Rumnhammer None
May 29, 2008 9:04 p.m.

Hi all, In my new job last week I happened to be in Upper Marlboro MD, and since I was in the woods looking for manholes (to inspect for the WSSC) that happened to be directly behind the Old Marlboro racetrack, I got the chance to walk around the old racetrack. Since this is property owned by the WSSC now few people get the chance to actually see this old track anymore. This used to be a very famous sports car track back in the 1960's In fact if I remember correctly either Jackie Stewart or Jim Clark set a record on this track in a Lotus Cortina. The track seems to be in quite remarkable condition considering it has not been used for close to 40 years.

The first shot is the far back corner

[IMG]http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c152/Rumnhammer/marlborotrack2.jpg[/IMG]

The next shot would be going into the last corner before the straight that runs in front of the grandstands.

[IMG]http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c152/Rumnhammer/marlborotrack1.jpg[/IMG]

The last shot is the side of the grandstands on the front straight, directly behind the grandstand area is the old parking area. Like I said the track seems to be in pretty remarkable condition considering the years of disuse. Maybe if I win the lottery, I'll buy it and put it back to good use. :cool:

[IMG]http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c152/Rumnhammer/Marlborostands.jpg[/IMG]

Rumnhammer None
May 29, 2008 9:22 p.m.

Ok, I give up, why don't the pics show up? Chris

Tim Baxter Online Editor
May 29, 2008 9:40 p.m.

Cause you're formatting them using BBcode, which this board doesn't use. There's actually several ways you can do pics. Click on the blue ? help icon there in the formatting controls and it will walk you through them. Use whichever one suits you best. Also, there's an FAQ: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/the-big-new-site-faq/445/page1/

ACarlson New Reader
May 29, 2008 10:43 p.m.

That is tremendously cool. I remember seeing shots of a similar track (maybe a banked oval?) somewhere in the UK and just falling in love.

If, hypothetically, one had a friend in MD who's handy with a camera and into this sort of decay aesthetic, what tips might an insider hypothetically offer in terms of gaining access for a totally non-destructive project?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

bludroptop Dork
May 30, 2008 4:27 a.m.

Very cool. As a small child, I lived about 15 or so miles north of this site and I remember seeing race cars being trailered up and down Rte 301. I never actually got to a race - I was a little kid and Dad had no interest in cars or racing.

Now every time I drive through the area, I would wonder what ever happened. I guess I figured that it had long ago been plowed over for a subdivision. Glad to know it is still there.

Thanks for the pictures.

May 30, 2008 7:12 a.m.

I just looked on Google earth and its still complete and no housing near it. Someone needs to save this track!

5400 Racetrack Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 just north of the track.

Gimp Dork
May 30, 2008 7:52 a.m.

38°48'23.91"N

76°44'18.87"W

jrw1621 New Reader
May 30, 2008 8:05 a.m.
Rumnhammer wrote: Hi all, In my new job last week I happened to be in Upper Marlboro MD, and since I was in the woods looking for manholes (to inspect for the WSSC) that happened to be directly behind the Old Marlboro racetrack, I got the chance to walk around the old racetrack. Since this is property owned by the WSSC now few people get the chance to actually see this old track anymore. This used to be a very famous sports car track back in the 1960's In fact if I remember correctly either Jackie Stewart or Jim Clark set a record on this track in a Lotus Cortina. The track seems to be in quite remarkable condition considering it has not been used for close to 40 years. The first shot is the far back corner The next shot would be going into the last corner before the straight that runs in front of the grandstands. The last shot is the side of the grandstands on the front straight, directly behind the grandstand area is the old parking area. Like I said the track seems to be in pretty remarkable condition considering the years of disuse. Maybe if I win the lottery, I'll buy it and put it back to godd use. :cool:
Xceler8x Reader
May 30, 2008 9:11 a.m.

That is sad. VIR was the same way and now check it out. It most definitely can be saves assuming there is a demand for it.

But great shots.

Ever visited www.uer.ca?

A great photog site about urban exploration. Same kind of thing here..abandoned urban sites.

bludroptop Dork
May 30, 2008 10:14 a.m.

Xceler8x - the UE site is pretty cool - will have to go back there sometime and do some more poking around. But I already found these additional shots of the Marlboro property.

Grandstands

Timing tower?

Bleachers?

Hal HalfDork
May 30, 2008 11:33 a.m.

WOW. I drove on that track back in the late 60's and thought that when they shut it down it was turned into a shopping center. Coming out of the oval part in front of the grandstands and going in to the"esses" was very interesting. I'l have to dig around and see if I still have any pictures from back then.

aeronca65t New Reader
May 30, 2008 1:23 p.m.

I remember that place from when I was in high school in South Jersey. The Vineland (NJ) track too.

Those are some great pictures. It is sad that the place is gone, but the fact that it still exists give us hope.

And related to this, we are all looking forward to the New Jersey Motorsports Park opening in Millville in a month or so (I was just there for a meet-and-greet). ~Click Here~ for more info on NJMP.

And for more good period shots of Marlboro...
~Click Here~I

JoeTR6 None
May 30, 2008 10:15 p.m.

I'm one of the organizers of the Capital Driving Club, and we actually considered buying the property. It didn't go much farther than "wouldn't it be cool if..." because none of us have several million dollars burning a hole in our pocket. Money issues aside, the site is on a flood plain next to an equestrian center. It's pretty unlikely to ever host a race again, but you can't really build anything there. Too bad, because it would make a great venue. Maybe if several clubs went in together and convinced the city it would draw loads of money to local businesses...

Storz New Reader
May 31, 2008 7:02 a.m.

That is really cool! Great pictures, if you guys haven't seen it check out the book "Ghost Tracks" by Pete Hylton

Rumnhammer New Reader
May 31, 2008 9:10 a.m.

HI again, glad you guys are enjoying the photos! I just snapped a couple with my phone, makes me wish I had my wifes new digital camera with me. Perhaps next time I get over there. Hal, the shopping center you mention is across 301 from the track, there is also a shopping center up the road a bit. The only thing behind the track is the sewage treatment plant for the WSSC, other then that the track is surrounded by VERY thick swamp (trust me I had to lug manhole cameras though it) there is no way, it would be capable of being able to be developed, unless those people liked having their properties flooded every time the rain gets heavy. Part of the track has, been washed out, and been used by PG county as a recycling area for yard waste, but it is nothing that couldn't be fixed pretty easily. What amazed me is how good a condition the majority of the track surface is in. I think they used a much better quality of paving back then because most of the track looks like if you ran a lawn mower over it, blew it off you could host a race on it! No kidding. Obviously the buildings would have to be razed since they are primarly wood construction and have deteriated much more, would probably need updating with electrics and plumbing etc as well. but the track itself is actually in good shape. A lot of what would need to be done would be tree cutting, since the infield is completley grown over with 40 year old growth. Honestly giving the area of undevelopable land around it, the treatment plant behind it, and the ease of access (just off 301) the only problem getting it back up and running would be money. The actual track is a good half mile or better away from the equestrian center, so I rather doubt it would desturb anything over there. The local businesses would likely benefit quite a bit from having the track run again too. As there are several fast food places within visual distance and there is a car dealership very close too. What was that old saying race on sunday sell on monday...... Like I said the only thing keeping racing from this track is money, if I win the Mega Millions it is a done deal for me. Chris Rummel

cafcwest HalfDork
May 31, 2008 11:54 a.m.

Looking at those pictures, wouldn't it make an awesome tarmac rally stage!! :grin:

foxtrapper SuperDork
May 31, 2008 2:09 p.m.

Even if you had the money, you couldn't bring that track back to use, not in this state. Remember the attempts to build a track about a decade ago in Havre de Grace?

Noise, pollution, traffic, "think of the children", nimby.

Rumnhammer New Reader
June 2, 2008 9:09 p.m.

Actually the difference is that this track already exists, no new construction would be required, other then updates for safety etc. Not really a NIMBY issue since there are no backyards that would be affected. Really no new non-permeable surfaces would be being created, and the areas surrounding this are non-developable.

If I won the Mega millions, this would become a privately owned track, that I would likely rent out to private events akin to Goodwood. I think people would flock to run their Vintage cars on this track, sort of a return to Marlboro of the cars that originally ran here.

Money solves all the problems, pay the right people and even in the peoples republic of Maryland you can do whatever you want. Chris

skierd Dork
June 2, 2008 11:10 p.m.

One of the things I'd do if I hit the mega millions would be to buy and rehab that track. That and start a rye distillery.

aeronca65t New Reader
June 4, 2008 8:44 a.m.

You can be sure that Harvey Siegel and Lee Brahin (of VIR and NJMP) already know about this place. And if it was viable, there would be negotiations going on (and who knows....maybe there is).

If NJMP really takes off, that will revitalize a lot of investment interest in tracks in the northeast.

Best Bet for those of us who can't afford to buy a race track....support NJMP and all the other northeast tracks so that investors will see these places as a good place to put money.

No use sitting around wishin' and hopin'.......If you don't show up and run at these tracks, they aren't going to be around. It's that simple.

rfx43
rfx43 None
Jan. 28, 2012 11:30 a.m.

I grew up in D.C., Marlboro was the first SCCA race of the year, the IceBowl, in January. With the Presidents' Cup in April, that started the season. I watched Roger Penske start his career there, Don Yenko, Dr Thompson, Charlie Hayes, who drove his Ferrari GT 250 to the track to race and win. The first Cobra's to come to the East Coast, Bob Johnson. The first NASCAR stockcar, Cafe Burgany Ford, to compete on the road course against a sports car, Duncan Blacks' Damlier. Birdcage Maseratis, D-Jags,Scarabs. Very fond memories. Got to dig up some of my photos.

stroker HalfDork
Jan. 28, 2012 1:51 p.m.

those pics remind me of the TV show "Life after Humans"...

:(

Treb Reader
Jan. 28, 2012 3:04 p.m.

Awesome pictures. I grew up just north of there; Dad would always point out the former track when we went by.

Lots of history at that track, as previously mentioned.

Mario Andretti raced on the oval there. Oh, for those who don't know -- it was a 3/8 mile (?) oval with a road course outside the oval, using one turn from the oval and the same s/f straight. Entering and leaving the oval -- over the banking -- was, um, "dramatic."

Video from 1968(?)

stroker HalfDork
Jan. 28, 2012 7:07 p.m.
irish44j Dork
Jan. 28, 2012 8:28 p.m.

In reply to Tim Baxter:

I always post my pics here with BB code exactly like he did. The site automatically converts them. I have a thread with like 150 photos here using [IMG] code...

1 2

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Grassroots Motorsports

Podcast Episode 35: Heyward Wagner of the SCCA

21 hours ago in Articles

Heyward Wagner heads a new department that is pushing the SCCA into the future.

2014 Fiat 500C Abarth Cabrio

1 day ago in New Car Reviews

For those who are not familiar with the Abarth badge, they are basically Fiat’s performance division, like Mercedes’ AMG or ...

Look for Us at COTA This Weekend

2 days ago in News

We'll be at the Lone Star Le Mans in Austin this weekend.

Hitting the Rollers With Our M235i

3 days ago in Project Cars

We dyno our little M-car.

The Latest Issue Just Shipped Out

3 days ago in News

Subscribe today and get it plus one extra issue per year subscribed.

Kicking it Old-School

4 days ago in Articles

What cars out there can give you the joys of vintage driving without killing all your time and money?

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S

4 days ago in New Car Reviews

In his spare time, our managing editor serves as chairman of the board of the British Motor Trade Association (http://www.britcar.org). ...

OUR SPONSORS

Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More