Enthusiasts get into gear for renewed push for Calverton drag strip

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CALVERTON -

Enthusiasts are taking another lap in their push to get lawmakers and community members excited about building a drag strip at the former Grumman property in Calverton.

John Cozzoli, head of the Long Island Drag Racing Club, says an economic impact study shows that building a strip in Calverton would bring $17 million in revenue to Long Island.

Cozzoli, who also started the Facebook group "L.I. Needs A Dragstrip," says there are several thousand people on Long Island who want to drag race. Currently, the nearest track is in Great Meadows, New Jersey.

But they do face some opposition from community members and civic groups who say they don’t want the traffic, pollution and noise. And people with loved ones burired at Calverton National Cemetery say building a drag strip so close would be disrespectful.

Michelle McNaughton, a Gold Star mom whose son James is buried in Calverton, says she supports a drag strip but just in a different location.

Cozzali says his group is open to exploring other potential locations.

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