Islip Speedway
Location Islip, New York
Time zone GMT-5
Opened 1947
Closed 1984
Major Events Grand National Series (now called Sprint Cup Series)
Circuit Length .2 mi (.32 km)
Turns 4

Islip Speedway was a .2-mile (320-meter) oval race track in Islip, New York that opened in 1947 and closed in 1984.[1][2] It is the smallest track ever to host NASCAR's Grand National Series (now the Sprint Cup Series).[3][4] Islip Speedway hosted these races from 1964 to 1971.[3][1] The first demolition derby took place at Islip Speedway in 1958;[5] the idea came from Larry Mendelson, who worked at Islip.[6] Islip was one of three auto race tracks on Long Island, along with Riverhead Raceway and Freeport Stadium (and a drag strip).[7] The only auto racing track that remains on Long Island is Riverhead Raceway, after Islip closed down.[2]

Demolition derbyEdit

Islip Speedway is credited with hosting the first demolition derby,[8] which took place in 1958.[5] Larry Mendelsohn came up with the idea after noticing that spectators enjoyed watching the cars crash.[6] However, there are alternative accounts to the origins of demolition derby. One source indicates that Don Basile invented the demolition derby at Carrell Speedway in 1947.[9] The ABC television show Wide World of Sports broadcasted demolition derbies that took place at Islip Speedway in the early 1960s.[10] This gave the event national attention and helped boost its popularity.[10]

NASCAR racingEdit

Islip Speedway hosted six NASCAR races from 1964 to 1971,[3] skipping the years 1969 and 1970.[1] Richard Petty won the last NASCAR race at Islip[11][1] by two laps.[12] Others who have won at Islip include Bobby Allison[4] and Billy Wade.[1] NASCAR stopped coming to Islip speedway when the organization axed all races shorter than 250 mi. from its schedule.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wallmuller, Bill (2007). "Islip Speedway - Local Auto Racing 1947-1984 Genesis Of Some Great Auto Racing Trivia". Merokee's Auto Racing Sports. Merokee Enterprises. Retrieved on 2009-05-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Goldsmith, Paul (2003-08-31). "Gauge Nears 'E' at Riverhead Raceway". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-05-17.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Aumann, Mark (2006-01-31). "Countdown: New York". NASCAR. Retrieved on 2009-05-18.
  4. 4.0 4.1 London, Gary. "NASCAR Has A Long History Racing In The Northeast". National Speed Sport News. Retrieved on 2009-05-18.
  5. 5.0 5.1 LeDuff, Charlie (2000-06-18). "Vroooom! Kapow! Smash! C-r-r-runch!; At Riverhead Demo Derby, the Race, Such as It Is, Goes to the Durable". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-05-17.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Martin, Douglas (1996-09-13). "Demolition Derby Survives on Long Island And So Do Participants, Despite Themselves". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-05-19.
  7. Bisci, John (2009-05-23). "The Rauccis: A Racing Father's Day Story". Vegas News. Retrieved on 2009-05-26.
  8. Macdonald, Brady (2001-07-21). "Some Cars' Road to Ruin Leads to O.C. Fair". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-05-17.
  9. Delaney, Bill (April 1999). "Demolition Derby PM Style". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved on 2009-05-25.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Associated Press (2008-09-06). "Demolition Derbies Are Still a Popular Attraction at Racetracks". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-05-17.
  11. Caraviello, David (2008-09-10). "No racetrack? Then take it to the streets". NASCAR. Retrieved on 2009-05-18.
  12. Swan, Raygan (2007-11-16). "Johnson chasing Petty's record for five consecutive". NASCAR. Retrieved on 2009-05-18.

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