Wow. Where is the sad emoticon? Time sure went fast. Was fortunate to see a short course race in the early eighties, and even more fortunate to road race motorcycles there in the late eighties before it closed.
Yes it was very important to build another shopping mall because we just dont have enough of those. Every time I drive by that area and look at that existing sign tower that they left I flash back on all the good times at that track.
I'm sure it's more complicated than I understand, but I feel like it wouldn't be that hard to duplicate something like this. There was nothing particularly unique about RIR that didn't exist anywhere else was there? Aside from the physical location being so easily accessible for large audiences, I feel like it would be reasonably doable to replicate this at a major speedway complex somewhere else in America. Of course it wouldn't be exact, but it seems like this could be workable.
Prich, you would think so, but everyone that has tried has failed. Riverside was unique in that it was on the edge of the desert and had a fantastic track layout with elevation changes and really technical sections that tested drivers. And it seemed that almost every year it threw in some event that made each one unique, from racer cars crashing off the course and out onto the freeway to crazy thunder storms that totally flooded the track, but the race went on anyway, just like in the desert. Most tracks today are based on the Penske Big 'D' oval and lack everything else that made Riverside what it was. Maybe they could do something like it at Sonoma, but I think there would be protest crowds blocking the gates to prevent evil off roaders from raping the planet if they tried. Vegas is too flat. Most other places are as well. Prairie City could work, but it just isn't close enough to get the racers there. Many of the other places aren't big enough (fairgrounds, etc...). It probably could come close at Laughlin, but that place already has enough cool racing.
Man...don't get me it was we going....I loved that place and spent time there for NASCAR also....Here goes:
My first time there period...Parnelli Jones was racing the Russell built Blazer(not BFG yet if I remember) it was white then..They had that land rush start into turn 6...Off the line everyone goes, but car next to PJ got sideways right in front of him way before the turn and PJ and the other car come to a complete stop...now they are behind the entire pack, PJ backs up as to go around the car in front of him sideways, but NO...PJ nails the throttle and T-Bones the car hard enough to spin it out of the way and off goes PJ to play catch up....
How important was Riverside to me?...I've been involed with motorcycles in Motocross and some desert racing since I was 10 yrs old, but this was first time seeing Desert Racing in person...First time seeing Walker Evans ripping up the Thompson Ridge and I was hooked!!....My complete love for the sport started that weekend...
Sonoma could be a fun off-road race venue. There is elevation change and plenty of dirt and infrastructure like RIR. But the speedway would freak out if we (off-roaders) presented them with the offer to rent the track for an off-road race. And forget about touching the drag strip. I can't even imagine how much it would cost to rent the place and build an off-road track. Plus, it's practically Canada to SoCal.
Towed there twice to race, its a hall.Lotts of potential for a killer short course, Butt the e.i. report would cost thousands, & take ten years, not to mention the sound walls that would have to be built.( called ' bird walls'),