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Racing News: Irwindale Speedway Cancels Season, May Close

  The Irwindale Speedway may be closing its doors. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images for NASCAR.)

Irwindale Speedway Cancels Season
Irwindale Speedway, which opened in 1999, has canceled the 2012 season and appears to be closing, according to the Los Angeles Daily News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Irwindale was considered among the best short track and drifting facilities in the nation. However, last Saturday, workers were dismantling the pit grandstand and taking apart storage areas, according to the Daily News report. In addition, the large billboard bordering the San Gabriel Valley River Freeway was not lit up and the track's website was taken off the Internet.

L.A. Racing owner Jim Cohen told the Valley Tribune that Irwindale Speedway LLC is out of business.

The regular season, featuring the track's point-scoring divisions, usually starts the last weekend in March. The track was home to NASCAR's Toyota All-Star Showdown seven times, but according to the Valley Tribune, car counts and attendance were down significantly last season. Attendance peaked in 2002, averaging 5,372 fans. Last season, attendance for 28 events averaged approximately 2,805—the smallest in track history.
  ROUSH Performance will sponsor the NMRA's Super Stang class

ROUSH Performance to Sponsor NMRA’s Super Stang Class
The NMRA has announced that ROUSH Performance will sponsor Super Stang—one of its most popular classes that feature all-new S197 Mustangs competing against each other with easy-to-follow “index”-style rules. Super Stang regularly attracts more than 25 cars per event with many of the racers coming out of shop-backed teams that include Team JDM, Brenspeed and Evolution Motorsports.

Precision Turbo and Engine Named Official 2012 American Drag Racing League Contingency Program Sponsor
Precision Turbo and Engine (PTE) will be an official sponsor of the 2012 American Drag Racing League (ADRL) Contingency Program. PTE will pay any ADRL Contingency Program participant who uses a PTE turbocharger for a win or runner-up finish in either the Pro Extreme or the Extreme 10.5 (XTF) class at any of the season's 10 events of 2012.

As per the ADRL's contingency rules, any racer wishing to claim a PTE contingency payout must display a PTE contingency decal on both sides of their car for the entire duration of the event in order to be eligible for cash payment.

The Ford-Cobra-Shelby Reunion will be held at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.

Cobra to Celebrate Its 50th Anniversary
The Ford-Cobra-Shelby Reunion, to be held April 19–21, 2012, at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California, is a three-day event for all Cobras, Shelbys, Ford and Ford-powered vehicles.

The event will feature the Speed Merchants of Venice 50th Anniversary of Cobra Exhibit presented by Racing Division Inc., a banquet honoring Carroll Shelby, Show ’N Shine organized by Team Shelby Pacific Coast Division, two rare Shelby King Cobras on display, a panel discussion with Bob Bondurant and Parnelli Jones, a vendor’s midway, poker run and more.

For more information, visit


The NHRA has extended its long-running relationship with Lucas Oil Products, which includes series sponsorship of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

Lucas Oil Products Extends Series Sponsorship of NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Through 2015
The NHRA has announced an extension of its long-running relationship with Lucas Oil Products. The multi-faceted contract extension includes title rights of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota, a continued designation as the official oil products of the NHRA, naming rights at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and, most importantly, series sponsorship of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

The extension was officially signed at NHRA’s corporate headquarters in Glendora, California, with the NHRA’s employees in the audience.

Through the end of the new agreement, Lucas Oil will celebrate 14 years as sponsor of one of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which features eight classes, 24 regional events and 19 divisional events around the country. The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is also conducted at all 23 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, with 16 showcasing the Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car categories. These NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series events are featured in 16 one-hour programs, produced in high definition, and broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. The Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car categories are where many of today’s NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series drivers got their start, including Alexis DeJoria, Courtney Force, Spencer Massey, Brandon Bernstein and Morgan Lucas.

  king of hammers, off road industry

Team Falken suffered a transmission failure and was forced to retire at the King of Hammers off-road event last weekend.

Falken Tire Makes Valiant First Effort at King of Hammers Off-Road Event
Falken Tire debuted its new, custom-built Ultra4 buggy at the sixth running of the Griffin King of the Hammers event outside Twenty Nine Palms, California, and while competitive for much of the grueling race, the team suffered a transmission failure and was forced to retire. The Team Falken entry, piloted by Falken Vice President of Marketing Andrew Hoit and co-driver Ryan Hagel, of RCH Designs, started in 78th position out of 140 entries for the 165-mile race, run this past weekend, and ran strong for the first two-thirds of the course. Only 49 teams finished in the allotted 14-hour deadline. Race winner Eric Miller completed the event in six hours, three minutes.

It was a strong weekend in the off-road racing industry, as AMA Monster Energy Supercross Defending Champion Ryan Villopoto took his third win of the season in San Diego, California, during Round 6 of the race series. He currently leads by six points with 11 events remaining. RV, as he is known to fans and friends, is supported by Falken Tire, which is also the Official Truck Tire of the Supercross series.

  Champion Racing Oil will sponsor Brett Hearn for the 2012 Super DIRTcar Nationals.

Champion Racing Oil Sponsors Brett Hearn in Big-Block Series of 2012 Super DIRTcar Nationals
Champion Racing Oil is teaming up with Brett Hearn—who has more than 800 career wins, including 72 Track and Series Championships—as his lubricant sponsor for the 2012 Super DIRTcar Nationals.

This year’s season for Hearn, 53, starts at the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified portion of the DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment, February 22–25, at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. Hearn’s big-block 467-cid engine has more than 850 hp and weighs with driver only 2,500 lbs.

Hearn, who lives in Sussex, New Jersey, is a winner of a record seven Super DIRTcar Series Championships and this year will be one of at least a half-dozen big-block champions competing in the Florida event. The others include Stewart Friesen of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; three-time titlist Danny Johnson of Rochester, New York; two-time champion Alan Johnson of Phelps, New York; defending overall DIRTcar Big-Block Modified titleholder Matt Sheppard of Waterloo, New York; and 2003 titlist Tim Fuller of Watertown, New York.

To keep up with Hearn, visit or the Super DIRTcar Series site at

  Maradyne High Performance Fans will supply its line of fans to the Venturini Motorsports team for its upcoming ARCA Racing Series season.

Maradyne Sponsors Venturini Motorsports in ARCA Racing
Maradyne High Performance Fans will continue its second year of sponsorship with Venturini Motorsports by providing its line of fans to the team for its upcoming ARCA Racing Series season.

Venturini Motorsports—a family-owned team based in Concord, North Carolina—uses Maradyne’s Champion Low Profile Series 16-in. fan (part # M162K) on its fleet of more than 30 Chevrolet and Toyota race cars. Maradyne’s Champion Low Profile Series fan cools high-performance race engines with its 225-watt heavy-duty motor that delivers 2,170 CFM with an amp draw of 18.0.

Out of 49 starts in the 2011 ARCA Racing Season, Venturini Motorsports has racked up three wins, 13 Top 5 and 23 Top 10 finishes and seven pole positions.

Mark Patterson and Frank Yu took to the wheel of the #26 United Autosports Audi R8 LMS last month in the Dunlop 24h of Dubai.

United Autosports Heads Down Under For Bathurst 12 Hours
United Autosports heads down under to race one of its Audi R8 LMS GT3 cars in the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour race, February 24–26 with a trio of top drivers tackling the GT endurance event in Australia.

U.S.-based South African Mark Patterson will share cockpit duties with Hong Kong’s Frank Yu and Hong Kong-based Frenchman Alain Li.

Bathurst is the third winter pre-season race—after Dubai and Abu Dhabi—to be contested by the Anglo-American Leeds-based team. United Autosports makes its début at the circuit, the Australian track having been made famous for its Touring Car races, and the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour GT event features a 6.213-km-long roller-coaster Mount Panorama circuit.

The Audi is a proven 24-hour race winner, having won last year’s Spa 24 Hour race, the 2011 Blancpain Endurance Series, and not to mention last year’s Bathurst 12 Hours. Patterson, Yu and Li have all raced the United Autosports Audi with great success on several occasions and have taken many podiums between them.

  Ross Martin remains the Pro Points leader by 12 even after some tough luck at the Silverdome.

Ross Martin Remains Pro Points Leader
Ross Martin won his first round of the Pro Points race in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, February 14. During the second round he got tangled up in a massive pile-up, which ultimately qualified him for the last spot in the front row for the Final, where he finished in sixth place.

James Johnstad, a Pro Lite driver, delivered a first and second in his qualifying rounds with a top 10 finish in the Final. He moved up to third in the Pro Lite Points race.

Catch the action from the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, on Versus, Sunday, March 11, at 5:00 p.m. (EDT).