Vaca Valley Raceway -- 6

John Hulsman added this information on the raceway's history:

"I enjoyed the pictures and information about Vaca Valley on your web site.  In case someone else hasn't provided some information regarding Pat Patterson, he was the drag race promoter at Vaca Valley before Bill Taggart.  I don't know when he started, he was there when I started going there in 1963.  I recall that before Taggart took over as promoter, he worked at the track for Patterson.  I think that Patterson had some contacts at NHRA.  I believe that he moved to Hawaii and became promoter at the drag strip there after he left Vaca Valley.

Jim McCombe was the announcer for the drag races at Vaca Valley.  He posts fairly regularly at .   The link on that site for his e-mail address is .  He would have a lot of stories and information about the drag racing at Vaca Valley."

Aston Martin DB3S racer Ron Keil remembers Vaca Valley Raceway:
"The update on Vaca Valley and drag racing reminded me of racing there again, years after I had given up sports car racing for graduate school.  I was at UC Davis, close by Vacaville.  One Friday evening, heading for the Bay Area in my Volvo 122S (stock then; much faster in later years) I noticed a lot of activity at the track and turned off there.  Drag racing was in progress and I decided to join the fun. 

With the trunk containing a suitcase and a heavy toolbox I made several runs down that familiar straightway, the runoff area continuing around Turn 1 and the return to the pits using the back part of the oval track, veering back onto the road course to the staging area near Turn 7. 

For a couple of the runs I was paired with an even younger man in an MGA.  The Volvo just barely beat him (getting through the traps as I recall at about 83-84 mph) whence we wheeled around Turn 1 and returned to the pits.  After the second run the MG driver commented to me that we had had a pretty good road race around Turn 1.  I demolished him by reminding him that we had taken the turn at about 65 mph; when road racing there (in the DB3S) I was 40 mph faster, passing XKEs and Stingrays on the inside. 

Those were indeed the days, my friend; we thought they'd never end.  (Thanks, Mary Hopkins.)"

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