Irwindale, CA., Jun. 15 – The first-ever Irwindale Speedway “Summer Motorsports Mayhem” took place Saturday night. It featured extreme stunts, pyrotechnics, RV Figure 8 race, and an aerial fireworks show. Stunt team leaders were stuntman Doctor Danger, from the TV show America’s Got Talent, and Irwindale’s own Robert “Master of Disaster” Rice. Their seven-member teams took turns exciting an estimated 5,000 spectators during the three-hour show.
The ten event program used appropriate recorded music over the track PA system for each event. Doctor Danger’s song was “Fuel” and Rice used “Bad to the Bone” during their introductions. All event announcing and interviews by track booth announcer Tommy Mason and pit announcer/track co-promoter Tim Huddleston came from the infield.
Event 1 – DUKE’S JUMP – featured “Duke’s of Hazzard” and “Dixie Horn Sound Effect” music from the 1979-1985 TV show. Rice (as Luke or Bo Duke) drove an orange Honda Accord with black No. 01 on the door. It was being chased by a black & white Sheriff’s patrol car (Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane) with red lights flashing. Rice drove up a metal ramp that had been ignited by a crewman’s torch. He flew over eight parked cars as the car rotated 360-degrees in mid-air. It landed hard, flipped once, and narrowly missed the tire-protected end of the third-mile concrete crashwall. The upright Honda stopped on the half-mile at the exit of turn four. Rice stepped from the battered No. 07 Honda and waved to the large crowd.
Event 2 – ROLLOVER CONTEST – was accompanied by “I Love Rock and Roll”music. Three stunt drivers used three much-raced Honda Accord enduro sedans They each got a running start from the half-mile fourth turn and rode up a metal ramp at the third-mile finish line with the right side tires and tried to roll their cars. Honda’s proved difficult to roll. The No. 4 driver managed to roll his car onto its roof and slide on its roof.
Event 3 – REDNECK RING OF FIRE – with the Johnny Cash recording of “Ring of Fire” playing on the track PA system, a stunt crewman lit a circular ring of fire for the drive through event.
Event 4 – FALL GUY – with the song “Danger Zone” from the Tom Cruise movie “Top Gun” playing in the background, the stunt driver of a fairly new pickup truck got a running start and drove through an old motorhome parked in the infield near the third-mile first turn. The complete drive-through was accompanied by a loud boom, and huge gasoline-fed fireball. Huge flames from the demolished motorhome burned about ten minutes and reduced the mobile home to an unrecognizable hulk. IS firemen could not quell the blaze so the LA County Fire Department fire track on premises drove into the infield and stopped the flames and black smoke. The pickup truck driver drove to the infield near start/finish, got out and inspected his truck for damage. It had two broken headlights and a windshield crack.
Event 5 – DOUBLE JUMP – “Cotton Eyed Joe” played over the PA system as two stunt drivers, Rice and Jim Cook, drove simultaneously through a pair of old motorhomes parked in the infield. Fiery blasts erupted at both motorhomes upon the coordinated impacts.
Event 6 – CAR EXPLOSION – Doctor Danger sat in a red car at the start/finish infield as the song “Come on Feel the Noise” played. Following a planned loud blast, huge flames engulfed the economy car. Danger opened the door and ran from the flames with his drivers flame-resistent uniform on fire. He cleared the fire and went to the ground immediately as crewmen doused the flames on him quickly. He was uninjured.
Event 7 – REDEMPTION JUMP – was accompanied by the song “Gummy Bear”. Stuntman “Cowboy” drove a full-size sedan at 80+ mph up a metal ramp and flew his car through six old sedans stacked in theinfield near the third-turn. He went into and through the stacked cars in the middle of the stack, which collapsed onto his airborne car after it cleared the stacked cars and dropped to the ground. Rescuers helped the uninjured stuntman from the rubble.
Event 8 – BUS JUMP – was preceded by the song “Something Bad”. An all-white 35-foot former school bus (with several stuntmen seated inside) got a long run from turns four and three of the half-mile to build speed. It then ran up a long, metal ramp in the infield near turn one. The launch bus smashed into the roof of a 35-foot, all-white former school bus that was standing straight-up about 40-feet on its back end. Necessary supports kept it upright prior to the stunt. The launch bus knocked the upright bus to the ground and came to rest with its front end atop the now leveled bus. Everyone emerged from the launch bus uninjured after the unique stunt.
Event 9 – RV FIGURE-8 RACE – was preceded by the song “Crazy Train”. Eleven small RVs/motorhomes lined up two-by-two on the third-mile and raced 12 laps on the usual Figure 8 course. Second starter Rice led every lap in his black & orange Pick Your Part RV. The first four RVs ran in a tight pack and barely avoided contact with lapped RVs at the intersection. The No. 37, 99 and 21 RVs followed closely at the finish and all pulled to the half-mile finish line afterwards for recognition by spectators.
Event 10 – FIREWORKS SHOW – the song “Seven Nation Army” played on the PA system as professional pyrotechnicians shot off aerial fireworks from beyond backstretch billboards. The noisy and colorful show started at 9:59 pm and entertained the crowded grandstand audience for ten minutes.
Sponsors of the unique first-time IS event Saturday were: LKQ Pick Your Part, Lucas Oil, Sunrise Ford, Pinnacle Peak Steakhouses, High Point Distributing, Miller/Pepsi, Jan’s Towing, and Tony Martinez.
The next IS event on Thursday, July 4 will be another “Night of Destruction” with a 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. NASCAR late models, enduro cars, skid plate cars, Figure 8 and trailer races are scheduled. Also on the holiday program is the pickup truck “Inferno” with a J-10 aircraft jet-engine at the back. It will melt an old sedan in the infield with flame-bursts from the jet engine.