Who said racing is dying? Well, maybe I’m pushing a bit, but a California track got an unexpected reprieve. Officials with the Irwindale Speedway tell jalopnik.com the track, once scheduled for a January 2018 closing, is going to stay open and in operation.
Track owners had announced back in August that they had a deal to sell the property for development into a 700,000-square foot shopping mall. The speedway, which isn’t even 20 years old, has hosted 26 NASCAR K&N Pro Series/Winston West events since it opened, plus USAC, Super Late Model, drift and NHRA events.
Something obviously happened. What exactly is not known. The speedway has been in financial trouble for years, filing for bankruptcy in 2012. The spokesperson for the track tells autoweek.com the news comes as a bit of a surprise.
“Good news is, suddenly, the track will not close on the 31st,” VP of Communications Doug Stokes said. “This is what we were hoping for. What happened, I can’t exactly say yet, but we don’t have to pick up and leave. We have a new leaseholder and the current landowners are not going to implement the plans they had for the property.”
It’s rumored that the speedway, known as the House of Drift, is built on an old landfill, making it unsuitable for retail shops and restaurants.
Stokes says details of the continued operation should be coming out in the next few days.