Yes, Irwindale Speedway has been sold. However, Tim Huddleston, who holds the lease with Bob Bruncati, said they intend to continue promoting the California paved oval for years to come.
“Nothing has changed,” Huddleston said. “A new company bought the land, and our lease rolled over to the new owners. We have many years left on the lease, and we are looking to extend it.”
IDS Real Estate purchased the land that Irwindale Speedway sits on. That news led to some speculation.
“Last week, a real estate website used the deal as click bait,” said Huddleston. “They had a headline, ‘Developers Buy Irwindale Speedway, Checkered Flag for Racing.’ That touched off a media frenzy. Even the new landlords were hot over the headline.”
Irwindale Speedway’s imminent death is a recurring story. The previous flurry of coverage was in 2012, when it was leaked that the track would be demolished to build an outlet mall on the site. Then, in 2015, former track operator Jim Cohan announced that the Irwindale Event Center would cease operation. In 2017, it was announced that the track would not close, when Huddleston and Bruncati entered the picture.
Most of the uncertainty around Irwindale Speedway revolves around the City of Irwindale’s desire to convert the 59-acre site into something that generates more tax revenue, such as an industrial park. However, that would require overcoming several significant hurdles, according to the Los Angeles Times and The Daily Breeze of Torrance, California.
The land and its proposed use would need to undergo several studies. Among those include studies for environmental impact, air pollutant emissions, greenhouse gases, habitat fragmentation, wildlife impact, the affect on Native American tribes, and zoning changes.
Huddleston said that he and his team are putting the final touches on their 2023 schedule. He’s optimistic about the new owners who seem “race-friendly,” despite being a development company.
“We knew this was coming, and we are working with them,” Huddleston said. “This past year has been amazing. It would be a loss for Los Angeles to not have this speedway. It is hallowed ground.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.