Saturday, December 24, 2011
NASCAR Pro Series skipping Irwindale
By Tim Haddock
Special to ESPNLosAngeles.com
For the first time since the track opened in 1999, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will not be making a stop at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
The 15-race West Series 2012 schedule was released on Friday. Three new tracks were added to the schedule, and the West Series will make three visits to California.
Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, which hosted the annual Fourth of July race on the West Series, is not part of the NASCAR developmental series schedule. Toyota Speedway also lost the All-Star Showdown race, an annual event that pitted the top drivers from the K&N Pro Series West and East.
"They didn't take a date," said Jason Christley, the manager of communications for the NASCAR developmental series. "I'd say we're very satisfied with the East and West schedule. It's one of the best schedules we've ever had."
Christley said tracks are sanctioned for races on the West and East series on a yearly basis. He did not rule out the possibility of the West Series returning to Irwindale in the future.
Toyota Speedway officials were not available for comment.
The West Series does not have a July 4 race date either. The Fourth of July is traditionally a popular date for NASCAR races at short tracks throughout the country.
"The schedule's the schedule," Christley said. "It's like a big jigsaw puzzle. It's a coincindental by-product. We're not saving the July 4 date for anyone."
The West Series opens March 3 at Phoenix International Raceway. Stockton 99 Speedway, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma and All-American Speedway in Roseville are the California tracks on the West Series schedule.
Tim Haddock is a regular contributor to ESPNLosAngeles.com.