Irwindale, Calif. -- An open-to-the-public groundbreaking ceremony has
been set for Saturday afternoon August 12 at 1:30 p.m. at Irwindale
Speedway. The event will celebrate the beginning of construction of the
first new drag strip to be built in the Southland in more than 20 years.
The 1/8-mile National Hot Rod Association-sanctioned race track, to be
located along the southernmost property line of the 63-acre facility.
One-eighth mile long, the 660 feet of full-throttle acceleration will see
some spectacular tires-smoking launches and top speeds approaching the 100
mile-per-hour levels at the timing lights. "We're very excited about
this new addition to our facility," said track Vice President/COO Bob
DeFazio. "This is what we we've been planning to for since the
Speedway project began over five years ago."
The groundbreaking, while scheduled to be attended by a large contingent
of notables from the motorsports world (including NHRA founder Wally
Parks) is also very much open to the public at large. "We want
everyone who's interested to come and join with us as we begin this
project. The new Irwindale Dragstrip his will be a track where everyone
who wants to may participate in one way or another. We're asking all hot
rodders, street rodders, sport compact drivers, and everyone else who has
a personal interest in street legal drag racing to come out to Irwindale
on Saturday to be a part of history in the making."
Cars taking part at the 1/8-Mile facility will be of the "Street
Legal" variety (DMV-Iicensed and legal to drive on the streets).
Most, if not all, of these cars are used for everyday transportation and
many have been extensively performance-modified by their proud owners.
Ranging from 50's era coupes to the latest imports; hot street machines
testing each other under controlled conditions will be the stock in trade
at the Dragstrip.
Also on the menu at Irwindale are the Junior Dragsters, scaled-down mini
versions of top fuel dragsters, driven by kids with dreams of becoming the
next Tony Schumacher or Shirley Muldowney. The NHRA has laid down (and
will enforce) a very solid set of rules for the construction and operation
of the for their Junior Dragsters, thus assuring safe and equal
competition for their young aspiring drivers.
It goes without saying that all cars running on the new strip at Irwindale
will have to meet very strict safety and sound requirements. And, working
mufflers will be an absolute must on all cars that take to the track. This
'strip will not only be fun for the participants, but a good neighbor to
the surrounding communities.
This facility will be the fourth drag strip to be located in Irwindale.
"There's a great deal racing heritage here in the San Gabriel Valley,
and we feel that we're carrying that tradition on with our twin NASCAR
ovals, our Karting facility, and now, with our own 1/8-mile drag
strip," said DeFazio.
Many local police departments and community agencies have expressed
interest in the new strip and will be working with the facility to foster
safer on street driving through programs associated with this facility.
Plans are to have the strip in operation by late Fall. At this point
racing is envisioned to take place on two Sundays per month with the
possibility of a weekday night event every other week catering strictly to
street rodders and hobbyists.