Irwindale Speedway Updates Along with Statement from Jim Liaw

Posted on Feb 12, 2012 In Formula D Major Announcements

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.”


  1. Mike peters says:

    This makes a lot more sense. Nice job putting that together so quick.

  2. YOitzJDM says:


  3. cody says:

    Lucas oil would make sense, especially if they could keep NASCAR.

  4. lifer says:

    Lots of great memories for me there as both a driver and a fan.

    @ Matt Petty – I don’t know where you were at last Oct for the final round, but I felt it was one of the best events FD ever had.

  5. cody says:

    I’ve been out to Irwindale twice. Not as good as Atlanta to me, but its still a blast.

  6. e40 says:

    When was last time Matt Petty was at an FD event? He must be thinking of XDC… haha

  7. ae86_Fan says:

    @e40 wow.. hating on the privateers ?

  8. e40 says:

    @ae86_Fan… meant nothing toward XDC drivers at all more so that I did go to XDC irwindale and FD irwindale so i was able to compare both. like @lifer said about FD irwindale is was freakin amazing

  9. driftsc says:

    I’ve drifted there at a private event. it’s pretty amazing and surreal once you’re on the track. Lucas oil is just around the corner, but they’re also deep ($) in the Indianapolis colts stadium.

  10. To also add to the information, the other “BIG” race that is held at Toyota Speedway is the Toyota All Star Race, this event is usually held at the end of January, but NASCAR cancelled the 2012 event in August 2011 – This is clearly not something that has just happened, but more like the situation has been building up over time. If you search around and find some of the other race series that would normally race there – they don’t have Irwindale listed on their calender.

  11. I should add another sad thing that may happen, if you want to add rumors, what about the chance that the mining company in the area may buy it up and tear the whole track down?? food for thought
    I can only imagine the rules, regulations and sound conditions that the track owner has to put up with by the City and the State does not help – Look at the situation that Fontana drag strip is in at the moment, there is a chance that will close too

  12. lifer says:

    @Sarah – Man thats a very scary reality about the mining Co. The Copper Mine near where I grew up at, bought out the entire town, relocated its residents and a few buildings, then demolished it for more copper. I hope that never happens.

  13. YOitzJDM says:

    what IS the situation with Fontana’s drag strip?

    also, LACR in Palmdale got reclaimed by the mining company next door and torn down because the minerals under the track were worth more than the track was bringing in

  14. petite pounder says:


  15. @Petite Your narrow minded thinking is disappointing, I wouldn’t class this as TMZ style at all, but there is more to this than “where is FD or XDC going to hold there events” this is a fight against the automotive industry, the racing and performance side of things, whether it be, circle track, drag racing, drifting, at the end of the day it’s going to hurt many companies that manufacture parts for racing. I’ve been in this industry for a long time, whether it’s selling parts, installing parts and even buying a CNC and making our own parts, and its a tough deal, you care about drifting, how about you take some time and put deeper thought to the many other people out there that this will effect

  16. ae86_Fan says:

    @petite … are you kidding me ? how is the House of Drift possibly shutting down, not BIG NEWS ? the only TMZ style bullshit is your comment. so back to trolling yahoo forums !

  17. Neil (in VA) says:

    any NEW news on this guys?

  18. petite pounder says:


  19. Joey Redmond says:

    No big updates today. No one really seems to know what is going on 100%. Working on an update hopefully mid-week.

  20. Mike Peters says:

    If track staff had beards this wouldn’t happen.

  21. lifer says:

    If they filmed Fast and Furious 6 there, this wouldn’t happen

  22. thelolbus says:

    If you look at all the posts about irwindale from today, it says the 2012 season is cancelled. ESPN, LA times, etc

  23. Racer says:

    If they got rid of bob deFOOLzio a few years ago the track would still be thriving…

  24. Dale P. says:

    Thank you for supplying news about Irwindale. I am not a drifting fan but I appreciate the enthusiasm drifters bring to motorsports and Irwindale Speedway in particular.
    I have attended the weekly NASCAR series for 10 years and raced myself on the 1/8 mile dragstrip quite a few times.
    I feel Defazio was not managing the operation very well. There were stupid decisions made on the non-drifting series that also raced at Irwindale. Hopefully the track owners will find someone else to run the facility and/or sell it outright to Lucas Oil.
    An Automobile Club (AAA) official said they wanted to sponsor the track, but Toyota beat them to it. Maybe there is still money out there interested in keeping Irwindale alive.

  25. B rad says:

    All other media places are saying Irwindale is closed lets hope Wrecked is right on saying the track will still be around.

  26. Mike Peters says:


    Guess what, Daytona int’l, Indianapolis motor Speedway, Road Atlanta, and Irwindale don’t have a season.

    Oh darn.

    No season=\= closed. Sheesh.

  27. DA Fan 11 says:

    Racing season canceled in the media is referring to NASCAR at the track. Not Formula Drift and other special events.

    The old Irwindale management owed NASCAR upwards of $500k. They are not coming back I’m pretty sure…..

  28. Brady says:

    Lucas oil is pondering the idea of buying the track, tearing out the oval, and making the dragstrip a 1/4 mile….

  29. I wonder if you could throw a succesful event at Fontana Motor Speedway? D1 threw an event there.

  30. RichG says:

    The midwest needs an event Ron

  31. ae86_Fan says:

    Fontana Speedway is AGAINST drifting.

  32. Brady says:

    If worst comes to worst we could always have the final round 7 at Adams Motorsports Park…

  33. anotherguy says:

    Come back to Infineon baby! Great way for Sonoma drift to start Wrkin with FD