. see that gangly kid sitting on the front end loader tire? That's me....I'm guessing here, but I'm gonna say 1966 or 1967....
-- Dave Cormack

Below is a photo of my 1991 Camaro Z-28 at Carlsbad Raceway in the fall of 1990. The 91's were released in April of 1990 and this was one of the first and few to hit San Diego streets with the competition package.
I sure do miss the Carlsbad Raceway. I lived south just over the hill and on the nights I couldn't go to the track, I could hear the cars running!  Many of the people on my street were also racers and ran at Carlsbad at one time or the other. The weekends were spectacular as Palomar Airport Road was like a parade of race cars on trailers or being driven to the Raceway.
Thanks for the memories and all the great times.
Bruce Schryver


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