There is no formal development application currently in place for Atco Dragway in Waterford Township in Atco, New Jersey, according to Paul Leakan, Communications Officer, New Jersey Pinelands Commission. The land that the drag strip and surrounding area is a part of the NJ Pinelands Commission.
The Commission, which was formed with the Federal government in 1979, is to ‘preserve, protect, and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the Pinelands National Reserve, and to encourage compatible economic and other human activities consistent with that purpose.” The Pinelands National Reserve oversees more than 1 million acres in seven counties in Southern New Jersey.
There have been rumors being spread on the Internet that a potential deal is looming. At the time of publication, the track — which just got approval to operate once again due to the coronavirus — is expected to race this weekend.
“In April, the New Jersey Pinelands Commission staff had a pre-application conference call with the engineer consultant and a potential buyer. of the parcel for an automobile-auction type of use,” Leakan said. “We have not received a formal development application as of yet. The developer will need to submit an application to the Pinelands Commission because the proposal constitutes land development, including the construction of an office building onsite, as well as paying and the removal of paving.”
Atco Dragway — which was also known at one time as Atco Raceway — is the oldest drag strip in the State of New Jersey. This is their 60-year anniversary in business after opening in 1960. It is also an NHRA sanctioned facility.
Due to the coronavirus, the facility received a late start to starting their season. The track did not begin their season until June after Governor Phil Murphy cleared motorsports facilities to operate without fans in attendance. Their revised schedule will begin in July.
“We are open for business,” Atco Dragway posted on their website. “We will be racing this weekend, June 27 and 28, and then will start with our revised 2020 schedule for the remainder of the season. [It] starts on July 10th and runs through November.”
If Atco Dragway does go away, it’ll be the second drag strip to close in New Jersey in the last three years. In January 2018, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey closed its doors to drag racing.
The facility was supposed to have the same fate with a car storage facility for an auction. However, now, the former drag strip is being used as a drifting facility.
Formula Drift had to cancel the New Jersey event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park twice due to the restrictions in place due to the coronavirus.