Maldonado set to get gearbox penalty, which owns the property,have agreed to offer open practice sessions for stock cars starting June 29. Open sessions also will be held every Friday in July.We're sending a clear message to racers out there that we want to bring racing back said Team 221 CEO Jim Cohan,whose L.A. Racing Experience operates at the track.We want to let them get the cobwebs out.
The opening of the oval-track facility to stock cars follows the re-opening of the eighth-mile drag strip earlier this year. Cohans company also operates the drag strip.Oval track practices are as close as we can be to racing right now Cohan said.Our ultimate goal is to make an announcement,with a lot of pomp and circumstance,that we will be racing again.Everyone wants racing back. We feel we will present a whole new ballgame. When people go through the turnstiles,they will see how things have changed.The last thing we want them to feel is like it is a continuation of the old regime.Cohan still is bidding against other companies to operate oval-track racing at the facility,which went through bankruptcy court earlier this year after 13 consecutive seasons of racing.
"It is very important to get the right talent in place because this is a crown jewel and there is a lot of responsibility with that Cohan said.Cars will practice on either the third or half-mile oval,depending on what they competed on in past seasons. All vehicles will be required to pass a competition safety check and all driver safety equipment will need to meet or exceed minimum stock car standards.A lot of our drivers have told us that they need to get out there and get some laps on this track," said veteran NASCAR official Mike Atkinson who will help supervise the practices These open sessions will give them that opportunity.
There will be no tire or gasoline services offered. Sessions will be from and will cost per car.The drag strip reopened its regular Thursday night sessions in April, with some Saturday sessions also conducted. Cohan said more Saturday night sessions will be offered. They will include fan giveaways and appearances by jet cars down the strip.