Only two major road races were ever held at the Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury- the 1936 and 1937 Vanderbilt Cup Races. As described in Joel E. Finn's book American Road Racing The 1930s, "there was no future for Roosevelt Raceway as an automobile racing facility... two strikes and out". However, this Fairchild aerial looking southeast shows that auto racing was not quite dead at Roosevelt Raceway in 1939.
Joel E. Finn: "A number of midget races were also run there ...with one held on August 12, 1939 , drawing 55,000 fans for a 150-mile race."
Joel E. Finn: "The track was a half-mile long, utilizing the wide grandstand straightaway to create an odd oval, as the traffic went in both directions separated by a fence down the center. The 180-degree turns at each end were very sharp and consequently slow, reducing the average speeds of the racers to 50 mph or less."
Joel E. Finn: "The layout inhibited the midget drivers from doing what they did best and what the fans came to see, cars sliding through curves at high speeds and drivers exhibiting their skills."
An unidentified winner of a Roosevelt Raceway midget race accepting his trophy.
The 1939 Fairchild aerial also provides some additional gems. The Long Island Motor Parkway can be seen in the diagonal of this image, south of Roosevelt Raceway. The Meadowbrook Polo Club is to the right.
This close-up showed the Motor Parkway bridge over Merrick Avenue.
The Long Island Motor Parkway bridge over Newbridge Avenue (not Newbridge Road) in East Meadow.
North of Roosevelt Raceway, the Northern State Parkway was being constructed in 1939, running parallel to Jericho Turnpike in Westbury.
Links to related posts on VanderbiltCupRaces.com:
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Presentation “The Long Island Motor Parkway, the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race & Central Park” 7:30 pm, Bethpage Public Library, Wednesday, April 27, 2011