Old 75-80 Dragway reopening

A building moratorium and a petition to stop a large development has lead to the re-opening of what some may consider a landmark in the southern part of our county, the 75-80 Dragway, which has sat in disrepair for several years now.  Those of us who live in the area can recall the sound of the roaring engines on weekend nights and the traffic (made up of pretty cool looking cars) trying to turn into the dragstrip certain evenings.  Truthfully though, I’d rather have the occasional traffic to the dragway than what 1,600 homes would have added.  From the Gazette:

The 75-80 Dragway, a piece of Monrovia’s culture for 45 years, is set to reopen in April, according to a Web site run by its new operators.

The dragway closed in 2005, and has sat in limbo since, as weeds overtook the parking lot.

The owner, Bill Wilcom, at the time planned to build up to 1,608 homes on the 400-acre farm, but a building moratorium imposed shortly after froze his plans.

The land sat unused for years, and a group of residents recently gathered 130 signatures on a petition against the so-called Monrovia Town Center.

Jeannie Pellicier, one of this group’s leaders, said many of the signatories opposed the development because of traffic, but that nearly as many simply wanted the dragway to reopen.

According to their website, they are set to re-open on April 3rd at 4PM.



28 thoughts on “Old 75-80 Dragway reopening

  1. I love it. I never did make it to any races at the speedway, but always got a kick out of it being there when I would cruise the back roads up to New Market. Kudos to everyone who signed that petition.


  2. I’d take the dragway anyday over another 1600 ticky tacky houses and the constant traffic they’d generate. I hadn’t heard that development of that magnitude had been planned for the area.


  3. Great news! Drag strips are Americana. Sure the 75-80 Dragaway was loud, but it gave area gearheads something fun to do. On summer weeknights, it attracted thousands of people for good, clean fun.

    My only concern is the track itself. The Wilcom brothers didn’t reinvest, meaning the dips and slips made racing sometimes dangerous. And the decrepit wooden stands are just awful. They really need to sink some money into upgrading everything.


  4. I have lived in the urbana/ijamsville area all my life (which is only 19 years).. but i hate what this town has turned into.. its another soon to be rockville with a headache around every turn.

    Im so glad to see the track opening up instead of another neighborhood.


  5. 75/80 was the first drag strip I ever saw.My parents use to go to the Peter Pan Inn just past the strip.I got my dad to pull over next to the pit lanes on one occasion and we watched for about twenty minutes.I believe that was in 1960/61.I was hooked!!!Short of recapping my intire lifes experiences with the track…I just want to say GRRAATTEE TO HAVE YOU BACK!!!!!.


  6. I am the Greatest Drag Racer of all time. I am the man who put the, “Monkey” in Monkey Wrench. If it runs, I can race it. I truly look forward to proving myself once again, as the GREATEST RACE CAR DRIVER OF ALL TIME. Long live the smell of rubber and GREAT Chili Dogs at 75 – 80. Bring it on!!!!


  7. Thank God the owners have awaken…A little noise a lot of fun,repave the track and I’ll drag my old hot rod from manassas,va…I do miss the greatest chillidogs…………………………….


    • Not only am I THE (Capitalize “THE” as in singularly superior) GREATEST DRAG RACER OF ALL TIME, I am also a scientist with superior intellect. (Not withstanding spelling). Anyway, with the re-opening of 75 – 80 not only will I flex my 15 inch arms of steal, I will also depute a BIG BLOCK FORD with 600 cubic inches of raw inhuman POWER. Which, and this is the point of my post, “WILL” actually run on 75 -80 home made chili dogs of yesteryear. Yes boys and girls, that is correct, my super FORD will run AND win, with 75 -80 chili dogs in the TANK.
      “Spock…help me….Spock” quote: Captain James T Kirk

      That is all…..


  8. Umm, Ahem, Obviously a deranged fan has usurped my identity and is screwing around. Everyone knows my ford will run on the ham and cheese sandwiches, not the chili dogs….idiot


    • There can be only ONE Mike Creaghan (Just like in Highlander) and I am IT Buddy-Boy!!!! If I hear one more PEEP out of YOU SIR, I will personally RAM AIR a Chili Dog up your TAIL PIPE…or PIPES if your running Duels…:)

      “I have had (pause) about enough (pause) of youuuuuuuuuuu…

      Captain James T Kirk


  9. hi all!

    thank god !

    this will be agin a family sport arena !

    i personaly have ran there on mopar day and took my boys to watch when they were small .

    now we can go there and they can drive/race rather than do something stupid on the street!

    drag racing is a far far better hobby than drugs and violence and the young people need something to focus on .
    done here in a legal safe manner !

    now only one thing better is the track scheulds a MOPAR day !

    what could be more american than playing the national anthem at the begining of the eleminations .

    i am ready NOW !


  10. All I can say is yippee.I can see the track from my backyard in spring and fall. I miss the noise,( MUSIC) of those engines burning lots of cam 2 fuel on the weekends. And to let you know I drive by the track at least twice a day and they have redone those OLD bleachers and rebuilt the towers and painted alot of things. Even the money shed on the pit side was rebuilt. I saw them gut the consession stand, but notsure what was done. I MUST say some of the assphalt was repaired and there is a new starting line. Thanks goes out to ALL that have worked on the place and to those who made this happen. I’ll be waiting to hear the noise( MUSIC ) again. Moparmyk from Monrovia


  11. So great to see the track open again. My dad used to take me there when he raced his 66 charger. I myself raced two of my chevelle’s there. Now the kids can have somewhere to go and have some fun.

    Don Eldersburg


  12. Wow, I’m so glad to hear all these stories and the nostalgia associated with the 75-80 Dragstrip. Thanks to moparmyk for letting us know about the work being done to get the track ready.

    I’d love to hear stories from anyone who went to opening night tonight!




  14. its about time the last thing this area needs are another 1600 homes. i have lived in this area for 46years what a mess urbana is , most people that live there now probably dont even the historical value, that land posessed. in the 70s uncle nelson run a ford falcon he posesses at least 15 trophies , now i run a 02 mustang gt cant wait to put it on the track, not very fast , but its beautiful, we love the dragstrip ,75-80 forever


    • I agree Mike. I’ve lived in Frederick County since 1989, but in the southern part only since 2001. The changes to Urbana have been unbelievable in the past few years and the farmland that’s been razed for housing makes me sad. I’m so glad to see the track open instead of more development.


  15. I actually found this by mistake – friends are planning a trip and did not find any mention of this on the popular travel planning websites. I must admit that when I went to the 75-80 website, I didn’t understand a word (except the schedule).


  16. Can’t wait to get my ten year grandson from york,pa.and me and my wife from union bridge,and treat them to a wild night of hometown racing at a track that has been around for five decades thanks from all of us for the future memories.


  17. I raced at 75/80 since 1974 when you won you received a 25.00bond times changed and race cars cost a lot of money If tou want to do it and make it work you need to pay out the money to bring the boys back home thanks Jim


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