Photos courtesy Maple Grove Raceway
Anyone in the eastern United States ought to be able to smile at this birthday notice: Maple Grove Raceway, the national-event drag facility in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, marks 50 years of straight-line combat in 2012. To celebrate, the Grove is bringing in four of drag racing’s living legends to judge its four big annual car shows: Don Garlits at the Mega Mopar Action on Saturday, June 9; Hemmings Muscle Machines columnist Don Prudhomme at Maple Grove’s 50th Anniversary Spectacular on Saturday, June 23, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins at the Super Chevy Show on on Saturday, July 22, and Bob Glidden at Fun Ford Weekend on Saturday, August 18.
Compared to places like Pomona, Maple Grove was one of the later arrivals to the NHRA national circuit, but the track is beautiful and has a remarkable history that predates organized drag racing considerably. While now under the management of Lex Dudas, Maple Grove has always been owned by the Stauffer family, which first began logging the site in the late 1920s. A lake and camping area followed. Next was a half-mile dirt oval, Brecknock Speedway, named for the township in which Maple Grove is located. It was a magnet for Big Cars and Midgets until the war years. A strip was built in the infield after the war, which eventually turned into Maple Grove Drag-O-Way in 1962.
The track is off Exit 286 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, southeast of Reading. For more information, visit MapleGroveRaceway.com.