It sounds like the House of Drift should be renamed to the House of Drama after all of these posts and our information about the track comes piling in. At the bottom of this article you can read the statement released by Jim Liaw but before let me give you some information we have received.
1. Toyota had a 10 year deal with the track starting in 2007 with a escape clause after 5 years. The beginning of 2012 would mark 5 years with the track. Toyota used this escape clause to pack up and leave losing the title sponsorship of the track. So now Toyota Speedway (which nobody ever called it anyway) is officially Irwindale Speedway once again.
2. The people running the track were not the owners of the track. Apparently according to people who have worked with the track this was a common misrepresentation. They had a 50+ year lease with the track under some agreement that has seemingly fallen apart/not been honored. Apparently they worked on a deal with Lucas Oil to take over as title sponsors but several sources told me it probably fell apart when they didn’t own the track.
3. Another allegation given to me by an anonymous tip, note we have no evidence of this, but the management in place was involved in some accounting and other business misconducts which may have led the track owners to relinquish them or a breach of that lease contract took place.
4. From what we are told the track has bookings almost through 2012 with tons of special events, films, and other events going on. The track owners are poised to continue operation themselves or with another management group because a ton of money in events is on the table for this season. I have seen some written rumors that Lucas Oil or Spears Mfg. are looking to make a purchase of the track.
5. Formula Drift is the largest grossing attendance event at Irwindale Speedway by a long shot so if the track stays open we would have to imagine they would want the House of Drift to be filled in October with crazed drift fans and a national championship.
Here is the statement that Jim Liaw has released through Formula Drift channels.
“There has been recent news regarding the status of Irwindale Speedway. This situation is still very fluid and there is nothing definitive on the future of the facility or Formula DRIFT’s event there. There are rumors ranging from full closure to “business as usual” with changes only to staff and their in-house NASCAR and drag racing events, again nothing is definitive. The current issue from what we understand is between the facility operators and the property owners. Formula DRIFT will be monitoring the situation at Irwindale and will provide updates via our website and social media channels. As we have proven in the past, no matter what happens, Formula DRIFT will be prepared.”