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     Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York is, most likely, the oldest continuously operating racing surface in the world. It was laid out and constructed in 1857 for horse racing at the Orange County Fair.

     In 1919, a group of visionaries decided to stage an automobile race during the annual fair.  The first race was a huge success, and auto racing has been an integral part of the Fairgrounds ever since.

     There were no races from 1942-1945 because of WWII.  Auto racing was suspended "for the duration" because of shortages of gasoline, steel, and rubber.

     I began this website because I am fascinated with the long history of this speedway.  As much as I am a fan of dirt track auto racing, I am even more a fan of the speedway itself.  It has survived depression, wars, hurricanes, and calamities that would have sunk other enterprises. 

     I was looking for a copy of Ray Martin's book, "The Hard Clay in Orange County - Fifty Years of Speed" when I met Bill Boyle, AKA "Doctor Dirt."  We talked for seven straight hours one Saturday night at the 31st Lap, and Doc suggested I write for "Dirt Trackin'" Magazine, the official program of OCFS.  As I'm a history buff, a historical column was a natural choice.   

     In 1969 Ray Martin, who was the track announcer, wrote and published "The Hard Clay in Orange County--Fifty Years of Speed."  This is the definitive source  for much of the information found on these pages.   Although Mr. Martin is no longer with us, his book is a timeless tribute to the track many of us call home.  When I read the book, I can hear Ray Martin' s voice.  He was one of the best.  A brief tribute to Mr. Martin has been added to these pages.

     In addition to "The Hard Clay," the Middletown Times Herald-Record has been indispensable in the preparation of this website.  It has been the "Paper of Record" in Orange County since the beginning of the 19th century.   Also, the  Thrall Library in Middletown has been the source for all the newspaper headlines and clippings found on these pages.  The Thrall Library is one of the most beautiful buildings in Middletown.  The staff is very friendly and helpful.  Visit there soon!

     Since I began this website, fans and friends of the speedway have loaned and donated countless bits and pieces of memorabilia.  There are still  mountains of programs, scrapbooks, and photos to be scanned and uploaded.  As this website grows, the time it takes to upload it increases, as well.  Please be patient while I try to put it all together.  Eventually, every decade will be represented.

     The most important element of this historic race track, has always been YOU - the race fan - who comes out every week to cheer your favorite drivers, grab a bite to eat, and visit with your friends in the stands and the pits.  No business can survive without customers, and OCFS has some of the most loyal fans anywhere.  Thanks to you, the history of this hallowed place will go on and on.

The History of Orange County Fair Speedway, Middletown, NY

Victory Speedway

God Bless America!

Latest News:

The first  newsletter has been sent!!!

"Strictly Dirt" seeks motivated individuals to help staff our booth at OCFS.  If you're interested in lending a hand, visit the booth!

We are rapidly approaching an unbelievable 350 members!

Next club project:

An old fashioned


with highlights of the

2004 Season and classic films from OCFS and other historic speedways!

Also:  The very first "Ms. Strictly Dirt"


Stay Tuned!!!

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