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Racing Fans Fighting to Keep Irwindale Speedway From Becoming an Outlet Mall

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The days of the Irwindale Speedway (aka the Irwindale Event Center) have been numbered since it was sold in 2013 to developers Lindom Company, but their intentions to demolish the racetrack, and redevelop the 63-acre property into an outlet mall are being challenged now by residents and racing fans who are fighting to keep the site intact. Mostly, the Daily News says, Speedway supporters are hoping that preserving one of the few racetracks in the area with a drag strip could help mitigate illegal street racing.

In the month since launching an online petition, Speedway fans have collected almost 7,000 signatures online from locals who support the racing venue and want to see it stick around, especially because it's one of a dwindling number of safe places for people to race. "You're going to see more street racing if this track closes, and it breaks my heart. We need a safe environment for people to continue to race," says one supporter. Another says the Speedway is "kind of like a landmark ... and a mecca for drifting." Racing aficionados have appealed to Irwindale's City Council, but since the Speedway isn't city property, they'd have to convince the outlet mall developer not to build. Right now, that doesn't seem too likely.

When the Speedway site sold two years ago, the event center's lease became year-to-year. (In addition to the racetrack and drag strip, the event center also has seating for 10,000, luxury suites, concession stands, and a big parking lot.) This past March, the city approved Irwindale Outlet Partners, LLC's 700,000-square-foot mall project.

A spokesman for the Speedway says that they're hoping they'll at least be able to at least finish out the year in Irwindale; part of the outlet mall's deal with the city of Irwindale was that racing could continue until construction begins, which will start when the mall landlords have locked down 65 percent of tenants.
· 'Save the Irwindale Speedway' movement gains momentum [LADN]
· SGV's Irwindale Speedway Will Close and Be Redeveloped [Curbed LA]
&183; Outlet mall will replace Irwindale Speedway [LADN]