"This specialized strip adds nicely to Irwindale's goal of being a 'full service' motorsports recreation location," said track VP/COO Bob DeFazio. "Our reputation here is one of flexibility. Irwindale Speedway has been the site of virtually every sort of motor-powered competition out there. This 660-foot timed acceleration strip really completes the package. We're very pleased that our City Council has given their approval to these plans." "It's a great step for the city of Irwindale and its youth," said Irwindale Mayor Mark Breceda after the 4 - 0 vote of approval.
Given strong support by competitors, fans, law enforcement, and the local business community, the all-new Irwindale Dragstrip will be a site where anyone will be able to "check out" their own personal automobile against the clocks or against a buddy over the straight 660-foot electronically-timed course.
The new facility will be coming on-line at a time when illegal street racing is at an all-time high. "We feel that the new Dragstrip at Irwindale will get a lot of racers off the streets and into a safe, well-controlled environment where they can see exactly what their car can do without endangering themselves and others on the public streets. This is what National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) was formed to do 50 years ago, and the concept is as valid now as it was then," said Charlie Neilson, the NHRA's Pacific Region Director of Competition.
NHRA Junior Dragsters, half-scale, lawnmower-engined versions of the big dragsters, will also compete at the new Irwindale Dragstrip. Driven by youngsters in the 8 to 16 age range, these mini-machines teach many skills including mechanics, math, engineering, driving, and communications. A family sport, the "Juniors", have been credited with keeping youngsters engaged and active and away from some of the "temptations" that seem so prevalent in today's society.
The Irwindale Dragstrip will be the seventh race track to located in Irwindale starting back with the original San Gabriel Valley Dragstrip which opened in 1956. "We're looking back on a strong tradition of community-involved motorsports competition in Irwindale, and looking ahead at keeping that tradition very much alive, exciting, safe, and thriving for all of Southern California. This is a very proud day for everyone associated with the Speedway complex," DeFazio concluded.
Located on the extreme southeastern corner of the Speedway property , the 'Strip will run in an east to west direction. Equipped with all the regular drag strip features like a spacious pit area, staging lanes, a water burn-out area, "Christmas tree" starting lights, laser-flat concrete launch pad, and lane "Winner" lights, the 1/8-mile track will pack a lot of racing excitement into its modest 660 feet of acceleration area.
More detailed information on classes, rules, racing dates, etc. will be announced soon. Construction on the new Irwindale Dragstrip began this morning.