It looks like the battle is getting real tuff for a track in the valley is not going to good.
Lake Elsinore has opened a new motor sports complex and my be interested in a dragstrip .
: Willow Springs ready to host
: Event slated for Wednesday
: This story appeared in the Antelope Valley
: Thursday, September 10, 2009.
: By BRIAN GOLDEN
: Valley Press Staff Writer
: That the return of street legal drag racing
: was supposed to be the big news out of
: Willow Springs International Motorsports
: Park was somehow appropriate.
: The death of racing icon Walt James on
: Wednesday morning dragged down even the joy
: of the resumption of drag racing in the
: Beginning next week, Wednesday becomes
: "Grudge Night" on a one-eighth
: mile stretch of the main straight on Willow
: Springs' "Fastest Road In The
: "We're going to have everything they
: have right now out on 40th Street East,
: except street-legal and under full safety
: supervision," said Chris Huth, the
: president and general manager of Willow
: Springs. "We're going to play this by
: ear as we get started.
: "The whole emphasis of what we're
: trying to do is get kids off the streets and
: get them to do their drag racing here."
: Gates will open at 5 p.m., with drag racing
: under the lights set to begin a 6 and
: continue through 10 p.m.
: To celebrate the return of organized drag
: racing to the Valley for the first time
: since Los Angeles County Raceway's closure
: in July 2007, Huth will waive the
: registration fee for the first 50 cars
: through the gates at 70th Street West and
: Rosamond Boulevard.
: "All they have to do is pay the
: standard $10 admission at the gate,"
: Huth said. "Their car has to be
: registered and fully insured, they must have
: a valid driver's license, and they have to
: have a seat belt and a helmet."
: Since the announcement a month ago that the
: legendary 650-acre motorsports complex would
: resume drag racing for the first time in
: nearly 50 years, Huth and Jim Hutchins, his
: operations manager, have been fielding
: excited calls from all over Southern
: When some of the calls lapsed into technical
: advisories about the requirements of an
: NHRA-sanctioned dragstrip, Huth had to throw
: the yellow caution flag.
: "We're not building a full quarter-mile
: dragstrip here," explained the son of
: fabled Willow Springs owner Bill Huth.
: "We're going to crawl before we walk.
: As my father said in announcing this, our
: main focus is putting an end to street
: racing in the Valley by offering a safe,
: supervised alternative.
: "All of the fees we collect will be put
: right back into the drag-racing program,
: paying for the lights and the emergency
: medical personnel that will be there. But
: later on, if it grows like I think it will,
: that money will go into an electric timing
: and scoring system, things like that."
: For starters, literally, cars will roll up
: to the starting line flanking the
: At the end of the eighth-mile run, another
: official will declare the winner.
: "In other words, we'll have the same
: thing they have out on 40th Street
: East," Huth said, "only a whole
: lot safer."
: In early August, raceway officials met with
: former mainstays at Los Angeles County
: Raceway, including LACR operations director
: Tim Shpall and Jeff Hillinger, the
: irrepressible SaveLACR.org founder who's
: spearheaded the search for a successor to
: LACR since its emotional closing on July 29,
: Hillinger pointed out that Willow's 45-foot
: straightaway width - 22½ feet per lane - was
: five feet narrower than drag racing
: minimums, and 15 feet narrower than most
: modern tracks.
: After seeing the thousand-foot braking zone
: beyond the finish line, a football field
: shorter than LACR's, he emphasized the need
: for testing.
: "Whether you're a quarter-mile or an
: eighth of mile, the launch is still the
: launch," Hillinger said. "You
: still need to get these cars slowed
: Ten days after the initial meeting, Shpall
: and Hillinger were told Willow Springs would
: operate the new drag racing program entirely
: Hillinger writes about the negotiations at
: his SaveLACR.org website.
: On message boards throughout the high desert
: drag racing community, racers and fans
: insist they won't participate in the new
: program if Hillinger and Shpall aren't
: Moldy Marvin says that would be a mistake.
: "All in all, (Willow Springs) totally
: has my blessing," Hillinger said
: Wednesday. "We would have preferred to
: run on Friday nights, because it's kind of
: tough to get out of work or school early on
: a Wednesday.
: "But it can still be part of my
: street-legal racing program as a
: tune-and-tune on Wednesday nights."
: What all sides can agree on is the
: opportunity the drag racing community now
: has to prove is that a drag strip would be a
: commercial as well as public safety success.
: To improve the rapport between young racers
: and law enforcement, Chris Huth was going
: out this week to invite the California
: Highway Patrol and the Sheriff's Departments
: of Los Angeles and Kern Counties to become
: Scott Graham and the LASD deputies racing
: team ran a Camaro for years at LACR.
: Next week's return of drag racing to Willow
: Springs for the first time since the early
: 1960s will be chronicled by Public
: Broadcasting's KCET-TV in Los Angeles.
: They were coming to The Streets of Willow
: Springs to do a documentary on teenage
: driving distractions such as cell phone
: conversations and texting.
: They hit the jackpot with former street
: "This is all about getting the street
: racers in here," Huth said. "After
: that, we'll see where we go from
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