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L.A.-area street-legal drag racing may not die with Irwindale track

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L.A.-area street-legal drag racing may not die with Irwindale track
By:
May 11, 2015, 11:18 PM

Irwindale president looking for property for new NHRA-sanctioned strip.

General view of Irwindale Speedway
Toyota Speedway in Irwindale
Paul Athey, the driver of Johnny Rocca's 'Ironhorse' '51 Pro Modified
Wheels-up action!

We reported previously on the sad news the Irwindale, the half-mile oval and drag strip located just east of Los Angeles, may soon close to make way for an outlet mall.

There was concern that with the loss of the drag strip, competitors may illegally take their racing to the streets.

But today it was announced that Irwindale Event Center's President/CEO, Jim Cohan, has begun a process that will seek to locate and acquire property for the site of a new NHRA-sanctioned 1/8th-mile Street Legal Drag Strip.

According to a statement from the track, Cohan is in talks with the City of Irwindale and the Irwindale Police Department and is supported by a county-wide coalition of law enforcement agencies (including the Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol) to continue to offer an alternative to illegal street racing.

"We've been working on this project for quite some time now. We'll continue to honor my commitment to communicate with the racing community and will be releasing additional information as it becomes available. Our goal, of course, is to keep safe and legal drag racing in this community. We've received outstanding support from our city and from law enforcement agencies across the county as well as from the Auto Club and the NHRA," said Cohan. "Everyone understands how much this facility means to all of southern California. We especially appreciate the sort of encouragement that our great fans and competitors have given us."

Tragic consequences

Unfortunately much of the renewed concern in making sure that there are local facilities which are safe for both competitors and fans has been accelerated by recent news stories of the tragic results of illegal street racing.

"Right now and right on through the end of the 2015 season we'll continue to offer the same great NHRA Street Legal Drag Racing that we've presented here an average of 48 Thursday nights per year for the past thirteen years. If anyone wants to see how well it works, please join us here at Irwindale on a Thursday night soon," Cohan concluded. "I think that you'll get the idea, and start to understand why we're working so hard to see that this service to the community continues."

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Series Drag
Author Steven Cole Smith