NASCAR is returning to Irwindale.
The sanctioning body has announced it is bringing its Home Tracks program back to Irwindale Speedway, as the 2013 racing season will begin on April 6 with a "Grand Re-Opening Night" of racing featuring NASCAR Super Late Models, Late Models, Super Stocks, Mini-Stocks and an evening-ending fun-for-all Demolition Derby.
"We met with Bob Duvall (NASCAR's Senior Director of Business Development) yesterday at our offices in Irwindale," said Irwindale Event Center President and CEO Jim Cohan on January 4. "He really understands our mission to bring great short track stock car racing back to southern California and he's very supportive of that goal. Bob made his presentation, answered all of our questions, we signed the sanction agreement, and he got back on a plane and took the papers back to Daytona Beach."
"This facility hasn't changed physically in any way; it's the same great race track," Duvall said. "What has changed is the management group and spirit of teamwork that Jim Cohan's people bring to the effort. They're all top pros, and I'm really looking forward to working with them."
On December 14, 2012, 211 Entertainment Company was awarded a full operational lease on the complete facility, and planning was immediately begun to bring the track property back into full use, including oval track racing, which had not taken place at the track since November 2011.
In fact, when the former track operators filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in February 2012, 211's Jim Cohan and his staff at the track's LA Racing Experience Stock Car School (part of 211) worked closely with the property owners Nu-Way Industries to keep the track's doors open and operating, as well as hiring key track personnel.
"There were a few doubts out there that this day might not come, not on our part of course," Cohan added. "Our team has worked very hard for this day, and to finally be able to tell the world that Saturday night stock car racing is back at Irwindale."
Late last year, Speedway management announced an alliance with Kern County Raceway Park, the new half-mile oval racetrack that's just completing construction near Bakersfield, California. Both tracks are working together to coordinate schedules and competition rules to allow teams in a number of divisions to compete at both tracks during the upcoming season.
Irwindale Competition Director Mike Atkinson will soon be announcing divisional meetings at the track for car owners and drivers.
Applications for 2013 NASCAR licenses for drivers and crewpersons are now available at the Speedway office during regular business hours (500 Speedway Drive, Irwindale, California 91706; 626/358-1100).
In related news, it was announced recently that LoanMart has become one of the first sponsors to sign on with the newly rejuvenated Irwindale Event Center. The fast-growing Los Angeles-based loan company's corporate presence will be seen on both the Irwindale Speedway oval track and the facility's NHRA-sanctioned Irwindale Dragstrip.
IRWINDALE 2013 NASCAR RACING EVENT SCHEDULE:
* Irwindale Race Trucks include: Super Trucks, ASA, and SWTT 2; all dates and lineups are subject to change.