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It was called the West Coast Championship Drag Races.Eight thousand spectators watched Tony Waters take the top eliminator prize in his GMC-powered roadster.He also said that one of the old timers that he interviewd called it San Carlos Raceway. Drag races were held on a 1/5th mile section of the 2,000-foot straight-away on the road course. The Valley Timing Association (VTA) conducted weekly 1/4-mile drag races at the New Jerusalem Air Field seven miles southeast of Tracy. The VTA discontinued racing at Tracy in October 1951 in anticipation of a new drag strip (Kingdon) being started near Lodi.The Peninsula Timing Association played a part in building, and financing the race course. 0,000 was spent to build the new multi-purpose motor raceway.
DSL reader Don Jensen, who first drag raced in California in 1950 , recalled: "Scott's valley (Santa Cruz) [ran] at least twice [in] 1949." Scott's Valley was between San Jose and Santa Cruz, but closer to the latter.Jensen wrote DSL: "A paved road ran west from Webster St. The Oakland auto club ran drags there, no timing or classes.They were not bothered by cops as it was private property!Another early casualty was Sunnyvale's Jay Cheatham, who was killed in a fatal accident during the first U. Bill Crossley, driving Ernie Hashim's dragster, ripped off a strip-record 170.45 MPH run on August 3, 1958, becoming the "first man in the history of western drag strip racing to reach the 170 mph mark." (Bakersfield Californian, Aug.4, 1958) Of course, Don Garlits had set a national record in June 1958 at Kissimmee with a clocking of 171.42 MPH, but West Coast racers were dubious.