Save Los Angeles County Raceway!
Last up date 10/28/2014
From AV Press 08-07-2014
Last up date 04/07/2010
AV MotorPlex plans to be discussed FridayThis story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Thursday, April 8, 2010.
By BRIAN GOLDEN
The quest to find a successor to Los Angeles County Raceway takes its next step Friday night.
Organizers of a proposed AV MotorPlex will hold a mixer and conduct a news conference in the grand ballroom of the former Antelope Valley Inn that is now the University of Antelope Valley at 7 p.m. Friday.
Conceptual renderings of the proposed complex can be seen at www.avmotorplex.com.
"The purpose of this press conference and mixer is to garner support for AV MotorPlex in an effort to bring drag racing back to the Antelope Valley by building a national state-of-the-art green facility in the Lancaster area," said Jeffrey Hillinger.
The Littlerock graphic artist is the founder of SaveLACR.com, and has been heading up efforts to find a replacement for the fabled quarter mile consumed by Granite Construction since July 29, 2007.
Hillinger has met several times with Norm Hickling, the field representative for Fifth District Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich in search of county land that could be used for a public-private partnership suitable for a new drag strip.
The lifelong drag racing zealot has also scoured L.A. County land ownership rolls and zoning laws in hopes of matching landowners looking to sell with investors willing to buy.
"Our mission Friday night," explained Hillinger, "is to attract supporters in three categories: fundraising, racer support and volunteer services. We're also going to be discussing the new track to include a legal street race that is also in the planning stages."
Racing clubs and organizations and former LACR staff are urged to attend.
Since LACR closed its doors, Valley drag racers have been forced to travel to Irwindale and Fontana. The resumption of drag racing at Willow Springs International Raceway last fall for the first in nearly 50 years was met with enthusiasm and large turnouts.
Since Willow Springs officials said there would no attempt to expand the 1/8th-mile length of the drag race area on the main straightaway, the drag racing community has renewed its search for a full quarter-mile dragstrip.
Please Note: There has been a Venue
Change for our Meeting.
Please check out our web site at
of you who knew Stu Byron, a Littlerock Resident regular with ANRA and a good
friend from LACR, he passed away this last Friday, Jan 22, 2010.
Gonna miss the Big Guy, God Bless You Stu...
Between Desolation and Nowhere we find a place to race.
Willow Springs doesn't allow slicks or cars brought in on trailers.
So the race goes on at the End of the World!
Eventually we will have our Drag Strip but until then, here we are!
Willow Springs ready to host
Event slated for WednesdayThis story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Thursday, September 10, 2009.
By BRIAN GOLDEN
That the return of street legal drag racing was supposed to be the big news out of Willow Springs International Motorsports Park was somehow appropriate.
The death of racing icon Walt James on Wednesday morning dragged down even the joy of the resumption of drag racing in the Valley.
Beginning next week, Wednesday becomes "Grudge Night" on a one-eighth mile stretch of the main straight on Willow Springs' "Fastest Road In The West."
"We're going to have everything they have right now out on 40th Street East, except street-legal and under full safety supervision," said Chris Huth, the president and general manager of Willow Springs. "We're going to play this by ear as we get started.
"The whole emphasis of what we're trying to do is get kids off the streets and get them to do their drag racing here."
Gates will open at 5 p.m., with drag racing under the lights set to begin a 6 and continue through 10 p.m.
To celebrate the return of organized drag racing to the Valley for the first time since Los Angeles County Raceway's closure in July 2007, Huth will waive the registration fee for the first 50 cars through the gates at 70th Street West and Rosamond Boulevard.
"All they have to do is pay the standard $10 admission at the gate," Huth said. "Their car has to be registered and fully insured, they must have a valid driver's license, and they have to have a seat belt and a helmet."
Since the announcement a month ago that the legendary 650-acre motorsports complex would resume drag racing for the first time in nearly 50 years, Huth and Jim Hutchins, his operations manager, have been fielding excited calls from all over Southern California.
When some of the calls lapsed into technical advisories about the requirements of an NHRA-sanctioned dragstrip, Huth had to throw the yellow caution flag.
"We're not building a full quarter-mile dragstrip here," explained the son of fabled Willow Springs owner Bill Huth. "We're going to crawl before we walk. As my father said in announcing this, our main focus is putting an end to street racing in the Valley by offering a safe, supervised alternative.
"All of the fees we collect will be put right back into the drag-racing program, paying for the lights and the emergency medical personnel that will be there. But later on, if it grows like I think it will, that money will go into an electric timing and scoring system, things like that."
For starters, literally, cars will roll up to the starting line flanking the flagman/starter.
At the end of the eighth-mile run, another official will declare the winner.
"In other words, we'll have the same thing they have out on 40th Street East," Huth said, "only a whole lot safer."
In early August, raceway officials met with former mainstays at Los Angeles County Raceway, including LACR operations director Tim Shpall and Jeff Hillinger, the irrepressible SaveLACR.org founder who's spearheaded the search for a successor to LACR since its emotional closing on July 29, 2007.
Hillinger pointed out that Willow's 45-foot straightaway width - 22½ feet per lane - was five feet narrower than drag racing minimums, and 15 feet narrower than most modern tracks.
After seeing the thousand-foot braking zone beyond the finish line, a football field shorter than LACR's, he emphasized the need for testing.
"Whether you're a quarter-mile or an eighth of mile, the launch is still the launch," Hillinger said. "You still need to get these cars slowed down."
Ten days after the initial meeting, Shpall and Hillinger were told Willow Springs would operate the new drag racing program entirely in-house.
Hillinger writes about the negotiations at his SaveLACR.org website.
On message boards throughout the high desert drag racing community, racers and fans insist they won't participate in the new program if Hillinger and Shpall aren't involved.
Moldy Marvin says that would be a mistake.
"All in all, (Willow Springs) totally has my blessing," Hillinger said Wednesday. "We would have preferred to run on Friday nights, because it's kind of tough to get out of work or school early on a Wednesday.
"But it can still be part of my street-legal racing program as a tune-and-tune on Wednesday nights."
What all sides can agree on is the opportunity the drag racing community now has to prove is that a drag strip would be a commercial as well as public safety success.
To improve the rapport between young racers and law enforcement, Chris Huth was going out this week to invite the California Highway Patrol and the Sheriff's Departments of Los Angeles and Kern Counties to become involved.
Scott Graham and the LASD deputies racing team ran a Camaro for years at LACR.
Next week's return of drag racing to Willow Springs for the first time since the early 1960s will be chronicled by Public Broadcasting's KCET-TV in Los Angeles.
They were coming to The Streets of Willow Springs to do a documentary on teenage driving distractions such as cell phone conversations and texting.
They hit the jackpot with former street racers.
"This is all about getting the street racers in here," Huth said. "After that, we'll see where we go from there."
Drag Racing at Willow Springs Raceway / Road Course Straightaway
A Commentary and Feasibility Report by Moldy Marvin 08/14/09
On Tuesday July 7th Tim Shpall (former LACR Marketing Director of 16 years) met with Chris Huth (General Manager of Willow Springs), the meeting was setup by a close friend who works for one of the local radio stations here in the AV.
Back in the early 60’s Willow Springs use to host drag racing, but once Palmdale International Raceway was developed Willow Springs yielded the right of way and focused on oval track and the rally aspects of automotive racing.
It has been rumored that for many years the owner of Willow Springs (Bill Huth) has been an avid supporter of oval track racing and he and “His Fellow Racers” have looked at Drag Racing as a Redheaded Stepchild. At any rate Willow Springs is looking to bring new revenue into the track and wanted discuss the possibility of doing some Drag Racing there.
At the time of the meeting Tim had several concerns, as to safety (always number one) and Chris was concerned with coordinating the Drag Racing so it would not interfere with their regular Friday races and offered Wednesday nights if his father would approve.
(1) Safety: Due to the fact that we would have just about 958 ft. to shut down (for a proper and sanctioned 1/8 mile shut down we should have 1,320), it was the feeling that nothing more than a 12 second (1/4 mile time) car would be appropriate and the end of the shut down goes into a turn at the end. With this in mind we would have to do some test runs beforehand to determine what would be safe or not.
(2) Also the Track is on a slight incline so finding the sweet spot is paramount!
(3) Interfering with Friday Racers: This part to me is the easy one, as you know for 16 years Tim worked for Bernie at LACR and on many occasions ‘when they would have private testing or a special event during the day and Grudge Racing at night, it’s just a matter of coordinating the time and having the right staff in place (which we have) to make it work!
(4) Timing Equipment: The next hurdle was where do we get timing equipment, there are a couple of ways to go here, rent it or buy it? It was our thought that to rent it in the beginning to see if the racers will come out and support it before investing a large sum of money, basic system is about $7,500.00 and it goes up from there.
So there you have it, that was the initial meeting with Chris Huth, we agreed to the following, that Tim would look into the timing system and he told him he would call him the following Monday.
When Tim got back we both discussed the issues at hand and thought that it was a good time to send out a poll.
On Wednesday July 8th Tim and I sent out hundreds of emails, posted on message boards and MySpace a questionnaire asking for racers to let us know what they thought and hundreds of you replied, in fact we are still getting email responses and would like to thank everyone for their support!
Shortly after the release of our poll, Brian Golden had called me for an interview. Throughout the years Brian has been a tried and true asset to the cause and our voice to the general public while keeping the need of a race track here in the valley alive and in print!
I told Brian about Tim’s meeting with Willow Springs and also had told him about my concept for a legal street race series. But had asked Brian not to mention Willow Springs as of yet because we were still waiting for an answer from the management. Brian then published a story in the AV press on Thursday July 9th in the wheels section titled “Hillinger hopes to replace L.A.C.R...
So the following Monday morning Tim called Chris and told him that he was having a problem with finding portable equipment for rent and a basic system would cost about $7,500.00, Tim also informed him about our poll and all the feedback we had gotten, he said “That’s good information to know and my dad is going to be here this week and I will talk to him”. So Tim told him that we really needed to get together with him and take some measurements and lay this whole thing out, at which time he informed Tim that he would be really busy this week and Tim agreed to call him the following week.
Once again Brian Golden followed up with me and published another short column on Thursday July 16th titled “Save LACR gaining supporters.”
Then on the following Wednesday July 22nd I had a meeting with the City of Lancaster. There were two issues, finding a property with the correct zoning that might be purchased and also with my concept of a legal street race series and finding a street, industrial park or property that had enough room to do so. The City was very open and accommodating with both issues and supplied me with all of the tools that were needed in order to do so.
On Wednesday July 29th, I had sent out my letter (via e-mail and bbs). The letter addressed the 2nd year anniversary of the closing of L.A.C.R.. I also included some of the struggles that I had gone through during the past 2 years and mentioned some of the things that I accomplished to include some of the ideas that I was working on in regard to a 1/8 mile street race series that the City of Lancaster is possibly open to.
Shortly after I sent this letter out, I got a phone call from Brian Golden. Brian called to congratulate me because he had just got a call from Bill Huth , stating that he was going to run a 1/8 mile drag race on his road course straightaway! This was great news but took us by surprise because this was also the first time we had heard about the breakthrough and were still waiting for a phone call back from Chris!
On Thursday July 30th Brian published two stories one titled “Willow Springs has a plan for drag racing” of which announced that Willow Springs was going to open a 1/8 mile drag race on their road course and included myself and Tim’s involvement in doing so.
Throughout the weekend Tim and I started getting calls and emails saying that it looked like all our work was starting to pay off and the story in the AV Press was great news? Well having no call back from Chris and now no idea of what was going on we were getting a little frustrated about the whole thing!
On Thursday August 4th Tim finely got a call from Chris and set up an appointment for the following Monday to figure out the logistics of using Willow Springs Straightaway.
During the weekend I went to google earth and was able to download and print an 11” x 17” photo that I could use as a plot for logistics.
On Monday August 10th we met with Chris and his crew, they were very accommodating showed us the lay of the land. So with my trusty rolling measurement device I plotted out the track.
The first concern was the tracks width. Currently the track at Willow Springs is only 45’ wide. (Just about as wide as a two lane hwy.) The minimum specification for a sanctioned track is 50’ most of which are at least 60ft. these days. Willow Springs 45ft. would only allow for each lane to be 22.5ft. In width so I had my concerns right away. My biggest concern was for the initial launch in regard to some of the faster cars and the safety of the starter if we were to do a flag start! As far as bail out there is plenty of open dirt on either side of the track!
Then I plotted out the rest of the track to find we were short a little over 300’ on the shut down, the positive aspect is that the shut down is on a pretty steep incline so I felt that we still had plenty of run out and for most cases (even though the strip couldn’t be sanctioned) it was pretty much doable for most of what we wanted to do! Both staging and the return were easy and had lots of potential but we would still need some testing for the most part. There was an only one drawback bedside the width of the track and that was that there could be no burn outs on the track proper as not to create ruts on the straightaway. This was very understandable and we mulled some ideas around but nothing was finalized.
The morning concluded with an extended meeting with Chris and a couple of his crew. To our delight we found out that Chris and his father agreed that we could race on Friday evenings after 5:00pm, we discussed the logistics in regard to set up and figured out that we could most likely race up until 11:00pm. We also talked about the, rescue, gate, marketing, race incentives and all of the other things that would insure a successful Friday night program.
Upon closure of our meeting we were told that we could bring our entourage of racers for testing anytime during the week after 5:00pm to work the track and see exactly what type of vehicles could race with the up most safety in mind.
I pretty much knew that import cars wouldn’t have a problem, most of them being front wheel drive having more control at the launch and at the same time most of the kids driving them are use to racing on the streets anyway so the width of the track would most likely be a snap. As for the big guns I figured that if we couldn’t race them side by side they could at least take buy runs and do some testing, get them out of the garage and have some fun! I mean you got to figure that a 9 second ¼ mile door slammer is going to launch pretty hard and then your gonna cut their time in half at 660’.
As soon as I got back to my office I started to make some phone calls. I contacted local seasoned racers like Tom Fidger, Dave Burgess of Burgess Racing, Scott Gram of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies Motorsports, Bill Smith BDS Motorsports, and members of the Brotherhood of Street Racers.
This list represented a diversified group of vehicles ranging from 9 sec. ¼ mile door slammers and hot rods to include a pro ET Dragster and imports. Most all of the owners with the faster cars include throttle stops and electronic ignitions that could be detuned for slower times so I could get a good idea of just how fast we could run on the strip. After a day or so having a couple of confirmations we came up with a tentative date for testing slated for Tuesday August 18th. I had then called Willow Springs and left a message for Chris to get back with me for confirmation.
Chris finely got back to me this Thursday August 13th with news that Willow Springs had decided to only allow Legally Licensed and Insured, Street vehicles and that his father had also decided to do everything in house without our assistance or compensation! I thanked Chris for his consideration and had mentioned that he still might want to do some testing on his own because there are several Street Leagle cars on the road that would still meet the criteria of a 9 sec. ¼ mile car. I still offered our assistance in doing so and left on a good note.
If you were to refer back to the article of Thursday July 30th published in the A.V. Press. I think what irked us the most was the quote attributed to Bill Huth, “Too many kids are getting hurt street racing”! You mean to tell me that this guy who has been in the same location for 40 plus years, just noticed “The Start and Finish Lines” painted on avenues I and G and only noticed it just after Tim talked to his son about doing a “Drag Racing Program?” What are the Odds?
This is a cause that Tim and I have championed even when LACR was still opened, it was “Bernie and Tim” who came up with the idea to do a “Street Racers Night” so kids could do what they were already doing, but in a controlled safe environment, they came up with slogan, “No Lights, No Timers Just Racing”.
You know, both Tim and I understand promotion and marketing better than most, we have been in this game with the combined efforts of over 30 years and we have always been strong advocates of integrity and stating the facts as they are.
So after all of this we thought at least this is a start and we both wish Willow Springs well, I personally feel like Wednesday or Friday nights could be worked into our street racing program whether we are actually part of Willow Springs action or not! So in closing let me say it’s the racer who will benefit and “That has always been the goal no matter what”.
Tim and I are still talking to the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, the Counties of L. A., Kern and San Bernardino and we will continue until we get a YES as to eventually find a ¼ mile strip for the community of Drag Racers and spectators alike!
Thanks for all your continued support,
Jeffrey Hillinger A.K.A. Moldy Marvin http://www.savelacr.org
Tim Shpall – LACR http://www.lacr.net
July 30th 2009
Please Note: Willow Spring is Not Building an 1/8th mile track,
That the news would come on the second anniversary of LACR's
closing, when former owner Bernie Longhorn made the last official pass on the
historic quarter-mile in a hearse, was appropriate. "The time is right for
this," Chris Huth said Wednesday. "For years, out of respect for Bernie, we
had no involvement here in drag racing.
The Day the Music Died
Commentary by Moldy Marvin
|July 29th 2009
Today marks the 2nd anniversary of when the music died as our engines met with silence that marked the end of Los
Angeles County Raceway as we all knew and loved it!
So what is has been going on since then?
Plenty, but still to no avail, the saga along with the search for a place to race still continues.
For the past couple of years I have found several locations that would be well suited for such a venue only to be
stopped in our tracks with the legal issues and rhetoric verbiage from the County level.
They say they need someone that is a competent operator of such a complex, when we have the operations
management, the crew, along with the financial support that would be needed! The hurtle as it seems is as to be able to
find the property with the correct zoning and the community support to back it up!
The County suggested finding Industrial M 1 type or land zoned D as they would be the easiest to cultivate into a facility
worthy of a race track!
So I’ve used the County GIS maps on line to find such a property. The problem is that most of the land in the
unincorporated Count of Los Angeles is zoned A-1 for Agricultural and they are not willing to change the zoning
because Agricultural properties are also a kin residential offerings.
On May 2nd 2008 Brian Golden wrote a small inconspicuous column in the AV Press that was titled “Antonovich Still
Pushing For The Rebirth of L.A.C.R..”
Every time I’ve had a meeting with the county, I walk out with that warm and fuzzy feeling that something would be
done, that the County might help, shown areas of interest, and told that they get back to us, only to wait with baited
breath waiting for the phone to ring!
The County had suggested several times that we should go to Fox Field, because they owned the land, so we did just
that and spent several months talking with the county, getting blessings from both Fox Field operations and the City of
Lancaster, we went as far as to come up with a general plan and layout of the track, to include terms of a 30 year lease,
only to be shot down by the FAA who underwrites the airport with grants in order to operate.
Four months turned into a big waist of time!
In the interim I’ve also asked the county if we could shut down a street, one that leads to nowhere on the east side and
allow us to hold legal and safe races with the crew and support needed. They came back with find a street then you will
have to do and pay for a environmental impact report and then submit it to the county for review. I then asked what
about all of the filming I see as the desert streets are closed off, there are lines of trucks, tones of gear, and very large
crews, with explosions and special effects going on in the middle of nowhere do they need an environmental impact
study? The answer, “Well the Film Commission and the County has a special deal!”
Why can’t we get a special deal?
Getting back to the GIS maps, the maps only show the zoning for the unincorporated areas of the County and do not
show the industrial boundaries within the incorporated cities of the Antelope Valley.
Just recently we had a supporter get in touch with the City of Lancaster, and through that contact we found out that the
City of Lancaster is planning a Cart Grand Prix in the City streets of Lancaster slated for October 10th and 11th of this
year. So with that in mind I contacted the parks and recreation department and we had a meeting.
First of all the people that I met with have some very creative minds and are open to all sort of ideas.
I talked with them about finding a permanent property and they obliged me with a map that shows the lay out of the land
which includes light and heavy industrial areas and what they call the Specific plan zonings for the future which at this
point can be manipulated to our advantage as long as the property owners in the area are willing to either lease or sell
the properties. This area covers almost 14 sq. miles of mostly undeveloped land!
Second was my concept for a 1/8th mile legal street race, providing a safer environment for racers of all ages by using
I have found several areas within the City boundaries of Lancaster that might be suitable for such an idea. The City was
very accommodating in providing me with information regarding the proper permits in order to do so. After all they too
have also had to pull permits in order to run their slated grand prix. Once a suitable location is found then the concept
will have to be approved by City Council and then we can move forward to raising the monies and pulling the permits to
run a race. I’ve also found a couple of industrial parking lots that might do the trick also.
With a 1/8th mile race the track itself is only 660’ with another 660’ for run out, totaling 1320’ all together.
Yes we all want a ¼ mile track for our permanent situation but for something temporary 1/8th mile will do!
1/8th mile is also safer for the drivers and easier to control.
In San Diego, the San Diego Police along with the city and the county put together a program called RaceLegal several
years ago. It’s is a 1/8th mile race that they hold in the Qualcomm parking lot using a portable timing system and
provide all of the safety equipment and crew needed to run such a race. They have been very successful and run races
there once a month, with between 250- 500 cars in attendance at a time. This program has been very successful and
not only beneficial to the community but the kids who attend.
If we succeed with the City of Lancaster then I can run with the idea to City of Palmdale and so on, as to then create a
race program that could possibly run as a bi monthly event. Allowing not only to give the kids something to look
forward to but also allow ol’time racers the opportunity to fire up our engines and roar down a portable track to
victory! This too could boost the local economies in the areas of where a race would be held, by food, lodging and
automotive expendable and parts sales.
Imagine if you will teams made up of youngsters and of seasoned racers getting together once or twice a month in a
different city or town in the Antelope Valley. Team Lancaster, Team Palmdale, Team Lake LA, Team Littlerock and so
on. A program like this could open doors for outside competition bringing in teams from other Cities outside of the
Antelope Valley. It could open doors to young racers by getting them interested in their cars instead of drugs, give them
something to look forward to and provide a safe environment to allow them to race. The ol’timers set as avatars,
teaming up with our youth, teaching them the ins and outs of their machines and the skill of racing like as it should be
done. A Brotherhood so to speak! In fact the Brotherhood of street racers has endorsed these ideals for years and still
When we lost our Alma mater, the alumni not only lost a safe place to race but a place where people could congregate,
to continue an institution for the good of our youth and the future of racing.
Something really needs to be done and I continue my quest in doing so. Please join me, speak out my friends, even
shout it if you can, for the squeaky wheel gets the grease and eventually someone will listen!
A Big Thanx to everyone for your continued support,
Jeffrey W. Hillinger, A.K.A. Moldy Marvin
Brotherhood of Street Racers Yesterday 1977
World News July 11th 2009
Brotherhood of Street Racers Today
How about Tomorrow?
We Need a Place to Race and We Need it NOW!
This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Thursday, July 9th 2009
Photo by Gene Breckner / Valley Press
|Where red, amber and green lights once climbed, along with
pulse rates and decibel levels, only one light is now seen regularly over the
former Los Angeles County Raceway.
July 29 will mark two years of the sun making a daily lap over the Valley's drag racing vacuum.
But as an excited e-mail that filled Valley drag racers' mailboxes like the bleaching midday sun indicated on Wednesday, there may be a new ray of hope, pardon the pun.
"We haven't given up, and we won't," declared Jeff Hillinger, whose SaveLACR.com has morphed into ReplaceLACR.com since 2007. "There are some exciting possibilities that have emerged, which is why I sent out that e-mail. It's really a questionnaire."
Hillinger declined to discuss specifics, but said the possibility of a one-eighth mile dragstrip is there, if LACR's exiled masses will step forward to guarantee support.
In his questionnaire, Hillinger, 52, an accomplished optical and computer-generated graphics consultant to the movie industry who also designs websites and restores classic cars with equal aplomb, asks how the local dragster community would feel about a track half the length of LACR's legendary quarter-mile.
How much racers would be willing to spend for registration, and spectators would be willing to pay, as well as the importance of an electronic timing system vs. flashlight starts, are all addressed.
"The people we're talking to about this are serious people," said Hillinger. "They're good businessmen, too, so so they want to see that it's not just me promising them to make it worth their time and investment."
The Littlerock resident, whose affectionate pseudonym is "Moldy Marvin," is fresh off another successful Klassic Kruize-In weekend at The Outpost not far from the former LACR.
Among the vehicles drawn to The Outpost were a half-dozen dragsters. "Guys came out just so they could rev their engines," Hillinger said. "For a lot of these guys, their dragsters have been sitting in the garage for nearly two years. "They want to race. We all do."
In addition to the anonymous newcomer in the post-LACR drama, Hillinger has been looking at a pair of land parcels in Black Butte, the area between 213th-223rd Streets East bounded by Avenue T and Highway 138.
One parcel is 452 acres. The other is 560. By comparison, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana sits on 600 acres.
"The ultimate vision would be for a quarter-mile dragstrip like LACR, as well as circle tracks for the stock car guys," Hillinger said. "There would be restaurants and shops to make it a complete entertainment experience. "You know, even in tough times people still want their entertainment, if only to take their minds off other things. Drag racing would be entertainment, but it would also be dollars, income, for Palmdale and the Valley."
Los Angeles County Raceway certainly produced it. The fabled dragstrip brought an average or more than 300,000 people annually to the Valley, which hotels, motels, restaurants and even auto parts stores could attest to. After the spectacular success of the recent U.S. Youth Soccer Western Regionals, which pumped an estimated $13 Million into the Valley economy, Hillinger wonders whether the
timing might finally be right for a successor to LACR.
"I see the acreage that (Los Angeles World airports) owns at the Palmdale Air Terminal, where there was all this big talk of building a solar farm," the SaveLACR.com leader said. "And it's just sitting there right now, doing nothing.
"Is it really more valuable to the city and the county doing nothing than it would be as a possible site for a new LACR?"
The Glendale native has become versed in the technical minutiae of land use since LACR's passing. He can read a County map and know that he needs land zoned D-2, for desert scrub, to bring LACR back to life.
Life is part of the equation, he reminds people. Street racing often becomes a life-and-death situation.
"Since we lost LACR, kids in this Valley have been taking to the streets," Hillinger said. "Do this: log on to YouTube and type in 'Brotherhood of Street Racers'. "You'll see videos that have been shot in out here in the Valley in the last few months. We lost something that was great for the rapport of the Sheriff's Dept. with young people when we lost the street legal drag racing program at LACR."
Moldy Marvin only hopes the echoes of the $occer cash registers are still ringing in Valley ears.
In the meantime, he needs the Valley's drag racing community to roll up to the starting line.
And his e-mail box.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Photo by Gene Breckner / Valley Press
Nearly two years later, still no strip
|The City of Palmdale is fighting to get
their land back, Drag Racers and a New Track could be their answer!
Please follow the link's below and read the articles first then you will get what I'm talking about in the following commentary.
If Palmdale wants to keep their land and fight for it then they need to do something with it!
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Drag Racing Community,
We had the City of Lancaster's Blessing along with the County of Los Angeles and the management with Fox Field, that is, until the FAA got in the way and shot it down.
story appeared in the
Hickling & Hillinger look over property location map for the east valley during a meeting in August of 2007
Hickling's words last week landed like a salve, rather than salt, on the
still-open eastside wound that is the former Los Angeles County Raceway.
the Valley field representative for Fifth District Los Angeles County
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, told the Valley Press last Friday that
Antonovich sees economic development in
disclosure that a successor to LACR has already been discussed in the
County's regional planning department was welcome news to Jeff Hillinger,
the graphic artist and movie industry computer generation consultant who has
been spearheading efforts to replace the famed dragstrip that was closed by
Granite Construction mining efforts last July 29.
is good to hear," Hillinger said Monday. "I just wish they would
keep us more informed on this, because we have people who're making efforts
to buy land out here, and it would be nice to know that the County is on our
said he has had several discussions with Hickling.
said he is convinced of the sincerity of Supervisor Antonovich's interest in
replacing the former drag racing icon that drew more than 250,000 visitors
to the Valley annually.
believe in Antonovich, I really do," said the man whose passion for
LACR prompted him to move himself and his bustling high-tech business from
not building websites and consulting computer-generated special effects for
cinematic use, Hillinger has been absorbed in developing what is now up to a
14-page business plan for a new LACR.
had the services of a financial planner and a real estate agent to assist
with the vagaries of land acquisition and purchase.
since his organization is made up totally of volunteers bonded by a passion
for hot rods and drag racing, the challenges of the current economy have
forced attention to be diverted elsewhere.
has people who are willing to put up their own money in to take care of
things like environmental impact reports and the other red-tape stuff,"
Hillinger said. "That's how badly we want to see a new dragstrip built
to replace LACR.
there are certain things, like infrastructure and access roads, that only
the County can do."
Supervisor and the SaveLACR zealot have in fact corresponded about the
specific piece of property the County has in mind.
is a 500-acre parcel that would be third in size only to Willow Springs
International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway at
SaveLACR group has also been eyeing a second, 140-acre parcel only a few
miles east of the former LACR site. Currently it is used extensively for
movie, TV and commercial location shoots.
owners there reside on their property," said Hillinger, who brought the
second real estate possibility to Hickling's attention. "They're
totally open to doing something with their property."
with tract numbers and regional planning and the other intricacies of
development enabled Hillinger to make a valuable discovery.
land areas under discussion would fit right in with the County's 30-year
plan for the Valley, which includes a freeway to by-pass Highway 138 and
link Interstates 5 and 15.
hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues in my plan would be just as
welcome to truck drivers and motorists on the freeway as they would be to
drag racers and fans coming to town for a weekend," Hillinger said.
the meantime, Hillinger says there is something the County can do
immediately that would show good faith for the big-picture motorsports
complex to come.
still getting calls from people asking about the Wednesday and Friday night
street-legal program at LACR," Hillinger said. "These kids need a
place where they can race safely, under supervision and with the proper
safety equipment in place.
sheriff already blocks off streets in the outlying areas of the eastside for
movie and TV shoots. We've all seen those roadblocks. Why can't the county
block off one of those roads that dead-end between the alfalfa and onion
fields one Friday night a month and we can have safe drag racing for our
has already floated the idea to several large businesses in Palmdale, who he
said have expressed interest in underwriting the K-rail, Christmas tree and
other features needed to transform the road into a temporary dragstrip.
fee of $10 per racer could be assessed to create a fund SaveLACR could put
toward the expenses of site surveys and EIRs.
dream is still a new quarter-mile dragstrip, with an off-road racing course
and an oval for the stock cars," Hillinger said. "But in the
meantime, just one night a month would be a huge help to keep somebody from
getting killed street racing.
night a month. Is that too much to ask?"
They say "Show us Statistics" Go to Google and Search using the Key Words "Death From Street Racing" There are more than 2,000,000 articles on the subject! Click here to find out the truth!
The day they broke ground in 1964
This photo was taken in 2007 at the back of the track's parking lot, Not much difference is there?
L.A.C.R. has been the home to hundreds of Racing Clubs and Associations for over 40 years. L.A.C.R. has one of the best programs for teaching both young and old drivers the rules of safety not only on the track but the streets as well and we all seem to agree that we like the location right where it is!
Help Save Historical Los Angeles County Raceway!
Our creed is not to fight Granite Construction the master lease holders of the land and the rock below our beloved track, fact is they have been very good to us for many years. Our goal is to Rally supporters in order to build a new track for the future of Drag Racing in the Antelope Valley and Los Angles County!
A solution should be found first and foremost before going any further.
Amazing Photos of the Track and The Mining taken from the Air by Todd Schultz during the Rat Fink Party 2007
Granite Construction is one of the largest heavy civil contractors in the U.S. and is a large producer of sand, gravel, asphalt and other aggregate-based construction materials.
Granite Construction not only supplies construction materials to other contractors but they are also major contractors who build our roads and highways. Next time you drive down the highway look for the giant water towers in construction areas that reside by the side of the road. They are big as day, that say "Granite" on the side.
In 2006, Granite Construction reported revenues of $ 2.96 billion.
Here in the State of California a portion of Granite's road building profits are paid via Tax's, coming from Federal and State, to include the Tax's that are being collected at the Gas Pump, paid by the communities that they serve!
The following is directly quoted off of Granite's web site; it can be found under Careers under Social Responsibilities:
Our Question is as follows:
Is The gravel under the track
worth more than the countless
lives it has save over the years and the lives that it could save
and the lives that it could save today?
By taking our track away without finding an alternative solution first shows no concern for the community that it has served for so many years?
There are a lot of other statements on Granite's web site that refer to commitment, integrity and the communities that they serve.
For more information on Granite Construction Please Visit their website at http://www.graniteconstruction.com
By Bob "Stormy" Byrd / Full Throttle News April 2006 Click here!
The Bushmaster Arm Wrestling With Glen Easterling At L.A.C.R. in 1966
High Desert Trikers
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Li'l Ricks Tire Shop Littlerock, CA