Wings Over the West | Performance Racing Industry
Wings Over the West
By Doug Stokes on May 15, 2014

First of all, thanks very much to our friends at PRI for offering this opportunity to talk a bit about the open wheel events set for the end of November out here on the lower part of the left coast.

We’re very excited to be the Los Angeles stop in a trio of action-packed winged sprint car events set for an ultra-fast, three-day weekend November 21 through 23, when the King of the Wing series invades California.

You’re right if you guessed that this event will be yet another “first” for Irwindale Speedway. If it has wheels and races, most likely it’s traversed “LA’s Half-Mile Superspeedway” at one time or another since we opened in March of 1999.

Over the years we’ve presented just about everything on wheels, from NASCAR stockers to Silver Crown cars, and from X Games skateboards to Global Rallycross. We’ve even seen our share of Formula One and Indy Cars, not racing, but here to train pit crews, and make TV shows, feature films and commercials.

And then there’s drifting, the sideways/tire-smoking sport that came of age at “The House of Drift” and still stages its sold-out series finale here every year.

There’ve been many other types and styles of racing machines on this progressively banked half-mile, but never in the 16 years of the track’s existence have we ever seen or experienced winged sprint cars. Needless to say we’re all looking forward to that.

The best part of the equation is that our race here at Irwindale is part of a “western swing” that brings the best of the best open-wheelers out West to run three consecutive days of winged sprint car races. It’ll be: Friday night, November 21st, in Madera, Saturday night, November 22nd, here at Irwindale, and Sunday afternoon, November 23rd, at the new Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield. There’ll be no time to catch one’s breath between these shows, and that’s just the way the racers (and the fans) like it.

Brilliant race driver, smart promoter, and honestly nice guy Davey Hamilton is the man behind the machines here. His enthusiasm, drive, and interest in putting on a great show (for the fans and the drivers) have made him a true joy to work with. He’s been there/done that from Winchester to Indy as a driver and now, with his King of the Wing Series, Hamilton is fully engaged with staging short-track races that simply crackle with excitement.

And the minute the final checkered flag flies on Sunday afternoon on the last “Wing” show in Bakersfield, all attention will turn southward to the fast clay of Perris Auto Speedway and the 74th running of one of the all-time classic motorsports events held anywhere in the world.

The Thanksgiving Night Grand Prix (also known far and wide as “Turkey Night”) will take center stage on Thursday night, November 27th, with all the history and tradition that comes with an event that boasts a winner’s list that reads like an honor roll of the greatest oval track drivers from each of the seven decades of the event’s existence.

From here it looks like November 21st through the 27th is going to be a wonderful time for fans and racers in California. Yes, it’s Thanksgiving week, but all the “other” reasons (in addition to the great racing) for heading out west will be going full-tilt boogie in Cali at that time.

Local shops that cater to open wheel teams should be aware of the opportunity to meet competitors as well as a whole bunch of dedicated fans that will be delighted with a week out west watching open wheel cars run.

See you at the Speedway(s)!

About the Author
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Doug Stokes is the Vice President of Communications at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California. For more information about Irwindale Speedway, visit, or call 626/358-1100.
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