Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Three minutes with Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth

Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth visited Los Angeles on Wednesday. He was at Pink's on Melrose and La Brea where he created his own Daytona Dog, complete with guacamole and jalapenos.
It looked more like something Oscar the Grouch would sneeze on to a hot dog bun, but there weren't many complaints from the fans who showed up to see and meet Kenseth and grad a dog.
He won his second Daytona 500 on Monday, a race that was delayed a day by rain and for more than two hours when Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a jet dryer during a caution period. The crash caused a fire and red-flagged the race, forcing the finish well past midnight in Florida.
During the red flag, Brad Keselowski became a Twitter star. He was Tweeting from the track and gained tens of thousands of followers.
Kenseth has about as many followes, 75,000, as Keselowski gained at the Daytona 500. The two-time Daytona 500 winner compared his two Daytona 500 wins, showed off his newest Daytona 500 ring, and discussed the penalty Jimmie Johnson's team received after the Daytona 500.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Daytona International Speedway has good news for short track racers

Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway will have a place for the short track stock car racers across the nation in 2013.
A two-day event that will include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and East and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours North and South is planned on a short track oval being built on the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway, a NASCAR official said on Wednesday.
The two-day of races will be in 2013 on the Monday and Tuesday before the Daytona 500, once called the dark days of Daytona, on a proposed .4-mile paved oval. The event will also include a late model race. Drivers and teams from the NASCAR international series in Mexico, Canada and Europe will also have an opportunity to enter the races.
The event is being described as the next step up from the NASCAR All-Star Showdown that was run at Irwindale Speedway. The NASCAR All-Star Showdown evolved into a three-race event with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and East, Super Late Models and Late Models.
The All-Star Showdown was a stepping stone for a number of NASCAR drivers who moved up to the Sprint Cup Series. Joey Logano and David Gilliland won All-Star Showdown races and Travis Pastrana made his NASCAR debut at the Showdown last year.
More details about the track and the races will be announced on Friday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Irwindale Speedway LLC files for bankruptcy

Irwindale Speedway LLC filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Monday, the same day track management cancelled the racing season for 2012.
In the bankruptcy papers, Irwindale Speedway owes its creditors $331,773.11 plus unknown amounts on two personal injury claims.
Irwindale Speedway owes Nu-Way Industries Inc., the company that owns the property where the track and office buildings are built, $55,000 in rent.
Go to for more on the bankruptcy filing and who Irwindale Speedway owes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Irwindale Speedway cancels racing season

Irwindale Speedway cancelled its 2012 racing season, track management announced Monday.
In a brief statement, track management left no explanation for why the racing season was cancelled or if another owner and management team would take over the track.
The announcement was not unexpected, but still a shock to drivers, teams and stock car racing fans who called Irwindale Speedway their racing home.

“Irwindale Speedway is a great facility that brought some tremendous racing to fans in Southern California," George Silberman, the NASCAR vice president of regional and touring series said. "Today’s news is an obvious disappointment. There are a lot factors out of our control in a track having to make a decision like this. We wish the track the best of luck and hope racing returns in the near future.”
Go to for more on the news from Irwindale.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Megan McKernan turns drag racing into rocket science

Megan McKernan has championship equipment and the mind of a physicist. That makes for a dangerous combination in the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster division.
The driver from Sierra Madre has two degrees in physics, one from USC and the other from the University of San Diego. Her car is the same one Ashley and Courtney Force drove when they were racing Top Alcohol Dragsters for her dad, 15-time NHRA champion John Force.
McKernan is entering her second full season in NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster this weekend in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Winternationals at Pomona Racweay.
Go to for more on McKernan's NHRA career and her expectations for the 2012 season.

Photo: Megan McKernan finished third in the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster standings last year.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fire captain burning up the drag strip in Pomona

Johnny Ahten, a fire captain in Santa Clarita, is racing his NHRA Top Alcohol Fuel dragster in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Winternationals at Pomona Raceway this weekend.
The 40-year-old from Newhall has been racing since 1999. He has been driving top alcohol dragsters for eight years.
Some of his best drag racing moments came at Pomona. He made it the semifinals once and laid down the best run of his career, 5.25 seconds down the 1000-foot strip, in 2010.
Go to for more on Ahten and his drag racing career.

Photo: Johnny Ahten is the driver and clutch man on his NHRA Top Alcohol drag racing team.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Three minutes with NHRA rookie Alexis DeJoria

PASADENA – Alexis DeJoria wanted to be fighter pilot when she was a kid. She’s become probably the next best thing for a thrill seeker who also happens to be the daughter of the owner of a hair-care product empire.
DeJoria is a driver on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. She begins her rookie campaign in the NHRA Funny Car division this weekend at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Winternationals at Pomona Raceway.
DeJoria, the daughter of John Paul DeJoria, the owner of Paul Mitchell Hair Care Products, said during a media lunch at Ruth Chris Steak House in Pasadena on Wednesday that she inherited the racing bug from her father. In addition to making a fortune selling hair spray and gels, he liked to drive and occasionally race fast cars.
Alexis went to work for her father’s company as a teenager, but, as she said, “made a left turn out of the family business” and pursued a career as a drag racer.
The 34-year-old driver competed in four NHRA Funny Car races last year, qualifying for three events. She made her debut at Pomona Raceway in the Auto Club Finals in November.
She also likes tattoos. She says she has 16 of them, the most recent, an ode to racing which includes an F-15 Strike Eagle surrounded by piston rods and checkered flags.
She also has a tattoo with her daughter’s name, Isabella, on her left wrist.