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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Famed Irwindale Speedway has reached the finish line

The original Irwindale drag strip closed in 1977 and Miller Beer built a brewery on the property. A few years later an oval track named "Speedway 605" opened several miles west of that location. It then became "Irwindale Raceway" and started to offer 1/8 mile drags; I never went because I was not and am not a 1/8 mile fan. That's a moot point now anyway because of this latest announcement. At one point I think California had more operating drag strips than any other state. The only 2 strips left that I'm aware of in California are Pomona (only opens twice a year for the Winternationals & World finals) and Famoso up in Bakersfield. I think the only reason Famoso is still around is because it's out in an agricultural area where there are no noise complaints and the land isn't really prime for development, yet.
I recently purchased two books; "Lost Dragstrips" and lost "Dragstrips ll" that are about the hundreds of drag strips that saw their demise due to many different causes the two most frequent being noise and land value. I'm so glad I grew up during and experienced the heydays of drag racing in SoCal when I had a choice of 3 strips, Irwindale, Lions and OCIR that were all less than a 30/45 minute tow from where I lived and more in the SoCal area that were a bit further away.

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Yep - the books look like they would be fun to read. In Arizona West of Phoenix Speedworld opened in 1961 & closed in 2013 it was Arizona’s longest running drag strip. East of Phoenix was Beeline Dragway built in 1963 & closed in the early 1980's. Now Firebird built back in 1983 which became Wild Horse Pass will close in Feb 2023.My opinion is it will go back to the way it was years ago with street racing & wildcat drag races out in the rural areas. Then people will complain about the illegal drag racing & demand that a new drag strip be built to get "these people" off the streets. Then history will go full circle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just finished the the first book. I found it both entertaining but even more so educational. I learned a whole lot that I was completely unaware of concerning the early days of the sport. I'm looking forward to starting the second book and hopefully getting some more "new" history.
 

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Not sure how accurate this site is Steve, but appears if it's correct you've got quite a few 1/4 mile strips still all over California.


We lost our local 1/4 mile strip when neighbors began complaining about the noise. Now it's only 1/8th mile, and requires mufflers to race there.
We still have some strips that are well outside the city, but closest is 35 miles away at Woodburn, but a very nice dragstrip. Others are much farther and survive because the area are so rural.
 

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Not sure how accurate this site is Steve, but appears if it's correct you've got quite a few 1/4 mile strips still all over California.


We lost our local 1/4 mile strip when neighbors began complaining about the noise. Now it's only 1/8th mile, and requires mufflers to race there.
We still have some strips that are well outside the city, but closest is 35 miles away at Woodburn, but a very nice dragstrip. Others are much farther and survive because the area are so rural.
It appears to me that this is not the norm across the U.S. Finances are. Ther are many "abandoned" tracks across the U.S. that are STILL there. 20, 30, 40 YES and 50 years later.
 

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My family and I was just at the Irwindale Speedway this past weekend for the 5th Annual NITRO REVIVAL. This is a show put on by Steve and Cindy Gibbs. While it is only a 1/8th mile strip, it was not in very good shape for the racers. However, this show is not all about racing, it is more about the legands that run Nitro in their vintage front enine dragsters. There were many, many vintage cars in attendance as well as some race cars. On Saturday night, as the day was winding down, all of the Nitro cars were pulled out onto the strip, placed side by side, and fired up for their Cackle Show. There were enough cars to fill the 1/8th milke track! The sound and noise was unbelievable! Truly a sight to see. I have a video I will try to upload of that and show you what I mean. Now with the track being torn down, I am not sure what Stev and Cindy will do next year, but after 5 years of Nitro Revival, I am sure they have plans for next year! The oval track looked like a very nice track with high bleachers and nice announcement stands too. Shame it is being torn down. There is nothing around it except dirt! Progress? Nah, just hungry business owners! Sad, really sad!
 

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Post a YouTube link. We would love to see the cacklefest.
 
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Yeah Vall I enjoyed that Too. Willys? first thing I’d do if it were mine is pull that wing off. Lol. The guy filming looked like Lucky from Hotrod garage. The bike in the pickup was the holy grail of kawasakI’s. Like a LS6 Chevelle to the muscle cars in 1970.
 
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Joe Hickenbotham owns the Outlaw Grampa Henry J, and he broke it down there on his first or second pass. Tore the rear axle loose from it's mounts!
Lots of well known cars mixed in with all the assortment of hotrods there.
 
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