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1/23/23, 5:41 PM   #1
Opinions: CA Mid-Winter Fair (El Centro) 3/11/23
JJMooney
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I know this is primarily an Indiana board. However, Iím hoping there are some West Coasters on here that can give some opinions. After more than 20 years, the Imperial Valley Raceway is bringing back the historic California Mid-Winter Fair Sprint Car race. Itíll be on Saturday, March 11th featuring the ďSouthern California Open Comp Non-Wing Sprint CarsĒ. Itís paying a decent purse - $5,000 to win.

Imperial (AKA El Centro) is one of those tracks I always read about in Open Wheel Magazine. The old CRA used to race at the Mid-Winter Fair when the fairgrounds track was a half mile, then a 3/8. (Itís now a ľ mile). It's one of those historic places I feel I need to see at least once. Iím seriously thinking of booking a flight.

My question is: What's the talk out there about this show and the kind of field expected? Imperial has had some sprint shows recently but I canít find out what theyíve drawn. With the purse, Iím hoping it will pull more than a few USAC/CRA regulars. So far, their schedule is open that weekend. Iíd hate to fly all the way out there for 12 cars. (Although, Iíve been there, done that).
 
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1/23/23, 6:19 PM   #2
Re: Opinions: CA Mid-Winter Fair (El Centro) 3/11/23
erich45
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I've been asking myself those same questions. In my case it's only about a 5 hour drive, but at my age that's a serious consideration.
 
1/23/23, 7:26 PM   #3
oppweld
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To me it's a historic track in any configuration, that said if you are worried about car counts you could skip the March races see how it goes and go to the fall races on the schedule.
 
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1/23/23, 10:50 PM   #4
Re: Opinions: CA Mid-Winter Fair (El Centro) 3/11/23
NOSTINKINWINGS
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I think the last Sprint Car race at Imperial was an SCRA race on March 7, 1998 won by Mike Kirby in the Willkerson #6. SCRA had 8 races there between '94 and '98. The last CRA race was October 20, 1991 won by Jerry Meyer in the family #28. They have been running Lightning Sprints there the last few years. I asked around Tulsa last week about this and got shoulder shrugs. Nothing on the fair website about this that I can find...
 
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1/23/23, 11:08 PM   #5
Re: Opinions: CA Mid-Winter Fair (El Centro) 3/11/23
Igo-Ono
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This is merely speculation from a hardcore nonwing fan on the West Coast, but … I would have low expectations for that show. The old CRA that you reference is long dead and gone. The existing USAC version struggles to draw competitors and just lost its best car and driver. I’m sure some or even most of the USAC/CRA guys won’t support the El Centro shows. Also, that track is remote. I doubt there is more than a very small handful of cars based within 100 miles.

I hope I’m wrong and the event is a huge success. For now, I’ll take Oppweld’s advice.
 
1/24/23, 1:09 AM   #6
oppweld
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Here's the schedule I found.
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Screenshot_20230123_230615_Chrome.jpg (865.4 KB, 56 views)
 
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1/24/23, 7:41 AM   #7
Re: Opinions: CA Mid-Winter Fair (El Centro) 3/11/23
JJMooney
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. Everything thatís been said is exactly what I have been fearing. My last visit to Southern California was 20 years ago during the SCRA days and I know the racing landscape there is far different now. I think Iíll wait until next year and see how everything shakes out. Unfortunately, the fall race at Imperial is the same weekend as Tulareís Trophy Cup. Iíve had that race on my wish list for a long time and I fully plan on going this year.
 
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1/24/23, 3:47 PM   #8
Roberson587
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Track has been revamped,now runs as a 1/4. Facilities are just as beautiful as you would expect them to be with the historical covered Midway and open pits for you to mingle from the pits to the grandstands and obtain your favorite driver's autographs. We look forward to a strong car count as we are offering up a very large purse for Saturday night that will take care of the drivers from 1st to last and just announced as Friday night will be a $700 last Man standing dash.
We look forward to entertaining all non-wing Sprint cars as this is an open competition class!!! Also this our second 2 day show at Imperial Valley Raceway, 2022 was won by Ricky Lewis (Friday) Shon Deskins (Saturday).
Feel free to ask me any questions!
Amanda Roberson-Tramel
Imperial Valley Raceway
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IMG_20230110_101102_882.jpg (211.3 KB, 29 views)
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Last edited by Roberson587; 1/24/23 at 3:56 PM.
 
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1/24/23, 5:48 PM   #9
Re: Opinions: CA Mid-Winter Fair (El Centro) 3/11/23
JJMooney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberson587 View Post
Track has been revamped,now runs as a 1/4. Facilities are just as beautiful as you would expect them to be with the historical covered Midway and open pits for you to mingle from the pits to the grandstands and obtain your favorite driver's autographs. We look forward to a strong car count as we are offering up a very large purse for Saturday night that will take care of the drivers from 1st to last and just announced as Friday night will be a $700 last Man standing dash.
We look forward to entertaining all non-wing Sprint cars as this is an open competition class!!! Also this our second 2 day show at Imperial Valley Raceway, 2022 was won by Ricky Lewis (Friday) Shon Deskins (Saturday).
Feel free to ask me any questions!
Amanda Roberson-Tramel
Imperial Valley Raceway
Thanks! Now I'm back to being interested again. Imperial's FB page is really doing a nice job promoting the history of the event. It's early yet, but I'd like to hear more about drivers that might be coming as we get closer to March.
 
1/24/23, 6:00 PM   #10
Roberson587
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Thanks!!!! We are trying really hard to have some great events to preserve the history and bring the good old days back that so many people have memories of at Imperial Valley. We have Incorporated lap sponsors in memory of all the mid winter Fair main event winners and pre-registration for the event will open the first week of February. We will be capturing all this as we get closer to the event on social media and hopefully a race day program.
Keep an eye out of Facebook and Instagram
Southern California Open Competition Non Wing Sprint Cars
Imperial Valley Fairgrounds Raceway

-Amanda
 
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