Auto Club Speedway
|Auto Club Speedway of Southern California|
|Location||9300 Cherry Avenue, Fontana, California 92335|
|Owner||International Speedway Corporation|
|Operator||International Speedway Corporation|
|Construction cost||$100 million USD|
|Architect||Paxton Waters Architecture|
Penske Motorsports, Inc.
|Former_names||California Speedway (1997-2007)|
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
|Banking||Turns: 14 degrees|
Backstretch : 3 degrees
|Record time||241.426 miles per hour|
|Record driver||Gil de Ferran|
|Record team||Penske Racing|
|Record year||October 28, 2000|
|Layout2||Infield Road Course|
The Auto Club Speedway of Southern California (formerly California Speedway) is a two-mile, low-banked, D-shaped oval superspeedway in Fontana, California, similar to its "sister track" Michigan International Speedway.
Construction and location
The track is located on the site of the former Kaiser Steel mill. It is a relatively new race track, opening in early 1997, and has additional configurations and facilities to accommodate "road" races, motorcycle races, vehicle testing, and drag races (Auto Club Dragway). The racetrack is near the former locations of Ontario Motor Speedway and Riverside International Raceway. After Riverside's closure in 1988, Southern California did not host a NASCAR race until California Speedway was opened. In addition to NASCAR, the raceway has also hosted open-wheel events from both CART and the Indy Racing League.
Like many modern oval tracks, Auto Club Speedway also features an infield road-course, which has been used by the Grand American Road Racing Association (GARRA) and by the Japanese Grand Touring Car Championship, with the JGTC race being unique as a night race. The GARRA Rolex Sports Car Series no longer races at Auto Club Speedway. The NASCAR West Series held its first race on the infield course, won by Jason Bowles.
During the 1999 CART race, Canadian driver Greg Moore was killed in a crash along the backstretch of the track. It was determined that after sliding along the infield grass, Moore's car hit the edge of oncoming pavement, which caused the car to flip into a concrete retaining wall. This incident resulted in a major overhaul of the track, including the paving of the infield grass on the backstretch in time for the 2000 NASCAR event.
On October 28, 2000, during CART qualifying, Gil de Ferran set the track record for fastest lap at Template:Convert/mi/hTemplate:Convert/test/Aon. This was also a world speed record for the fastest lap of a closed course.
On February 21, 2008, the Automobile Club of Southern California became the title sponsor of the raceway, renaming the official name Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. The naming rights deal will last for ten years and is worth an estimated $50 to $75 million. In addition to naming rights, the ACSC will also have use of the facility for road tests for Westways Magazine and other consumer tests. The money will be used for capital improvements.
Usage in television shows, commercials and major film
The facility is often used for television shows and commercials, and for major films. In 2000, portions of Charlie's Angels were filmed at the speedway and in 2004, portions of Herbie: Fully Loaded were filmed there.
- November 1, 1993: Initial discussions among Penske Speedways Inc. and Kaiser Ventures Inc. begin about making a speedway in California. The California Speedway is approximately 45mi east of Los Angeles, CA.
- April 20, 1994: Official announcement is made to the public about making a 2.5mi NASCAR track in California.
- May 30, 1996: NASCAR, ABC, and ESPN team up to sign a multi-year deal to televise the California race live.
- January 10, 1997: CART Team Penske driver Paul Tracy is the first person to drive on California Speedway.
- March 24, 1997: Jay Sauter and Dave Marcis are the first to drive stock cars on the pavement of California Speedway, testing for IROC.
- June 21, 1997: The very first race at California Speedway, the Auto Club 200, a Winston West Series race, is won by Ken Schrader. The first IROC race is also ran and won by Mark Martin.
- June 22, 1997: The first Winston Cup series race at California Speedway, the California 500, is won by Jeff Gordon.
- September 27, 1997: Maurício Gugelmin sets CART world speed record at California, with a speed of 240.942mi/h.
- October 18, 1997: The first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (Now Camping World Series) event at California Speedway is won by Mike Bliss.
- October 19, 1997: The first NASCAR Busch Series (Now Nationwide Series) event at California is won by Todd Bodine.
- October 31, 1999: Greg Moore, racing in CART's Marlboro 500, is killed when his car spun off of the second turn and is tipped cockpit first into a concrete barrier on the inside of the back strech of the track at a high rate of speed. His blue open wheel car was smashed literally into pieces.
- ?, 2000: The Back strech infield is completely paved for safety as a response to Greg Moores death the previous year.
- October 28, 2000: Gil de Ferran, during a closed track session, tops Maurício Gugelmin's track record with a blazing 241.428mi/h.
- February 9, 2001: A proposal is sent to San Bernardino County to build a quarter-mile drag strip at California Speedway for the NHRA to use.
- June 19, 2001: An official announcement is made that the California Dragway will be made, along with the plans of a road course integrated into the 2.0mi speedway.
- September 8, 2001: The first weekend for the street-legal Friday night at California Dragway is run.
- October 4, 2001: An announcement with the Rolex Sports Car Series is made for a several year agreement to race at the new road course integrated into California Speedway.
- November 21, 2001: An announcement is made to let the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S Superbike Championship to run the road course at California Speedway for rounds 2 and 3.
- March 23, 2002: Didier Theys and Fredy Leinhard Jr. win the first Rolex Sports Car Series event at California Speedway.
- March 24, 2002: Sam Hornish Jr. wins the first IRL race at California Speedway by 0.0281 seconds over Jaques Lazier.
- April 6, 2002: Anthony Gobert wins the first AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship at California Speedway.
- April 24, 2003: An announcement is made that lights will be installed in the raceway sometime during 2004.
- September 5, 2004: The first race under the lights is run at California Speedway, a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series (now Sprint Cup Series) race won by Elliott Sadler.
- October 16, 2005: Dario Franchitti wins last IRL race held at California Speedway. Dario will be inducted to the California Speedway Walk of Fame at Gate 14, which honors the winners of Champ Car and IRL at the track, during the 2008 Auto Club 500 weekend.
- December 11, 2005: Japan's Super GT starts their only race on American soil at California Speedway
- April 12-April 14, 2007: The Shell Eco-marathon returns to the United States with the Eco-marathon Americas at the California Speedway.
- September 7, 2007: Race car driver Ricky Rud breaks his hand in a big wreck at the front curve a away.
- September 7, 2007: Race car driver Robby Gordon sets the fastest speed at the finishline while going backwards at 141.231 MPH.
- February 21, 2008: A deal is made with the Automobile Club of Southern California to change the track's name from California Speedway to Auto Club Speedway of Southern California.
- February 24, 2008: First time a NASCAR Sprint cup car flips upsidedown at the track. (Casey Mears in the 5 car)
- February 25, 2008: First time a race winner does not do a burn out at the track. (Race car driver Carl Edwards won the race and did a back flip off his car instead)
- August 30, 2008: Kyle Busch becomes the first driver to ring the "Mobell" which is a new tradition, after he dominated the field to lead 144 of 150 laps in the Camping World RV Service 300 presented by Coleman.
- January, 2009: Auto Club Speedway lowers the ticket price of the front five rows of the main grand stands from $45 to $35 dollars (The fist time ever that the track has lowered a ticket price. Reduction was due to bad Economy).
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Auto Club 500, Pepsi 500
- NASCAR Nationwide Series: Stater Bros. 300, Camping World 300
- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: San Bernardino County 200
- Shell Eco-marathon Americas
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series statistics
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Records
(As of 02/25/08)
|Most wins||3||Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson||Most Top 5s||8||Jeff Gordon||Most Top 10s||9||Matt Kenseth||Starts||16||5 drivers||Poles||3||Kurt Busch||Laps led||525||Jeff Gordon||Avg. start*||8.6||Kasey Kahne||Avg. finish||6.4||Jimmie Johnson|
* from minimum 5 starts.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Winners
- - Race extended due to Green-White-Checker Finish
|Season||Date||Official Race Name||Winning Driver||Car #||Sponsor||Make||Distance||Avg Speed||Margin of Victory|
|1997||June 22||California 500||Jeff Gordon||24||DuPont||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||500 mi||Template:Convert/mi/hTemplate:Convert/test/Aon||1.074 sec|
|1998||May 3||California 500 presented by NAPA||Mark Martin||6||Valvoline||Ford Taurus||500 mi||140.22mi/h||1.287 sec|
|1999||May 2||California 500 presented by NAPA||Jeff Gordon||24||DuPont||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||500 mi||150.276mi/h||4.492 sec|
|2000||April 30||NAPA Auto Parts 500||Jeremy Mayfield||12||Mobil 1||Ford Taurus||500 mi||149.378mi/h||0.300 sec|
|2001||April 29||NAPA Auto Parts 500||Rusty Wallace||2||Miller Lite||Ford Taurus||500 mi||143.118mi/h||0.27 sec|
|2002||April 28||NAPA Auto Parts 500||Jimmie Johnson||48||Lowes||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||500 mi||150.088mi/h||0.620 sec|
|2003||April 27||Auto Club 500||Kurt Busch||97||Rubbermaid||Ford Taurus||500 mi||140.111mi/h||2.294 sec|
|2004||May 2||Auto Club 500||Jeff Gordon||24||DuPont||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||500 mi||137.268mi/h||12.871 sec|
|2004||September 5||Pop Secret 500||Elliott Sadler||38||M&Ms||Ford Taurus||500 mi||128.324mi/h||0.263 sec|
|2005||February 27||Auto Club 500||Greg Biffle||16||Post-It/National Guard||Ford Taurus||500 mi||139.697mi/h||0.231 sec|
|2005||September 4||Sony HD 500||Kyle Busch||5||Kelloggs||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||508 mi *||136.356mi/h||0.554 sec|
|2006||February 26||Auto Club 500||Matt Kenseth||17||DeWalt||Ford Fusion||502 mi *||147.852mi/h||0.338 sec|
|2006||September 3||Sony HD 500||Kasey Kahne||9||Dodge Dealers/UAW||Dodge Charger||500 mi||144.462mi/h||3.427 sec|
|2007||February 25||Auto Club 500||Matt Kenseth||17||DeWalt/Carhartt||Ford Fusion||500 mi||138.451mi/h||0.679 sec|
|2007||September 2||Sharp AQUOS 500||Jimmie Johnson||48||Lowes||Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||500 mi||131.502mi/h||1.868 sec|
|2008||February 25||Auto Club 500||Carl Edwards||99||Dish Network||Ford Fusion||500 mi||132.704mi/h||UC|
|2008||August 31||Pepsi 500||Jimmie Johnson||48||Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe's||Chevrolet Impala||500 mi||UC|
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying: Kyle Busch, 38.248 sec. (188.245 mph), 2005
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race (500 miles): Jeff Gordon, 3 hrs. 13 min. 32 sec. (155.012 mph), June 22, 1997
- NASCAR (Nextel Cup Series) Fastest Speed while going backwards(Recorded at finish line: Robby Gordon,(141.231 mph), September 2, 2007
- Most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories: Jeff Gordon (3) and Matt Kenseth (2).
- NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying: Tony Stewart, 38.722 sec. (185.941 mph), 2005
- NASCAR Nationwide Series Race (300 miles): Hank Parker, Jr., 1 hr. 55 min. 25 sec. (155.957 mph), April 28, 2001
- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying: David Reutimann, 40.228 sec. (178.980 mph), 2006
- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race (200 miles): Ted Musgrave, 1 hr. 22 min. 14 sec. (145.926 mph), September 20, 2003
- CART Qualifying (one lap): Gil de Ferran, Template:Convert/mi/hTemplate:Convert/test/Aon, October 28, 2000.
- CART Race (500 miles): Jimmy Vasser, Template:Convert/mi/hTemplate:Convert/test/Aon, November 3, 2002.
- Indy Racing League Qualifying (one lap): Helio Castroneves, Template:Convert/mi/hTemplate:Convert/test/Aon, September 20, 2003.
- IRL Race (400 miles): Sam Hornish, Jr., Template:Convert/mi/hTemplate:Convert/test/Aon, September 21, 2003.
- Auto Club Speedway Official Site
- California Speedway Page on NASCAR.com
- GNEXTINC.com: California Speedway Page - Local area information, track specs, mapping, news and more.
- Jayski's California Speedway Page - Current and Past California Speedway News
- Trackpedia guide to driving this track
- Caliifornia Speedway Page on Ballparks by Munsey & Suppes
- Super High Resolution image from Windows Live Local
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