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Race Tracks Under Attack, Are Closing, And Illegal Racing Is On The Rise

Source: Evo Research Department
Date: March 01, 2012
Revision Date: N/A

It's simple.  The most effective method of reducing illegal street racing is to promote racing at motorsports facilities.  In fact,Lions Drag Strip Evo defined this idea nearly a decade ago when we crafted our mission statement as the “Evolution of illegal street racers into motorsports racers.”  If there are no race tracks then the evolution cannot occur and illegal street racers will continue to race on the public road with deadly consequences.  Furthermore with the closure of race tracks automobile enthusiasts that once legally raced at these motorsports facilities will either be forced to abandon their passionate hobby or turn to the street for an illegal race.  In response, illegal street racing has and will rise at astronomical rates.  Again, its that simple.

In the past year over a dozen drag strips have been forced to closed mainly because of the monetary burden of having to fight a legal battle.  All it takes is one, that’s right, just one disgruntled citizen to complain about noise or traffic to the local township in order for a multi-million dollar motorsports facility to face strong sanctions resulting in closure.  Railroads, airports, and factories make an equal if not louder noise than a motorsports facility yet when groups of citizens complain about noise from these areas it largely fall on deaf ears yet again, just one person complains about a race track and the gallow is set for a hanging.  An additional point of concern is how quickly and covertly decisions are made to force a motorsports tracks to close without broad public knowledge, let alone notification to the motorsports and automobile enthusiast community.  Whereas a local airport facing complaints will make it into the newspaper as a headline the pending doom of a race track is lucky to make the bylines.  Unless there is a corrupt and/or  unethical agenda in the closure of a race track chances are you will be notified on your next visit to race at the track when the gate is chained shut.Irwindale Drag Strip
Look no further than Evo’s own backyard, Southern California, the HOME of drag racing, to witness the utter and complete destruction of the motorsports community.  Lions Drag Strip in Long Beach closed, Brotherhood Raceway in Long Beach closed, Baylands Raceway Park in Fremont closed, Carlsbad Raceway in Carlsbad closed, Inyokern Dragstrip in Inyokern closed, Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario closed, Orange County International Raceway in East Irvine closed, Riverside International Raceway in Riverside closed, Santa Ana Airport in Irvine closed, Vaca Valley Raceway in Vacaville closed, Los Angeles County Raceway (LACR) in Palmdale closed, Pomona Raceway lost its own legal battle for sound and was forced to end all street legal programs, Irwindale Speedway has canceled the season and filed for bankruptcy, and the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California is fighting a legal battle to stay open… and yes there is a direct connection with significantly high incidence of illegal street racing and track closure: e.g: Ontatrio, Riverside, and Long Beach.  A quick Google and/or YouTube search of these cities will reveal this fact. 

Using Auto Club Speedway “Fontana” as an example; what do they offer the motorsports community and what would happen if they closed?

  • Fontana runs a specific Street Legal Drags event featuring 12 events for street cars and also offers additional street focused programs including Import Face Off, NMRA, and 3 PSCA events.
  • Fontana offers a Junior Drag Racing League that offers kids ages 8-17 the opportunity to race for a 10 month season. LACR Drag Strip
  • Within a 75 mile radius of Fontana there is only one 1/4 mile track, Pomona, and one 1/8 mile track,
  • Pomona does not offer racing for street cars (only features 2 professional events a year).
  • The age group of 15-24 repersents the highest particpants in illegal street racing.
  • Should Fontana close the next closest ¼ dragstrip allowing street cars to race is over 160 miles (3 hr drive with no traffic , which is IMPOSSIBLE not to hit traffic in Los Angeles).
  • Many next generation Pro Racers got their start at Fontana including Shawn Langdon, Ashley Force, Courtney Force, Jack Beckman, and Alexis DeJoria.
  • Losing Fontana would result in Irwindale (Assuming they reopen after bankruptcy), an 1/8 mile track, servicing 14,075,944 people:
    • LA County 9,862,049, Orange County 3,010,759, Ventura County 797,740, and Santa Baraba County 405,396…Plus most of Kern and San Bernandino.

To state again, the choice is simple, we must fight for the right to race legally.  Should your local track be facing closure please contact Evo Street Racers and we’ll join the battle to keep your motorsports track open and serving the community.

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