Approved drag race events at former Grumman property face opposition

The Riverhead Town Board approved 10 days of drag racing events to be held at the former Grumman property in Calverton, on two runways.

News 12 Staff

Jul 7, 2021, 3:02 AM

Updated 1,020 days ago

Share:

Neighbors and environmental groups on Long Island are raising concern about the possible return of drag racing to Suffolk County.
The Riverhead Town Board approved 10 days of drag racing events to be held at the former Grumman property in Calverton, on two runways.
George Gudmundsen lives in a housing complex across the street from the property.
"The Town Board should be concerned with us, who stand to be blasted out of their yards by earsplitting noise from the drag racing," Gudmendsen said.
Environmental groups tried to stop the events, arguing the site is inappropriate for car racing.
"You're sitting on top of an aquifer. What happens if there's an accident or if there's a fire? What will they put on to stop it? A lot of stuff is going to happen. You can't predict," said John McAuliff with EPCAL.
John Cozzalo, founder of the group Long Island Needs a Drag Strip, says protections have been put in place so the environment won't be harmed. Calverton is the perfect spot for racing, he says, and he hopes the upcoming events will eventually lead to a permanent track.
"The economic impact study that we had done shows $17 million a year in revenues to the businesses outside of the racetrack. That's not counting people coming into the racetrack," he said.
Opponents were successful getting the original date of one of the events moved. It was scheduled during nesting season for birds and other threatened species that live there.
A coalition of groups has reached out to the state Department of Environmental Conservation asking the agency to take a close look at town board's approval of the racing events.


More from News 12