Nov 16 2018

The Last Race: Film documents the beauty & intensity of racing at the last track on Long Island

Michael's Dweck's award-winning film on the Riverhead Raceway is available on demand today.


Howard Kroplick

The New York Times Review

Nov. 15, 2018

The Last Race
    Directed by Michael Dweck
    Documentary, Sport
    1h 15m
By Glenn Kenny
In the beginning of “The Last Race,” we discover that auto racing first came to Long Island in the early 20th century, and that there have been over 40 racetracks operating there. This movie is about the last extant one, Riverhead Raceway.
Auto racing is noisy and not great for the environment. But it’s also responsible for a lively, eccentric culture. The director of this brisk documentary, Michael Dweck, clearly considers it lively and eccentric, and does a committed job trying to convey that. His movie has amusing thumbnail sketches of drivers and auto-tinkerers, regular Joes who work at unglamorous day jobs when not pursuing high-speed glory. (One is a bee and wasp removal and containment specialist, and some time spent with him provides the movie with a uniquely vivid scene). The track’s owners, Jim and Barbara Cromarty, are a sweet old couple much beloved by their community.
Dweck’s film also contains voluminous racing footage, shot from both inside and outside the noisy stock cars mostly featured. These scenes, largely scored to bits of Mozart’s “Requiem,” lean into a sensory overload that sometimes brings to mind Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 classic “Koyaanisqatsi.” Time spent with Barbara and Jim in their trailer office is slightly reminiscent of Errol Morris’s 1978 “Gates of Heaven.” As Dweck divides his efforts between elegiac tone poem and shaggy-dog ensemble piece, he introduces the business people — real estate developers and such — who consider the land on which the raceway sits to be a potential gold mine. Although the eventual fate of the track, as it happens — spoiler alert! — undercuts the movie’s title.

Our good friend Marty Himes is featured throughout the film.

Newsday Review

Four-year old Brian McCarthy at Riverhead Raceway in 1972.


Nov 17 2018 Michael Dweck 7:47 AM

I want to thank Howard Kroplick for both his support of Long Island racing history and The Last Race. I was raised in Bellmore and spent many nights with my family watching racers like Marty Himes battle on the track at the Freeport Stadium. Sadly, that track and all other well bulldozed over years ago, except for the Riverhead Raceway.

I spent five years of my life and most of my savings making this film with the hope the Riverhead Raceway with endure for many more years.

Enjoy The Last Race!

- Michael Dweck, Director and Producer

Nov 17 2018 Brian D McCarthy 7:39 PM

I’ve been here a handful of times and will definitely watch this on cable.

Nov 17 2018 mark schaier 8:40 PM

Saw the film, GREAT, better than being at the raceway trackside!

Nov 17 2018 Howard Kroplick 11:30 PM


Congratulations on a beautiful film.  I actually felt at times that I was behind the wheel on the Riverhead track! Marty Himes was fantastic!

I enjoyed the Last Race!


Nov 18 2018 Howard Kroplick 11:06 AM

Update: Added photo of four-year old Brian McCarthy at Riverhead Raceway.

Nov 18 2018 S. Berliner, III 3:41 PM

Freeport closed in the late ‘80s (when?) and the “Bridge” closed in 1998.  I remember midgets racing at Cedarhurst Stadium (now Lawrence High School); that’s where Bill Schindler quite literally lost his head - my Mom saw that horror.  Brian - how’d you ever get a racing license that young?  Sam, III

Nov 19 2018 Brian D McCarthy 5:24 PM

Good one, Sam III !

Nov 21 2018 John Van Gasteren 4:34 PM

Spent quite few nights as a spectator at Freeport, Islip, and later Riverhead Raceway.  Did hundreds of laps myself at Riverhead during the 2000-2001 race seasons racing karts with the Eastern Kart Racing Association.

Nov 22 2018 S. Berliner, III 12:26 PM

Karters of the world unite!  You haven’t lived until you’ve seen famed automotive cartoonist Stan Mott’s around-the-world kart trip (really):!  Sam, III

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