A member of the NATIONAL SPRINT CAR HALL OF FAME
For Information: 522 Florida St. Imperial Beach, CA 91932 or Call 805-437-6989
Our roots in racing began in November of 1939 when a 23 year old Don Basile hooked up with
a young race car owner J.C. Agajanian. Don had been running errands for “Aggie’s” father J.T.
Agajanian in Gardena, CA, Aggie took Don to the Thanksgiving 100 Lap Midget Car Grand Prix
at Gilmore Stadium in Los Angeles (now the site of CBS). From that moment on Don was
hooked on racing and got into it full time after World War II (racing was suspended during the
After World War II Don started working at Carrell Speedway on Vermont Ave. in Gardena, CA
one of the most versatile race tracks in American history. During this time Don learned ALL
aspects of the racing business including: promotions, track prep, organization as well as
driving and owning Stock Cars. By 1950 he had become General Manger and presided over
some to the aria’s greatest racing events until the demise of Carrell Speedway in 1955 to
make room for Artesia Blvd which ended up running through the north turn.
It was during his time at Carrell Speedway that Don organized THE FIRST DEMOLITION DERBY
in the late 1940’s. He realized that the crowed always got extremely excited when there was
a wreck on the track, so he thought why not organize a bunch of wrecks and planned a
“Crash Derby” as a side show to one nights racing events. He organized two teams made up
of future Racing Hall of Fame members Walt & Joe James (brothers) against Allan Heath and
Billy Cantrell. The James boys won that first derby and Don started adding derbies to his
events from then on.
Also during this time Don, along with J.C. Agajanian, Bob Estes and Gordon Betz organized
the first pure Stock Car race at Carrell Speedway and the first stock car association “The West
Coast Stock Car Racing Association” that ran stock car races all over the west coast. Don also
organized the first California NASCAR race for “Big Bill” France in 1952 at Carrell Speedway.
After the demise of Carrell Speedway Don hooked up full time with J.C. Agajanian organizing
racing events all over the west coast and organized the Daytona Motorcycle Speedweek in
the late 1950’s and early ‘60’s. With Agajanian Enterprises Don and Aggie organized almost
every major racing event on the west coast including the following:
Indianapolis Cars – Sprint Cars – Midgets – Stock Cars – Roadsters – Jalopies – Motorcycles –
At the following Race Tracks:
Ascot Park – Riverside International Raceway – Daytona Beach – Phoenix International
Speedway – Phoenix State Fairgrounds – Los Angeles Coliseum – Sacramento State
Fairgrounds – National Orange Show – Del Mar State Fairgrounds – Los Angeles County
Fairgrounds – San Jose County Fairgrounds – Las Vegas State Fairgrounds and many more
small tracks through out the west.
With all the major sanctioning bodies including:
USAC – NASCAR – AMA – CMC – The World of Outlaws – CRA – URA - WRA
Involving some of the greatest race drivers and motorcycle riders in the world including:
Bill Vuckivich, Johnny Parsons, Rodger Ward, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti, Bobby
and Al Unser, Walt Faulkner, Troy Ruttman, Kenny Roberts, Sammy Tanner just to mention a
While growing up since 1944 in the world of motorsports, Bob Basile got his start in the
business in 1956 selling programs at all the Agajanian Enterprise’s events. He fast learned
the ins and outs of the business helping his Dad with event programs and track prepreation,
he became Advertising Ass’t Manager and Food Concession Manger at the famed Ascot Part
until partnership problems at the track in 1972.
At this time Don & Bob moved to San Diego where they reopened South Bay Park Speedway
in Chula Vista, or as Legendary Sports Announcer Stu Nahan called it “the track under the
lights of Tijuana” as the track was less than one mile from the Mexican border. Speedway 117
(after the renaming of the road leading to the track) was turned into one of the most versatile
and best dirt race tracks in the country during their stay there from 1973 to 1983 when they
lost the land to development. They ran Stock Cars, Sprint Cars, Modifieds, Motorcycles AMA ½
mile and TT, CMC Moto-X, Speedway Bikes, Sand Drags, Off Road, Truck Pulls and Monster
Trucks. Bob Basile developed the biggest weekly “night” Motor-X in California during this time
averaging over 225 riders per night with some of the greatest coming out of its program like;
Broc Glover and Ricky Johnson; ATV riders Dean Sundahl, Stevie Wright and Mark Waxeldorfer.
Don & Bob lost the land lease to Speedway 117 in 1982 and that is when Sunnyside
Promotions as it is today was born. In the beginning Sunnyside organized Demolition Derbies,
Sand Drags and Off Road events. But since about 1985 has strictly organized Demolition
Derbies at county fairgrounds, and as a tribute to the company’s power and equality in
running their events, some events have lasted for 20 years. You can see a history of the
Demolition Derbies run by Sunnyside Promotions by going to the Event History page.
And now into the 21st Century, Sunnyside Promotions is being run by 3rd and 4th generation
Basiles: Lisa Lenig, Jaimey Farranto and Sammy Farranto. The family will take Sunnyside
Promotions well into the 21st Century of Demolition Derbies.
Over Eight Decades Of Racing