Back in the 1960s with it's grand opening in 1963 and operating until 1966, Ramona Drag Strip was the place to race in San Diego. It was called San Diego Raceway and drew nationally known drag racers to run the strip. The venture was put together by Paul and Bob Darrough who leased the land next to the Ramona Airport, Lou Castenagna and Ray Richards also came in as managing partners. This was an effort to get kids racing on the streets like El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego to take it to a track.
The effort was successful as attendance varied into the thousands as kids came to watch or take part in the racing with special events, such as match racing with well know drivers or jet-engined cars drawing as many as 7,000 spectators. A new track in Carlsbad, called Carlsbad Raceway basically closed the doors on Ramona's strip.
This was nostalgia racing at it's best, no line-locks or computers doing the work. If you ran an automatic, belly up to the line, plant one foot on the brakes, the other on the accelerator, watch the count down on the Christmas tree and let her rip.
|A fan favorite was the Willie's Pie Wagon running a flathead.|