IRG Sports + Entertainment (IRG) announced that effective Nov.3, it has closed on the transaction to acquire Cordova Dragway Park and has assumed control of the facility’s operations.
The motorsports venue has been renamed Cordova International Raceway (CIR), joining sister tracks Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida; Memphis International Raceway in Millington, Tennessee; and Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, Arizona. CIR will remain an International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Member Track and will host the IHRA’s Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series on May 29-30, 2015.
IRG has named Bobbi Jo Cox as the new General Manager for CIR. Cox has 16 years of experience at the facility, serving in many roles over that period. She will take over day-to-day operations from Scott and Laura Gardner, as they both have transitioned to new roles within the IRG family of companies. After a successful career in the banking industry, Laura and her husband Scott operated Cordova Dragway Park for 19 years. Last year, Scott was named IHRA president.
Located in Cordova, Illinois on 190 acres, CIR is a quarter-mile facility with a Compulink Timing System, on-site camping and Musco stadium lighting. IRG had disclosed in October, as part of a major financing deal with TPG Specialty Lending, that CIR will soon receive capital improvements including new Compulink fiber optic timing and LED scoreboards, additional grandstands, and the resurfacing of the drag strip.
“Cordova International Raceway is well known for its popular World Series of Drag Racing, which celebrated its 61st year in August 2014. We are pleased to have such a highly regarded and successful venue as part of our family of race tracks,” IRG CEO Jason Rittenberry said.
As IRG takes over the day-to-day management of CIR, previous co-owner, vice president and general manager of Cordova Dragway Park, Laura Gardner, has been named as the corporate director of human resources and training for all IRG companies, including CIR. In her new role, Laura will be responsible for human resources and training across all companies in the IRG portfolio. She will report directly to IRG Chief Financial Officer Peter A. Evanofski, and will work out of the Norwalk, Ohio offices.