For Southern California racers, it’s been a long 11 month hiatus from one of the premier short tracks in the Nation. After the company that managed the track, Irwindale Speedway LLC, filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on February 13, 2012, Jim Cohans Team 211 Entertainment group has been working feverishly to bring racing back to Southern California.
For those who were watching the live stream or attended the race this past weekend at Orange Show Stadium, it was more than evident with the big car count that racing in Southern California is not a thing of the past.
Instead the drivers, who made the trek to this historic track, proved that short track racing is far from dead and is something that was very much missed. Not only did the drivers fill the pit area this past weekend, but the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway also had their fair share of exceptionally high car counts throughout the 2012 season with some great racing action on the track.
With its new name, “Irwindale Event Center” CEO Jim Cohan said that, “We’re very pleased to announce that oval track racing will return to Irwindale for the 2013 season.” Cohan along with Bob Klein, who has been named the event center’s Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, will be working on putting together a schedule and rules package that will be published in the coming months.
There were a few obstacles in the way that kept the group which also includes bringing back Doug Stokes as the Vice President of Communications, from making an announcement concerning the future of the oval track even though the 1/8 mile drag strip has been running since the beginning of the year.
“Our master lease with the property owners, Nu-Way Industries, has been broadened and now includes all forms of racing activities on the 6,500-seat twin oval track. We are now working very hard to put all of the pieces together to be able to run a 2013 racing season,” said Cohan.
In an earlier press release it was said that Cohan had already visited and talked with the owners of Kern County Raceway, about the possibility of working together on a rules and schedule package that could accommodate the drivers at both tracks.
Kern County Raceway which is still in the construction phase and has a grand opening date in March of 2013, is working with Irwindale’s newest race director Mike Atkinson to allow racers in a number of divisions to compete fairly at both tracks.
Cohan also added that, “Our company name has the word ‘TEAM’ in it. We need everyone to understand that name is not an affectation. It’s a statement of our commitment to the process of re-building the legacy of Irwindale Speedway.”
“We know that we’re starting out a couple of laps behind,” Cohan candidly admitted. “But we also know that we have the support of a great number of former racers, sponsors, and most importantly, our fans who have stood by waiting for this track to come back on line again. We’ll really need everyone’s good will and support, and we’ll be trying very hard to return the favor by running a facility that always puts the customer first.”