Drivers concerned about spike in street racing once Irwindale Speedway closes in 2018

IRWINDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- The Irwindale Speedway announced when its last day of operation would be amid resident's concerns that there will be a spike in illegal street racing once the track is gone.

Jose Sanchez had heard about the Irwindale Event Center shutting down. The city council members voted for its closure in 2015.

On Wednesday, the center officially put its last day on the calendar.

"This is the only place where if you have a car like this you can actually come and show off your car and show how fast it is," Sanchez said.

Racers worry that street racing will start to spike in the area once the place is closed.

"This is where we come to stay out of the streets so I think it's a bad decision," Enrique Cardenas said.

Cardenas isn't the only one losing something he feels has kept him on the right track. Tony Martinez fostered his son's love to race in the Nascar late-model series.

"I was seriously heartbroken. I kind of felt sick. I grew up here. I started coming here when I was like 1 year old," Alec Martinez said.

The real estate after January 2018 will be under construction, zoned for a 700,000 square foot outlet mall that is expected to bring in 5,000 jobs and more than $2 million in yearly sales tax revenue.

But what isn't clear is how many drivers will be tempted to test their vehicle speeds where they shouldn't.

There are still events to be held at the center, and people can come race their cars for $20 every Thursday until Jan. 31, 2018.
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