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Old 12-04-2010, 11:45 AM   #1
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Default Anyone remember Island Hobbies & Raceway in Deerpark, NY ( and Hauppauge )?

Looking to get back into the hobby again, and cant help but remember the place on Deer Park Rd by AIL.

Indoor paved concrete oval with a carpet 1/12 track in the middle. I think they had place to build a dirt track next to it, but I got out of the hobby before it ( if ) was built.

They were also in Hauppauge before moving to DP. This was probably in the 90's sometime.

This brings me to my next observation. It seems like there are few, if any, tracks on Long Island ( and other places I've lived ) compared to 15 years ago. Is the hobby in general suffering?
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:07 PM   #2
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I remember both places. They both have been gone for many years. The only place left is LIR in farmingdale. It is a dirt track. Nice place. Racing on Friday and Sunday. This Sunday is a trophy race. come on down and take a look.
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:36 AM   #3
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I remember the concrete banked track. My son's and I raced there. That's more then 20 years ago. The guy from North Bellmore that did battery matching. That was a fun track.

And like Rob said about the track in Farmingdale is the only track left.

The days of having 4 or 5 tracks in Suffolk are gone.

By the way Rob, how are things?
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:27 AM   #4
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I remember the concrete banked track. My son's and I raced there. That's more then 20 years ago. The guy from North Bellmore that did battery matching. That was a fun track.

And like Rob said about the track in Farmingdale is the only track left.

The days of having 4 or 5 tracks in Suffolk are gone.

By the way Rob, how are things?
Yeah, I spent A LOT of time at both tracks ( Hauppauge and Deer Park ). That indoor banked concrete oval was really fun. They used to get a pretty serious turnout there - I remember races with 20+ cars.

I'm looking to get back into the hobby after a 15 year hiatus, and I'm noticing two things:

1. The technology has really changed the hobby. It's really amazing.

2. The amount of tracks and hobby stores are less than they were 15 years ago it seems.

While the hobby has progressed, it seems that opportunities to race at organized tracks has decreased. I wonder if the hobby is moving more towards the hobbyist that just bashes around their house or with a few friends rather than getting involved with organized racing.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:46 AM   #5
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Yeah that place has a lot great memories. I worked in the Hauppauge location in the shop and calling races when I was in college.

It is tremendous how technology changes. Lipo and brushless are so different than the Nicad and brushed motors back then.

I remember when the concrete tracked opened. The speeds of those cars was amazing. At the time that type of racing was so popular, but I don't think there were a lot of indoor places with concrete ovals.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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Yeah that place has a lot great memories. I worked in the Hauppauge location in the shop and calling races when I was in college.

It is tremendous how technology changes. Lipo and brushless are so different than the Nicad and brushed motors back then.

I remember when the concrete tracked opened. The speeds of those cars was amazing. At the time that type of racing was so popular, but I don't think there were a lot of indoor places with concrete ovals.

Do you remember the name of the owners? I remember their son was Lance, but can't for the life of me remember the fathers name nor their last name.

My good friend Rich worked there for a long time. I was about 10 years younger than him, but we became pretty good friends.

It's a shame that there isn't many tracks on LI, but with the lack of commercial space, the subsequently high rents are just too much for a hobby store/track to absorb.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:44 PM   #7
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I want to say the owners name was Dave. I remember Lance was his son.

Was your friend Rich Lombardo (I think that was his last name)? He tried to sell diff lubes and shock oils for a while. They were really good, I had the diff lube for years, cried when it ran out it was great. We drove to Chicago one year to the hobby show to try and sell it.

LI is rough to be able to afford the space. I give a lot of credit to the owner of LIR, it's one of the longest running facilities in the country. You would think on road tracks are easier to run, but on road sparks up for a while dies off and comes back. Off road always seems to keep trucking along.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:55 AM   #8
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I want to say the owners name was Dave. I remember Lance was his son.

Was your friend Rich Lombardo (I think that was his last name)? He tried to sell diff lubes and shock oils for a while. They were really good, I had the diff lube for years, cried when it ran out it was great. We drove to Chicago one year to the hobby show to try and sell it.

LI is rough to be able to afford the space. I give a lot of credit to the owner of LIR, it's one of the longest running facilities in the country. You would think on road tracks are easier to run, but on road sparks up for a while dies off and comes back. Off road always seems to keep trucking along.
His name was Dave.

Most of the problem with on road tracks people will come inside for the winter and go outside for nitro in the summer. I saw that with 360 Speedway that is why it closed. During the winter that was about 30 racers weekly and as soon as it got warm thay were gone. The racing fees were high because of that and no one wanted to pay. Donny had no choice but close.

Around the time Dave had the track, I remember a track in N. Bellmore indoor but there were about 6 or 7 outdoor tracks in Suffolk.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:01 AM   #9
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I want to say the owners name was Dave. I remember Lance was his son.

Was your friend Rich Lombardo (I think that was his last name)? He tried to sell diff lubes and shock oils for a while. They were really good, I had the diff lube for years, cried when it ran out it was great. We drove to Chicago one year to the hobby show to try and sell it.

LI is rough to be able to afford the space. I give a lot of credit to the owner of LIR, it's one of the longest running facilities in the country. You would think on road tracks are easier to run, but on road sparks up for a while dies off and comes back. Off road always seems to keep trucking along.
Yep, Rich Lombardo. He also tried developing a 1/12 on-road car - not sure at what point he finally threw in the towel on the project, but I know that he had a running prototype. I tracked him down a few years back ( through his parents, as finding his father was easier as he was a well known and respected R/C plane builder). He's racing legend cars, and I think doesn't do R/C anymore.

I remember the many options as a R/C enthusiast on LI back in the day. Most of my racing was at Long Island Hobbies and Raceway ( both locations ), and I raced a bit of dirt at a outdoor track that was in Mattituck. I seem to remember a bunch of Greeks ( we'd call them "The Greeks" ) - I think they were all related - that used to come out to Deer Park and give us a run for out money.

I used to fly planes at the old Davis Peach farm on 25 just east of 112. All these place are long gone.

Ahh...memories...
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:05 AM   #10
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His name was Dave.

Most of the problem with on road tracks people will come inside for the winter and go outside for nitro in the summer. I saw that with 360 Speedway that is why it closed. During the winter that was about 30 racers weekly and as soon as it got warm thay were gone. The racing fees were high because of that and no one wanted to pay. Donny had no choice but close.

Around the time Dave had the track, I remember a track in N. Bellmore indoor but there were about 6 or 7 outdoor tracks in Suffolk.
Yeah, Dave was it. I want to say their last name was Armstrong, but I can't remember.

I remember hearing about the track in Bellmore, but being in my early teens then, I really had no way to get there (parents were reluctant to drive me to Hauppaugue and Deer Park ).

I raced outdoor off-road out in Mattituck. I don't think the track lasted long, but it was fun. Pretty much all of my racing was on-road.

I remember buying my first competitive on-road car ( Lynx II Elite ) at Bruckner Hobbies in Brooklyn or the Bronx. I wonder if they are still around?
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:21 PM   #11
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Yeah, Dave was it. I want to say their last name was Armstrong, but I can't remember.

I remember hearing about the track in Bellmore, but being in my early teens then, I really had no way to get there (parents were reluctant to drive me to Hauppaugue and Deer Park ).

I raced outdoor off-road out in Mattituck. I don't think the track lasted long, but it was fun. Pretty much all of my racing was on-road.

I remember buying my first competitive on-road car ( Lynx II Elite ) at Bruckner Hobbies in Brooklyn or the Bronx. I wonder if they are still around?
My sons and I raced at Mattituck about 25 years ago.

II was the first oval car my sons and I had.

Bruckner Hoobies was and still is in the Bronx
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:59 AM   #12
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I was the race director at both tracks, original flat carpet, later in the new facility with the banked concrete oval, for a long time during school. I remember spending long days swinging a sledge building the rail road tie walls. The biggest disappointment came when the blacktop surface of the oval was too wavy to maintain the cars planted...in came the concrete pump truck. Even though it was day one with the track, I donít think Dave ever recovered from the unexpected cost of adding concrete to the track. Later, Gavin talked Dave into the carpet track on the inside of the oval, later moved to the back corner of the building.

Dave and Sue Hoffman were the owners, son Lance, can't remember the daughters name. After closing the shop, he became an RV salesman.

I think "The Greeks" you are talking about is John, Nick and Pete Themelis. They were all dialed. They match PT cells and built Mighty Motors.

Where is Rich Lombardi now? I remember being with him at Caladras track in Rome during an offroad regional when he was pushing Quantum shock oils. He was cleaning a shock out and squirted a mixture of quantum shock oil and quantum motor spray in his eye. I think I remember a trip to the emergency room to deal with a melting contact.

There was an offroad track in the basement of Bellmore hobbies. I was never there but George was the owner. Then there was the track in Huntington and Center Reach. Then the guys from Savage opened a short lived place way out on the east end somewhere.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:51 PM   #13
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I was the race director at both tracks, original flat carpet, later in the new facility with the banked concrete oval, for a long time during school. I remember spending long days swinging a sledge building the rail road tie walls. The biggest disappointment came when the blacktop surface of the oval was too wavy to maintain the cars planted...in came the concrete pump truck. Even though it was day one with the track, I donít think Dave ever recovered from the unexpected cost of adding concrete to the track. Later, Gavin talked Dave into the carpet track on the inside of the oval, later moved to the back corner of the building.

Dave and Sue Hoffman were the owners, son Lance, can't remember the daughters name. After closing the shop, he became an RV salesman.

I think "The Greeks" you are talking about is John, Nick and Pete Themelis. They were all dialed. They match PT cells and built Mighty Motors.

Where is Rich Lombardi now? I remember being with him at Caladras track in Rome during an offroad regional when he was pushing Quantum shock oils. He was cleaning a shock out and squirted a mixture of quantum shock oil and quantum motor spray in his eye. I think I remember a trip to the emergency room to deal with a melting contact.

There was an offroad track in the basement of Bellmore hobbies. I was never there but George was the owner. Then there was the track in Huntington and Center Reach. Then the guys from Savage opened a short lived place way out on the east end somewhere.
I think they ( Hoffmans ) actually lived right around the corner form the original Haupaugue track. I remember they we're all pretty active in that original carpet track, which I personally thought was pretty successful, but when the Deer Park track was done, they seemed to be less involved. I was only in my early teens at that time. I think after the track didn't work out, they moved the hobby store to someplace near Smiththown ( on Smithtown Blvd. ), and that was the final attempt at it.

Those were the "Greeks" - Rich used to call them that. Those guys always showed up and were strong. Besides being pretty good drivers at that track , who know what kind of money they spent on batteries and motors. DO you know if they are still active in the hobby?

Yeah, I traveled with Rich to Suffrin. NY and Bowie, MD ( I think it was GPA Hobbies ) for some off road and 1/12 scale racing. He's living in Vegas now racing Legend Cars last I heard from him, which was about 2 years ago. I saw him about 2 years before that, and he still looked the same. I think he's a teacher down there, and after attempting to develop a 1/12 car, he gave up on the hobby/company, and probably for good reason as so much has shifted to Asia.

Are you still on the Island? Sad to see not that many racing opportunities there anymore, but with the development and the subsequent costs of rent for commercial space, I don't think it would be affordable for either the business owner nor the hobbyist.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:30 PM   #14
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My sons and I raced at Mattituck about 25 years ago.

II was the first oval car my sons and I had.

Bruckner Hoobies was and still is in the Bronx
i know my reply is a little late but i had no idea mattituck had a track back then. i live in mattituck, i am 15 so i wasnt born when that track was around. my cousins said they raced their clodbusters there.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:54 PM   #15
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WOW you guys are bring back some memories now.

I remember when I went to Chicago Hobby show with Rich, trying to push Quantum stuff - the diff lube was actually really good, I used it for years.

raffaeli and I worked at the old Island Hobbies, I think he stopped right when I started, we both went to NYIT back then. I ran his batteries for while, way back when as well (Remember Chris!!).

Wally and Brett were the guys from Savage, Wally had a shop way out towards the end of the island - I remember all the Savage - Powerline battles at LIR years ago.

I saw Johnny Themelis at LIR not long ago (pretty sure that was him), I am sure he didn't recognize me so I didn't say anything.

George did the track in Bellmore then originally opened LIR. After he sold it he moved to FL, I remember going down there one year for the old Winter Champs (like '97-'98) and saw him arguing with someone over parts or something.

Good times.....
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