FONTANA MORE BITS*
*This is a continuation of my 10 Bits Series on racetracks. My first Fontana 10 bits was done August 27/2008, so this covers different Bits, as I try not to repeat.
The California Speedway became the Auto Club Speedway [ACS] Feb 21/2008, and is still referred to by its old name. It is located in Fontana, California. ACS is also known as the sister track of the Michigan International Speedway.The two mile, D shaped track is known to be one of the most challenging in the country. For this reason the ACS hosts numerous racing events on a regular basis.
Having opened in 1997, at the cost of $100 million,it is one of the newest and most modern in all of the United States. It covers 568 acres, with 136 acres used for landscaping, 170.7 acres for Speedway Interior.
Races that use this Speedway year in and year out, include the NASCAR Nextel Cup Auto Club 500 and Sony HD 500; the NASCAR Busch Series Ameriquest 300 and Stater Bros 300; and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series San Bernardino County 200, to name a few. There are many more. It also accommodates other events, including drag racing, motorcycle races, road races, and vehicle testing and has been used in TV and movies. The latest Hollywood use for this track was the recent movie The Bucket List , which saw Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman drive Shelby Mustangs around the 2-mile (3.2 km) speedway. The Richard Petty Driving Experience is available here.
TRACK STRUCTURE 10 BITS
Here is a list of what the $100 million paid for.
1. 230,00 concrete blocks were used for the buildings, total concrete = 51,000 cubic yards, and the buildings' square footage = 739,009.
2. 17 miles of fence and 17 miles of underground water, sewer and storm drain piping, 370 tons of steel and rebar.
3.a. Grandstand foundations= 1600 each, which is enough to cover 10 football fields at 1 foot thickness.
3.b. Seating made with 280,000 lbs of aluminum, capacity 92,000, with 32,000 paved parking spaces.
4. Asphalt paving = used 300,000 tons and earthwork = 2.3 million cubic yards moved.
5. Tunnel to Infield =4 lanes, 3 for vehicles, RV's and transporters, 1 for pedestrians, and has 5 exits.
6. Misc= 338 speakers, 750 TV monitors, Swiss timing and scoring, 60 restrooms, .
7. Team Motorcoach Parking = 170 paved spaces, and 1800 fan RV reserved spaces.
8. the start /finish line is 1121.27 feet above sea level with the top of the grandstands being 1200.04.
9. Pit area =2200 feet in length with 44 individual pit areas.
10. Garage area = 3 garages with room for 100 spaces.
TRACK FIRSTS - MORE BITS
1. October 16, 2005: Dario Franchiiti wins last IRL race held at California Speedway. Dario was 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.
2. December 11, 2005: Japan's Super GT starts their only race on American soil at California Speedway
3. April 12-April 14, 2007: The Shell Eco-Marathon returns to the United States with the Eco-marathon Americas at the California Speedway.
4. September 7, 2007: Driver Ricky Rudd breaks his hand in a big wreck at the front curve a away.
5. September 7, 2007: Race car driver Robby Gordon sets the fastest speed at the finish line while going backwards at 141.231 mph (227.289 km/h).
6. February 24, 2008: First time a NASCAR Sprint cup car flips upsidedown at the track. (Casey Mears in the 5 car).
7. February 25, 2008: First time a Sprint Cup race AND the Nationwide Race are run on a Monday at this track, due to weekend rainouts.
8. February 25, 2008: First time in NASCAR that a caution is caused by a race track light falling into the track surface.
9. February 25, 2008: First time a race winner does not do a burn out at the track. (Carl Edwards won and did his traditional back flip instead) . Wonder if he will still do these now that he is married.
10. 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..
In January, 2009 the Auto Club Speedway lowered the ticket price of the front five rows of the main grand stands from $45 to $35 dollars. This is the first time ever that this track has done this. Let's hope that this will help keep the fans coming. I can't make the race , but I know I will be kicking back with a cool drink in my lazy man recliner chair and watching every moment. Fontana has a reputation of being the boringest race in Nascar, but maybe after the driver feuds at Daytona [do I have to say their names] it won't be. Hope you all enjoy the race.