KENNEDY: California Coast


LOS ANGELES — The inaugural United Racing Ass’n race of 2013 took place March 16 at the Route 66 Motorplex in central Victorville.

The race honored longtime sprint car fan Don Flanders, who passed away recently. The newly renamed track is a three-eighths mile, semi-banked clay track on the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds with a covered grandstand and seats for 3,500. It is located just off Interstate 15 at the Roy Rogers Drive exit.

Promoter Scott Burns, of Dirt Entertainment, Inc., is a former SCRA 410 sprint car owner/driver from 1991-1998. He is ably assisted by his family. They also promote under the URA banner the now clay quarter-mile Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino, about 40 miles south via I-15.

The two tracks will use alternant Saturday race dates with each track hosting at least 10 races from March through November. Racing schedules for both tracks are posted at The original URA sanctioning body governed midget racing in the Los Angeles area in the 1940s and ’50s. It had separate red and blue divisions for Offenhauser and non-Offy engines.

URA is all non-winged racing in its four divisions — two sprint cars and two midgets. The organization goal is to bring a new look to sprint car racing and named its series Unlimited Sprints. URA rules encourage 360 sprint car owners to use their heads, not just their wallets, to compete against more powerful 410s. All URA races will include both 360 and 410 engined cars. URA wants to leave the mechanical end up to creative minds who think outside the box.

URA rules specify no restrictions for engine aspiration or displacement or fuel. Electronic fuel injection is allowed. Scales will enforce a minimum-weight rule. Limited sprints must have cast iron blocks, a 360 c.i. minimum displacement, be normally aspirated and mechanically injected with 23-degree heads.

URA Unlimited Midgets are conventional full midget chassis with no restrictions on engine aspiration, displacement or fuel. Electronic fuel injection is allowed. The minimum weight rule is enforced at the scales. A tire rule only applies to the right rear tire, which must be a SP2. Limited midgets must use the Ford Focus engine package and they have the same SP2 right rear-tire rule.

Racing at the site began on a clay quarter mile in 1999 under promoter Mike Gibson. Various stock car classes — modifieds, mini sprints and dwarf cars — raced under Gibson to 2007. The track used various names — Victorville Auto Raceway, Route 66 Raceway, Victorville Raceway Park. Spot shows of sprint car racing in 2007-08 had primarily 360 engines and some 410s.

Former USAC sprint car driver Cary Faas and sprint car owner Jack Gardner were co-promoters. In 2010-11 Steve Quercio leased the track and promoted races and monster truck events under the name Victor Valley Raceway.

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Tim Kennedy
Tim Kennedy is a veteran motorsports journalist. He worked as the CRA sprint car publicity director for 11 years beginning in 1968 and his Racing Scene column has been a motorsports staple since 1979.