MILTON, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont’s one and only drag racing strip is now recognized as a historical site.
On Saturday, the Milton Historical Society unveiled the Milton Speedway State Historic Marker along Route 7 where there are now remnants of the racetrack that used to host 20 races a year.
Dozens of people showed up to the dedication ceremony to reminisce about the Milton Speedway.
“I can still hear the thunder on this track. And every time I go by, I just — I don’t know. We lost magic here,” one man said while speaking at the podium.
One of the founders, Hubert “Bud” McCormick, also spoke at the ceremony. He told the story of when he first decided to buy the speedway with his business partner Maurice Bousquet. He said it cost him $150,000 to get the track up and running. The Milton Speedway was a success for eight years before it became too expensive.
“It takes quite a bit of money to finance the cars to get them in top shape. And it takes a lot of money to maintain the track and have the equipment. It’s just not a profitable business,” McCormick said.
The Milton Speedway shut down in 1971. The McCormick family says although the speedway isn’t there, its imprint on the town still is.
“It’s nice to see the memory preserved. It’s almost in direct line with the drag strip which you can still see in the distance although it’s overgrown at this point,” said Mike McCormick, Bud’s son. “I didn’t know the extent of which it impacted so many people which was very noticeable today with the turnout. A lot of drivers and a lot of fans. Milton was a cool place to go in the 60s and early 70s.”
Mike says he was 12 years old when the track opened. He has memories of meeting some of the best and fastest drag racers to compete.
Milton Speedway ran a weekly program that featured local and regional drivers.