Richard Padar leaves a trail of smoke from burning rubber as he starts his 650 horsepower dragster down the track at Hyde Park.
Located in Newark/Heath, Ohio from
July 21, 1957 through 1968.
Racing down St. Rt. 79 in Newark, Ohio on a Sunday afternoon, your little heart beating like a piston in the engine of a 1948 fat fender Ford. You were on your way to the Hyde Park Drag Strip where the action was non-stop.
Passing the Hi-Boy Drive-in, a sanctuary of all things “fifties,” turning left on Dorsey Mill Road, over the creek, around the turn and you were there.
You pulled into the spectators lane, paid a dollar and found a hillside place to park in the grass. No way could you afford to go to the other side of the track, where the “pit” section was. The actual race cars, mechanics and high rollers were located there, wearing their fancy racing gear and grabbing high tech tools.
Now let the smoking tires and burn-outs begin!
Dragster lands in Tree
The Hyde Park track was reconstructed in 1962. Racing speeds had multiplied two-fold and there was not enough room at the end of the track to stop the high speed vehicles. A small hill was there but that only served to launch Dick Padar's dragster into a tree. Immediately after the crash a new, longer track was constructed with a much higher hill at the end.
Shown below is a 1994 satellite image of the strip showing the original track in red and the post 1962 track in blue. The mobile home park is visible on the left (west) side of the image.
Roger Hunt watches a car on the Hyde Park Drag Strip from the timing tower. He announces elasped times and speed which is shown on electronic timing devices seen next to the window.
Jim Matheny, right, handed out many awards, at the 2017 Buckeye Lake Historical Society Car Show. This award went Jack Dodrill, son of Elwood Dodrill, owner of Hyde Park Drag Strip in Heath, Ohio.
Undated Hyde Park Poster seen on Facebook.
Mark Howell - Licking County Legends
Hyde Park Drag Strip