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08/21/2014
NHRA THURSDAY NIGHT THUNDER

08/28/2014
NHRA THURSDAY NIGHT THUNDER

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NASCAR Salutes our troops
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NIGHT OF DESTRUCTION 2 Presented by PICK YOUR PART

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30, 2014 is when things that go bump in the night will be doing so in droves all over the world-famous Irwindale Speedway Half-Mile oval and fans are invited to join in to cheer on all the fun. 

 

Starting with a spirited game of Auto Soccer ... Just as the name implies, this is an edition of the world's most popular participation sport, soccer, but with a few minor tweaks. "Like what?" One might ask ... like using a 450-pound, 5-foot tall steel sphere as the soccer ball and eight compact cars to blast, bump, nudge, and generally "bumper kick" that big old lunker into the other team's goal (all while attempting NOT to crash into your team ... or the other team's automobiles). After the dust settles on this metalized fun, you'll know for sure why they don't dare stage the World Cup here in Irwindale.

 

A Compact Car Demolition Derby is also on the agenda for August 30. It will consist of a whole bunch of small cars with big dreams of being the last car standing when the music (make that carnage) stops. Demo Derbies are, by their very nature, gnarly affairs what with the idea being to knock the other driver's car out or commission before they can do the same to you ... little compact cars or huge menacing mamoos, the slamming's all the same.

 

Trailer Racing is, not exactly precisely what the name implies. Yes, trailers are towed around the Irwindale third-mile oval at racing speeds, but the object (as the night's overall title would imply) is destruction. Here the destruction is focused on the other driver's trailer. The drill is to try to knock the other driver's trailer awry (preferably clean off the tow car) without damaging your own two-unit tandem rig. As expected, there's a lot of very strange driving involved here and, more often than not (in fact, you can almost count on it) a loose trailer is driven right through (or right over) by one of the combatants with the resultant shower of parts and pieces exploded airborne in the process.   By the way, even the term "trailer" enjoys a rather loose definition here ... fans will see a great variety of tag-a-longs including boats, house trailers, motorcycle carriers, flatbeds, stakesides and countless other wonky wonders of the wheeled world.

  

Skid Plate Racing did not (really) start at Irwindale Speedway as many (including Google) believe ... but it sure has found a home at the popular San Gabriel Valley venue. Simple is a simple does ... just take a 4-cylinder*, front wheel drive, compact car, remove the rear wheels and replace them with wheels that feature a 20" x 8" piece of 3/8 inch thick plate steel welded to the bottom. Chain that combo up in the rear wheel well (so it won't dig in) and, there you have it. Skid Plate Cars don't really "handle" as much as they skitter along. As a veteran driver once said after a stint in a Seidner's Collision Skid Plate Car, "... Everything that you know about racing a car is wrong." Skid Plate Cars tend to have a mind of their own and they are not very adept at answering corrective input from the driver. The expectation for this race is for over 25 of these quick-to-go-sideways sedans and coupes to take to the Irwindale track and if more than that shows up, no one will be surprised at all.

 

*6-cylinder compacts are OK too ... the tech people will simply snip two of the spark plug wires rendering the "six" a "four" ... quick, easy and fun to do.

 

NASCAR Open Comp is precisely what the name says ... Any regular Irwindale half-mile division racing vehicle is eligible to compete (truck, super stock, grand am, super late, and/or late model) the only rule is that they must race on a fairly hard, fairly narrow 8-inch wide Hoosier tire. Irwindale's inner third-mile is a very low-banked (4 degrees) oval and those narrow skins tend to even out any horsepower disparities by just not making the sort of sidebite that the big-motored cars need to dominate. The "destruction" part here is all about the overwhelming urge to overpower and just shred those narrow tires. Finesse is called for here, but rarely, if ever applied.

 

The Compact Car "Enduro" will run thirty laps around a mystery course with driver and passenger swapping seats at the 15-lap mark. Always fun and often times terrifying for whoever is acting as the passenger at the time.

 

As an extra added attraction, Irwindale's NASCAR Super Stocks will run a makeup race on the half-mile oval Saturday night bringing another tight championship points battle (with only four races left to go in the 2014 season) into sharp focus. Even though Long Beach's Zack Green has won five of the first six Super Stock events he's only leading by 18 points (288 - 270). That's because La Verne's Gary Read has piled up a number of high finishes (including two seconds and two thirds) keeping him right on Green's back bumper points-wise. And Palmdale's Henry Miles with a second and a couple of thirds in his points column is only six points down to Read at 266.

 

And ... fans will be able see each of the above machines in one piece (let's label them: "Before") during the FREE On-Track Autograph Session that takes place right on the racetrack before the races at 5:45pm. There fans will feast their wondering eyes on all manner of machines, both recognizable and un. And all of the intrepid drivers will be on hand just waiting for fans to ask the $64-dollar question, which, of course, is: "... What are you thinking?"  Irwindale's 5:45pm On-Track Autograph Session is always the fans' weekly open opportunity to ask questions, shoot photos to share with friends (they won't believe you if you don't), meet up with the men and women who actually want to wreck cars, trucks, motorhomes, busses, and trailers and who just will not be happy until they do.

 

All of the above (and more) will be made available at 4pm on August 30 when the gates open to the public at Irwindale Speedway at 500 Speedway Drive in nearby Irwindale ...

 

 

WHERE the 210 and the 605 COLLIDE!

 

This night is all for fun and fun for all, metal will be bent, fiberglass will be snapped, the fans will cheer and chortle, and a good time will be had by all ... Guaranteed! (Really ... GUARANTEED ...) If, after the first race, a fan is not 100% happy with the show, all they need do is return to the ticket booth within 15 minutes to receive a full refund of their admission charge ... and that guarantee is in effect at every Irwindale Event Center-promoted racing event all season long.

 

As we advised early-on, tickets for this one are going to be going fast. A quick trip to www.irwindaleeventcenter.com will net the savvy race fan a $5 discount off the regular ticket price of $15 (remember fans breeze right through the gates with their e-tickets ... no need to stand in line at the ticket window, just head for the stands!) More destruction for less money ...