Right before hitting its 20th year of the Annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival in San Diego, nonprofit founders of the organization had to pull the plug because of funds. Known as “The Race At The Base” this event was created to pay tribute to the Nation’s military and add exposure for the Navy in San Diego by means of a spectator friendly race that would attract lots of people and support. Taking place at The Naval Air Station North Island, it was a perfect location providing easy access from downtown San Diego, with plenty of space for locals and travelers from abroad. Most importantly, it featured the necessary room to build a 1.7 mile road course right on the runway and taxiways of the military base.
The first year was a huge success, and the Navy was very pleased with the turnout of their first open house. Since that time, the event became bigger and bigger reaching a peak of 20,000 attendee’s who flocked to San Diego to view the only open house for the Navy on the West Coast and witness over 200 vintage cars race. Each of the vintage cars there to race were chosen based on their historical significance and certified authenticity. This provided a unique experience for guests to visit the Navy base and witness racing history first hand.
Unfortunately, the nonprofit organization has suffered major losses over the past decade and this year they won’t be able to continue with “The Race At The Base” for 2017. Although figures for 2016 haven’t been released yet, they were $147,157 in the red for 2015 preventing for budget of any foreseeable Race At The Base. Larry Blumberg, a retired Navy Captain who took on the leadership post in November said, “I started looking at the financials in the fall, knowing the sponsorship levels and where they were. I had an idea that there were going to be issues at the end of the year.”