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Irwindale Speedway has earned yet another stay of execution.

The facility, currently known as the Irwindale Event Center, was set to close on January 31, when the current property owners had planned to evict everyone to begin the process of repurposing it into something other than a motorsports facility. But the track is now set to operate for at least two more years as a new track operating group, led by local racer Tim Huddleston and his Justice Brothers distributorship took over the lease formerly held by Jim Cohan and his 211 Entertainment group.

Huddleston captured three Irwindale Late Model track championships, the last one coming in 2008. His son, Trevor, has earned the past three championships and finished second to Lee Pulliam in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings this season.

Opened over a landfill in 1999, Irwindale Speedway quickly became one of the most prestigious short tracks in America. Unfortunately, it filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and sold the property to Irwindale Outlet Partners LLC in 2013, whom in turned allowed 211 Entertainment to operate the track until it needed to be bulldozed to make room for a 700,000-square-foot shopping mall.

The track operated on year-to-year agreements for the past three years while the shopping mall project shifted toward accommodating a large truck stop instead.

But with the latest development, it will remain home to a half-mile stock car oval, Formula Drift circuit and a 1/8-mile drag strip. Irwindale Speedway VP of communications Doug Stokes confirmed to Short Track Scene that the track would have a 2018 season.

“Good news is, suddenly, the track will not close on the 31st,” Stokes said. “This is what we were hoping for. What happened, I can’t exactly say yet, but we don’t have to pick up and leave. We have a new leaseholder and the current landowners are not going to implement the plans they had for the property.”

Stokes said a formal press release was currently undergoing an approval process and would be released to the public ASAP.

Irwindale has hosted 26 NASCAR K&N Pro Series/Winston West events since it opened. The track has also hosted USAC, Super Late Model, drift and NHRA events. Stokes was optimistic that many of these events could return this upcoming season.

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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