How Far To Williams Grove Speedway? [Ultimate Guide!]

The city of New York is home to some of the best sporting venues around. There’s baseball and basketball courts, as well as an NFL football stadium. But what about motorsport? Do you know where to go for auto racing in New York City?

Well, you can’t get much closer to the action than Williams Grove Speedway in Brooklyn. As the name suggests, this is an actual road race track, where cars speed around the track on Friday nights during the summer months.

If you’ve never been there, allow us to enlighten you as to what this place is all about. Here is everything you need to know about the Williams Grove Speedway.

How Does It Work?

Unlike the majority of NASCAR tracks, which are built on large plots of land and feature grandstands raised above the infield, Williams Grove brings the excitement of motorsport to the streets. Located in the northern part of Brooklyn, this is one of the smallest tracks in the league, with a 0.9 miles oval. As the name suggests, this is a road course, so the cars don’t make a full lap around the track but rather spend most of their time going off-road. That’s right, the racing takes place on Friday nights during the summer months. So if you want to be there at the crack of dawn on a school night, you’re better off going to a movie or watching TV.

This is also one of the most popular events in Brooklyn. With only 200 to 300 people in the stands on a typical Friday night, this is a fairly intimate gathering of auto enthusiasts. The track is floodlit at night and even the cars are lit up from the front. It’s a real photo op for the residents of Brooklyn.

The History Of The Track

Williams Grove, a.k.a. Grove City, was once the home of American Airlines, which later built an office complex on the grounds. In fact, the runway serving the flight school American is still in use today.

The first auto race at this location was held in 1935 and was won by Louis Meyer, driving a Bugatti. Since then, the track has been on the wane, due to declining attendance and rising costs. In the nineties, a group of businessmen purchased the track, renovated it and turned it into one of the most popular venues in the area. Nowadays, the gates open at 7:00 pm, with the first practice session scheduled to start at 7:30 pm and the actual race beginning at 8:00 pm.

Along with the nearby Olympic Stadium and Coney Island, this is one of the main draws for the summer months. The air is cool and the sea is warm, which makes for the perfect vacation. If you get a hankering for some racing during the summer vacation, this is the place to be. If you want to learn more, here is a link to the Williams Grove website.

The Drivers And Their Cars

Some of the greatest names in American motorsport are associated with this track, including Curtis Turner, Lee Waller and Al Holbert. Turner, a legendary driver and owner of the Curtis Turner Racing team, is responsible for much of the track’s history. He won the first two races held there in 1935 and 1936, before moving up to the bigger and better things in IndyCar.

Turner’s son Roger inherited the team and took over driving duties in the sixties, before passing the torch to son Bob in the eighties. Nowadays, Roger’s grandson Willy is the team’s lead driver. Together with his crew chief Chris McGaha, Willy has a lot to live up to, as his grandfather and uncle are legends in the sport.

Like many other NASCAR tracks, Williams Grove holds an annual car show in the summer. Over eighty classic cars are displayed on the open-air grounds, which are open to the public. The highlight is the parade of cars at the end, when all the participants, including celebrities, pose for pictures with the attendees.

The Spectators

Aside from the drivers and their cars, this is one of the places auto racing is most definitely not about. The fans at Williams Grove are among the most hardcore in the entire sport. They attend every race in their favorite driver’s helmet. During the week, they follow the action on their smartphones, resulting in a large contingent of Android enthusiasts in the grandstands.

But the fans in Brooklyn aren’t all about showing off their phones. They actually care about the cars and want to see them win. The atmosphere at this track is totally different to other NASCAR venues. It’s very friendly and informal, which is great for spectators, as it makes them more approachable. Since this is a small oval, fans can actually get up close and personal with the drivers, which is great for atmosphere.

With only a small capacity of just over 300, it’s very easy for the band to get stuck in the middle. But that’s not a problem, as they generally play music that the fans enjoy. It adds to the ambiance and makes for an even more exciting atmosphere. These fans are very dedicated and love their cars, which you might find difficult to find in other venues.

Access

This is a very picturesque place and quite possibly one of the most beautiful tracks in the entire country. It doesn’t help that the area is quite picturesque, with stone walls, cobbled streets and lots of greenery. This is definitely one of the most beautiful spots in New York, if not the entire country.

If you ever visit the city, the first thing you should do is head over to Williams Grove, especially if you’re a car fan. It’s not that far from Downtown Brooklyn, which is close to the center of the city. So if you have an early morning flight, you might want to head over a little bit earlier than usual, to get a good seat. Otherwise, there’s usually plenty of space available, even on a school night.

As mentioned previously, this is a very small track. The back straightaway is only 0.9 miles long and features a pair of right-angle turns. The front straightaway is a little over a mile long and features a tight left-hand turn, followed by a slight ascent and a downhill to the finish line. So if you’re looking for a bigger track, this is definitely not the place you want to be. However, if you’re a fan of small tracks and want to see some of the best NASCAR drivers in action, this is the place to go. So if you’re visiting the city or just passing through, give it a quick peek and head over to Williams Grove, soonest.

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