Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads out to California and the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. for the Auto Club 400. This year sees some changes to this track. For many years there were two races at this track and both races were 500 miles long. But the fans complained the races were too long. (Although, for the life of me, I can’t imagine a race being too long!)
This year there will only be one race at this track at a different place in the schedule and it will be shortened from 500 miles to 400 miles. In all fairness, the sister track of Michigan International Speedway, also a two mile track has been a 400 mile race since forever. Hopefully this will bring in the fans who did not seem to be at the track when there were two races here. And it will be more than single file racing. We’ll have to see. (The second date that was for California is now going to a second date at Kansas Speedway. They have a new casino, so fans will flock to the track.)
Auto Club Speedway is a nearly flat track with only 14 degrees in the turns, 11 degrees on the front stretch and 3 degrees of banking along the backstretch. The qualifying record was set by Kyle Busch at 188.245 mph and 38.248 seconds 2/25/05. Will there be a new track record this weekend? Jeff Gordon holds the race record of 155.012 mph set back on 6/22/97. (Looks like there are more cautions to slow the field down since then.)
Past winners are Jimmie Johnson who won this race last year bringing his total to five wins here! In the second race last year, Tony Stewart won his first win at this track. Other winners are: Matt Kenseth (3), Jeff Gordon (3), Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin and Greg Biffle. Will any of these drivers win again? Or will there be a new race winner? We’ll find out this weekend. For tickets, see Vivid Seats.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.