KENNEDY: California Coast


LOS ANGELES — The long-term status of Irwindale Event Center (Irwindale Speedway) came into question in October.

The firm CBRE Group, Inc. negotiated the sale of the 63.47-acre property in Irwindale for a reported $22 million. The most recent valuation of the property by the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office pegged the property value at $12 million. CBRE represented the property seller, Nu-Way Industries, and identified the buyer as the Lindom Company, a real estate development firm in Los Angeles.

Chris Atkinson, Managing Partner of Lindom, was quoted saying his firm plans to develop the property eventually. Details of a future project will be released in a matter of months reportedly.

The flat, developed site between the 210 and 10 Freeways is directly off the 605 Freeway with nearby on/off ramps. It is only 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Seller Jim Mnoian, Nu-Way President, said his father Paul purchased the former landfill site in 1966. The Irwindale Speedway original lessee filed bankruptcy in February 2012. Oval track racing did not occur that year although the driving school and drag strip continued to operate during 2012.

Irwindale Speedway oval track racing resumed in April 2013 for a 15 week, twice a month season with new lessee 211 Entertainment in charge. Prior to the recent property sale, 211 Entertainment inked a new contract to continue their lease through 2014. All parties involved agreed that the site will continue racing as it did in 2013 at least through 2014. There is a chance that racing will continue beyond 2014 until the property is developed.

The Lucas Oil Modified Series raced Oct. 19 at Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu, Ariz. Second-place points driver Jim Mardis totaled his No. 51 car at the Sept. 28 race in Blythe. He accepted a generous offer from Tom Pfundstein, 62, of Las Vegas. Tom allowed Jim to borrow his No. 12 Lefthander modified, one of the three-car Hometown Racing Team cars from Las Vegas. Mardis could make whatever changes he wanted to the car for the final two races in the nine race series. In a 22-car Havasu field, Mardis set fastest qualifying time, started third in the 75-lap feature, took the lead on lap 54 and won. He now trails point leader Chris Gerchman by 52 points with the season finale set for Nov. 16 at the Las Vegas “Bullring.”

The inaugural season at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield has crowned its first three series champions in October. David Mayhew, a NASCAR K&N West Series veteran, won the NASCAR CITGO Lubricants Late Model Series title Oct. 5. On Oct. 12 Tyler Bannister (INEX Bandoleros) and Buddy Shepherd (INEX Legend Cars) won their championships.

Brad Baker won the battle (25-lap feature) and the war (2013 AMA Grand National Championship) at the Pomona Fairplex half-mile. The No. 12 Harley-Davidson rider from Washington entered the season finale 11 points ahead of Bryan Smith (No. 42 Kawasaki) and won by 17 points (219-202).

The two race leaders/title-contenders swapped the lead five times at the scoring line. Baker, 20, led 15 laps to 10 by 30-year old Smith. He won by 0.706 over Smith. Briar Bauman, 18, placed third, 1.148 off the lead for his first podium.
Thirteen of 19 starters (in a field of 27 entrants) finished, all on the lead lap. Baker won $7,000, including $1,000 for his Expert Dash victory, from the $44,000 purse. Baker won the 2009 AMA Pro Singles championship. He finished sixth in GNC 2011 points and received rookie of the year honors.

Touring AMA flat track experts competed 13 times this season in seven states. Tracks varied from the Daytona Beach short track, to TTs, half miles and miles. Baker and Smith each won twice. Brandon Robinson, who finished third in points with 185, won three times. Mikey Rush, Sammy Halbert, Jeffrey Carver, Jr., Henry Wiles, 2012 champion Jared Mees and Stevie Bonsey won once. Harley-Davidson and Kawasaki each won five GNC features and Honda won three.

The support AMA Pro Singles had 35 riders racing at Pomona. The series ran 11 features in conjunction with the GNC series and had ten different winners. Pennsylvanian Shayna Texter, 22, won twice on her Honda CRF450R this season at mile tracks in Sacramento and Indianapolis. She finished seventh at Pomona and ranked fourth in points with 110.

Ohioan J. R. Addison, 16, won a $1,000 main for the first time at Pomona by a whopping 7.236 seconds. The 2013 Pro Singles title came down to the final lap at Pomona between title hopefuls Wyatt Maguire and Ryan Wells. Maguire finished fourth and won the season championship by one point (137-136) over second finisher Wells. Maguire trailed Wells by 1.231. Pro Singles 2012 champion Stephen Vanderkurr finished third in points with 112.