Irwindale Speedway comes back to life … again
By Keith Lair
Irwindale Speedway is back in business. For a third time.
The race track which had been scheduled to close Jan. 31, 2018 will have at least two more seasons after a new lease was signed Thursday evening. The about-face agreement was signed by a new track operating group, led by Agoura Hills racer Tim Huddleston and his Justice Brothers distributorship. They are calling themselves a Group of Motorsports Enthusiasts led by Tim Huddleston and Justice Brothers.
Jim Cohan, the CEO of Team 211 Entertainment and parent company of the Irwindale Events Center, held yearly leases from land owner Irwindale Outlet Partners LLC for five years. Cohan said Irwindale Outlet Partners told IEC executives last July 24 it was terminating its lease at the end of January, 2018, seven months from then.
But on Nov. 26, the partners came back to Cohan and offered another lease for the 63.5-acre property. Cohan declined to renew the pact.
“After years of year-to-year leases, we just turned the page,” Cohan said. “We began looking at other opportunities.
“I hit pause (when they asked in November), but at that point we were in discussions with Tim and I really liked what he was saying. I fought harder to keep the racing there than anybody.”
Tim Huddleson. (Getty Images)
Huddleston won three Irwindale Late Model series championships, the last one in 2008. He turned car owner and his son, Trevor, has won the last three series titles. He was also the NASCAR Whelen All American Series short track national runner-up this year.
Irwindale Events Center holds weekly NASCAR-sanctioned stock-car races, Thursday night drag racing, select NHRA drag-racing events, drifting competitions and operates the L.A. Racing Experience. In addition, it is frequently used for automobile commercials. A Kia advertisement for the upcoming Super Bowl was recently filmed on the property.
It was the first track […]