Irwindale, Calif. (January 24, 2000) - - Irwindale Speedway, the brand new NASCAR oval track facility located only 18 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, today issued a request for proposals for the design, construction and operation of an international class Kart racing facility, to be located on part of the Speedway's 48+ acre grounds.
"We're very serious about establishing a first class Karting facility here at Irwindale Speedway, said track VP/COO Robert DeFazio. "This is the next phase in the Speedway's mission to become a complete motorsports-entertainment center. We want to hear from the real experts in the sport, have them look at our grounds, and work with us to create a Karting facility that will match our oval track for style and competitiveness."
Irwindale Speedway is "freeway close" (directly adjacent to the 605 freeway at Live Oak Avenue in Irwindale), and situated almost in the center of the Los Angeles basin's more than 12 million inhabitants. It will host 36 Saturday nights of racing in 2000 featuring both NASCAR and USAC events as well as numerous support races and special events (such as a round of the new United States Formula 3 Championships on October 28). Along with racing every Saturday evening, a regular schedule of car testing, special car shows, driving schools, TV and film shoots, and commercials keep the facility busy six and seven days per week. "Our Karting facility will be just as busy ... Wait and see!," said DeFazio.
Reflecting on the universal popularity of the diminutive but speedy machines, DeFazio said, "In the past 20 years Karting has become the cradle of world motorsports greatness, from Andretti to Zanardi; and you can throw in Michael Schumacher and Al Unser Junior's names as well. We believe that we can help to advance the sport by bringing the world's most popular from of motorsports back to the heart of the LA area here at Irwindale."
>From a historic standpoint Irwindale was the site of the world's first purpose-built Karting facility, Go-Kart Raceway, which operated from 1958 to 1978 on land almost at the corner of Irwindale Avenue and the 210 freeway. The 1/3-mile road course track featured a long straightaway, twisty switchbacks, and a "Monza" (highly banked) turn, all in perfect scale to the Karts that raced there. That pioneering effort was located only three miles from where Irwindale Speedway opened its doors on March 27, 1999. "The Kart was born right here in Los Angeles in the early 50's ... That part of the sport belongs here at Irwindale,"
"Our Director of Communications, Doug Stokes, drove at Go-Kart Raceway as a kid and went on to serve as the Executive Director of the International Kart Federation from 1979 to 1984," DeFazio indicated. And DeFazio's 16 year old son, Nick, is a multi-time national Karting champion. "You might say that Karting 'runs in our (extended) family' here at Irwindale."
"We have a good idea of what we want here; more the style than the substance at this point. We want to hear from the pros in the sport about their concepts for a Karting facility that will match up with our 'LA's 1/2-Mile Superspeedway' nickname," DeFazio concluded. Interested parties are asked to contact the track offices at (626) 358-1100 during regular business hours Monday through Friday.