Once again, and probably for the final time, Irwindale Speedway has announced it is closing.
The half-mile oval dodged a similar bullet in 2011 when it closed for but reopened in 2013. It’s highly unlikely one of the best short tracks in the country will get another reprieve.
Now, with the racetrack set to close in January, the question is what the new shopping area will be called.
“In all honesty, we were here and in it for the long haul. In fact, we were in the process of putting out our complete schedule for the 2018 season,” Jim Cohan, CEO of Team 211 Entertainment, said in the statement. “All that made this news very difficult for me to hear, and very hard on our whole team.”
Considered the most modern short track in the country, Irwindale hosted a variety of racing In addition, it is considered the birthplace of American drift racing. In fact, the facility had the unofficial name “House of Drift” and consistently drew packed houses for major drifting events.
“Formula Drift is extremely saddened by the news,” the organization said in a release. “Irwindale has been an integral part of the history of not only our Series, but the sport of drifting. The venue is the birthplace of American drifting and global drifting, having hosted the first large-scale competition back in 2003.
“It will be difficult to replace such an iconic track and location in the heart of Southern California, but the Series has been anticipating this announcement for quite some time.”
The track, part of the Irwindale Event Center, opened in 1999 and declared bankruptcy in 2011. In 2013, Lindom Properties bought the 63-acre site with the intention of constructing a 700,00-square-foot open-air mall. Plans were announced to discontinue racing but were postponed until more space could be rented out.
In late 2016, Irwindale Community Development director Gustavo Romo told the Southern California News Group that “the existing lease will continue until the owner secures…