Struggling NASCAR track Irwindale Speedway cancels season

Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, once hailed as perhaps the best short track for minor-league NASCAR racing, said Monday it has canceled its 2012 season.

Amid speculation that the half-mile speedway might be closed or sold in the face of dwindling crowds, its management issued a one-sentence statement announcing the cancellation and providing no other details.

Track officials could not immediately be reached to elaborate, but the speedway’s website also had been taken down.

The 6,500-seat Irwindale facility alongside the 605 Freeway opened 13 years ago mainly to host weekly Saturday races for NASCAR stock-car developmental series. It drew positive reviews and was considered a particularly fan-friendly venue.

The track also hosted annual races that at times drew some of racing’s biggest stars, including Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Joey Logano.

Those races included the NASCAR All-Star Showdown and the “Turkey Night” race on Thanksgiving Day for open-wheel sprint and midget cars.