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Category: Toyota Speedway at Irwindale

Struggling NASCAR track Irwindale Speedway cancels season

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Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, once hailed as perhaps the best short track for minor-league NASCAR racing, said Monday it has canceled its 2012 season.

Amid speculation that the half-mile speedway might be closed or sold in the face of dwindling crowds, its management issued a one-sentence statement announcing the cancellation and providing no other details.

Track officials could not immediately be reached to elaborate, but the speedway's website also had been taken down.

The 6,500-seat Irwindale facility alongside the 605 Freeway opened 13 years ago mainly to host weekly Saturday races for NASCAR stock-car developmental series. It drew positive reviews and was considered a particularly fan-friendly venue.

The track also hosted annual races that at times drew some of racing's biggest stars, including Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Joey Logano.

Those races included the NASCAR All-Star Showdown and the "Turkey Night" race on Thanksgiving Day for open-wheel sprint and midget cars.

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Photos: Cars race in the NASCAR All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Jan. 30, 2011. Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

71st 'Turkey Night' auto races set for Irwindale Speedway

Race

The 71st running of a Thanksgiving night tradition in Southern California, the "Turkey Night Grand Prix" races for USAC midget and sprint cars, are scheduled next Thursday at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.

Past races have drawn many notable drivers from other series who raced on the holiday, including A.J. Foyt and Parnelli Jones, along with NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart (who won the midgets race in 2000) and Kasey Kahne.

The midgets and sprint races sanctioned by the U.S. Auto Club feature powerful, stripped-down, open-wheel cars that compete on the paved, half-mile Irwindale track.

Drivers expected to race next week include midgets driver Cory Kruseman of Ventura and Bryan Clauson of Indiana; the latter will attempt to win his third consecutive Turkey Night midgets race.

Clauson, 22, recently clinched his second USAC national drivers championship, which includes a scholarship to race in the Firestone Indy Lights series, a feeder series for the premier Izod IndyCar Series.

Gates open at 4 p.m. for Turkey Night and the racing starts at 7 p.m.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Cory Kruseman teaches a class in Ventura. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times.

Five track champions crowned at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale

 

Connor Cantrell of Santa Clarita won his first NASCAR Super Trucks championship at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale before an estimated 3,500 on Saturday night.

Cantrell came into the season finale at the track with a 40-point lead over Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga and a four-race winning streak.

Partridge won the final race of the season with Cantrell in second place.

Tracks champions were crowned in the S2 stock cars, Legends Cars, Bandoleros and Super Stocks.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock for more on the track champions at Irwindale.

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Tony Hunt wins USAC Western Sprint Car Series race at Irwindale

Tony Hunt from Lincoln won the USAC Western Sprint Car Series race on Open Wheel night at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale before an estimated crowd of 5,500 on Saturday.

Hunt won his third race in the USAC Western Classic Sprint Car Series and his first since June at Madera Speedway.

Audra Sasselli from Visalia was second and Tim Skoglund from Fresno was third.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock for more on the races from Irwindale.

-- Tim Haddock

Rookie Dylan Lupton wins NASCAR Late Model race at Irwindale

Dylan Lupton won Saturday night's NASCAR Late Model race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, taking the lead from RJ Johnson on Lap 19. Johnson, from Canyon Country, blew a tire that nearly destroyed his car. He scraped the Turn 3 wall and his driver's side panel was ripped off the car. He did not finish the race.

Lupton, a rookie from Wilton, won his fourth Late Model race of the season at Irwindale.

Brandon Davis of Huntington Beach, the leader in the Late Model standings at Irwindale, was second.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock for more on the races from Irwindale.

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Austin Barnes, 16, wins Lucas Oil Modified Series race at Irwindale

 

 

Austin Barnes, who will be a junior at Escondido High School starting Monday, won the Lucas Oil Modified Series race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.

It was his second win of the season in the modified series. His other win came at Irwindale on June 4.

It was a good night for the Johnson clan at Irwindale. Rod Johnson of Canyon Country was sixth in the modified series race. His son, RJ Johnson, won the NASCAR Super Late Models race, his fourth in a row at the track.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock for more on the races at Irwindale.

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Brandon Davis wins NASCAR Late Model race at Irwindale

Brandon Davis of Huntington Beach won the NASCAR Late Model race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.

It was Davis' second Late Model win in a row and seventh of the season.

He leads the Late Model standings at the track by 56 points over rookie Nik Romano of Wilton.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock for more on the races from Irwindale.

-- Tim Haddock

RJ Johnson takes over lead in NASCAR Super Late Model standings at Irwindale

Photo: Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California. Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images for NASCAR RJ Johnson of Canyon Country won the NASCAR Super Late Model stock-car race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night, rallying from the back of the field.

He took over the lead in the Super Late Model standings at the track. It was his fourth win in five races this season in the division.

Riki Rachtman, from MTV's "Headbangers Ball" and KROQ's "Loveline," was in the S2 stock car race for the second week in a row. He crashed into teammate Trevor Huddleston and finished in last place.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock for more on the races from Irwindale.

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Photo: Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California. Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images for NASCAR

Frankie Muniz visits Toyota Speedway at Irwindale

 

Frankie Muniz, from "Malcolm in the Middle," was at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night watching the races and preparing to compete in an S2 stock car race in a couple of weeks.

Muniz was in Northern California earlier in the day racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

He said he will race in the Firestone Indy Lights series next year and work his way to the Izod IndyCar Series.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock for the complete interview with Muniz.

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Greg Pursley tops NASCAR Hunter Index for July

Hunterindex_july_2011_200 Greg Pursley, the leader in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West standings, was voted as the top driver in the Hunter Index for July.

Pursley, a Canyon High of Canyon Country graduate from Newhall, won the West Series race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night and has won five of the seven West Series races this season.

He was the only driver from the West Series selected in the Hunter Index top 10. The Hunter Index ranks the top drivers in the NASCAR developmental series in North America.

Go to NASCAR Home Tracks to see the top 10 drivers in the Hunter Index.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock to see how I voted for the drivers in the NASCAR Hunter Index.

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Greg Pursley wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Irwindale

 

Greg Pursley won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale before a near-sellout crowd Saturday night.

"A big load off, I'll tell you that," said Pursley, a graduate of Canyon High School in Canyon Country. He won for the first time in his West Series career at Irwindale. Pursley was the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion in 2004 racing Super Late Models at Irwindale.

Pursley has won five of the seven West Series races this year and leads the West Series standings.

Go to Haddock in the Paddock for more on the Pursley's West Series win at Irwindale.

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