Letter from Bruce Santourian

- Updated: April 17th, 2012 - 

Welcome to the original "Save Carlsbad Raceway" web site.  

I have left this hastily built and simple web site basically unchanged since August of 2005. That is when we had learned that indeed we had lost our fight to save the parcel from being developed. Amazingly, during this effort to save the Raceway, we had received emails literally from around the world offering help and praise for our efforts. As far west as Australia and east to Germany. I was in awe from the incredible response that we had received, and humbled by the fantastic people I was able to meet along the way.  The reactions we collected are preserved here on this web site.  As I again read these pages, the response we received still strikes me as truly amazing.  Indeed this raceway was well known around the world.  

Today from this web site you can still observe the chain of events that led to the destruction and redevelopment of the area know as Carlsbad Raceway.  

I hope that this web site can serve as a tool for others to learn about the process of saving recreational areas.  For those who want to take on City Hall, I advise you to start early in the process. Unfortunately, our reaction time fell way short, and our late efforts just we not enough to save this one of a kind facility..... As this Raceway finally died, many peoples lives and memories were changed forever.

Incredibly, to this day, the new Industrial Park that stands on top of this famous Raceway is still mostly vacant. A sad case that holds true over seven years later.

Bruce Santourian

August 2005

Our efforts were indeed noticed, but the 143 acres known as The Carlsbad Raceway are gone. A new Industrial Park is replacing this once unique recreational area.I want to thank all of you for your help.
It seems that it was
just not meant to be.

Our email campaign made a substantial impact. As well, our special mailing effort to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jay Leno, had indeed raised the level of involvement. I want to thank everyone for helping us, this was a huge effort.  Incidentally, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was aware of our efforts, but for reasons unknown to me did little to change the course of events. A pleasant surprise came when our message to NBC's Jay Leno had been received. Mr. Leno was nice enough to contact me by phone to tell us that he thought that our efforts were noble, and had offered his assistance. Unfortunately, it was just too late to save the Carlsbad Raceway.  Mr. Leno, thank you for your kind words and your offer to help us. We appreciated it very much.

UPDATE:   August 10th, 2005
1 year later.........it's gone, all 143 acres have been developed!


I received this email from David Berthold just today.


The original Carlsbad Skatepark was destroyed Thursday the 12th of May 2005. After coming very close to saving the park, it was a sad day for those of us who were fighting to save this historical landmark. With absolutely no support from the City of Carlsbad and insufficient commitment from the skateboard industry, the effort to rescue the park was finally lost."

Thanks for your support and time dedicated to saving the park. We were told we still had a couple weeks but it's gone now. Yeah, I'm sad. I really thought we could pull this off. Photos and an update will be added to the site ASAP.

Dave Bergthold

Photo as of 3-23-05 shows that grading had closed in on the skate park.
But today, it is GONE.............

There was not enough interest to save the Skate Park.

The Drag Strip & Moto Cross Areas as of 3-23-05.
Sadly, the drag strip and moto cross areas have been bull dozed and are now unrecognizable as seen in the far background of this image.

Our efforts to save the entire Raceway have ended!
The Newspaper prophecy has come true.
It is The End for the Raceway.

Only a combined purchase offer of $20 mil could have changed this.
There has been NO interest, corporate or private, in purchasing this property. So, without interested buyer(s) / investor(s), the 143 acre Raceway has been destroyed. It is over now.

Time has run out on the drag strip & motocross track.

( old August 2004 article)

"Save Carlsbad Raceway"
Was A non-profit California Corporation
was formed in order
to save & upgrade & re-opening the raceway.

This raceway had significant historical value.


To our local residents, and elected officials:
Thank you for all your support. If we only had more time, and an earlier start, things may have turned out different.

To the News Media:
Thank You for your continued coverage, it added life to our uphill fight.

August, 2004 News Story (13 mb)                              Oct. 15th 2004 News Story (13 mb)

Right click and save to desktop, then open the file.


Rainy S.O.S. Rally, included many.
Click here for Rally images!

Persuasively, and over many years, the City of Carlsbad looks to have finally succeeded in their plans to have an industrial park built on this site. In doing so, this historic OHV recreational facility will be destroyed. Although all the activities have stopped, these memories live on.

1965 Carlsbad Raceway  -   April Issue of Car Craft 
Left Lane: the Crossley-Williams-Swan "Kamakazi I"
Right Lane: Adams-Yates.

(image courtesy of Beth Crossley)

More images of the great Bill Crossley

www.savecarlsbadraceway.com info@savecarlsbadraceway.com

The "Save Carlsbad Raceway" Committee is dedicated to the preservation and upgrading of the this facility.
We are in no way associated with the operators of the track, Carlsbad Raceway Inc.