Sunday, August 18, 2013

TQ Racing at Hinchliffe?

Yes, for a short while there was a possibility.

It was back when Lawrence "Pat" Kramer was mayor of Paterson.  A meeting between ATQMRA representatives and the mayor took place in the mayor's office on October 10, 1979.  In attendance were Bruce Jones, at the time the ATQMRA President, plus Dick Marlow, the builder of Pine Brook Stadium, and Bob Marlow, at the time the ATQMRA's announcer and publicist.  And, of course, the mayor himself.  It was a meeting to explore the possibility of re-introducing racing to Hinchliffe Stadium.

The mayor was in favor of the plan.

There were plenty of issues to be resolved -- lighting, parking, adequate pit space and more -- but one issue proved to be the downfall of the plan.  At the time the stadium was still being used for high school football, and a requirement was that any race track not interfere with the playing field.

An inspection of the stadium by the ATQMRA representatives made it clear that there was simply no way to install a modern paved race track of sufficient width and still leave the football field undisturbed.

The plan was shelved.  But for a few days that October, it seemed tantalizingly close.

The notion of racing at Hinchliffe persists, but today it persists in the form of a vintage racing expo, which takes place each September.  Keith Majka, Sr., is the driving force behind this event.