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Plans to convert the 2-mile asphalt oval track into a 1/2-mile short track were first announced in the fall of 2020 with a tentative completion date for spring 2022 but the start of the work has been postponed several times.
In a media availability Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Dave Allen, the speedway’s president, confirmed this month’s NASCAR races at the track would be the final ones on the current configuration.
Allen, however, said the timetable for completion of the renovation project was “still yet to be determined” and there would be no NASCAR events held at the facility in 2024 and perhaps even 2025.
The redesigned Auto Club Speedway
Allen said the original plans for the redesigned facility could also change.
“What you’ve seen are very rudimentary, baseline stuff and through the process of what we have to work through with (San Bernardino) County, sometimes that stuff comes out,” he said.
“There are a lot of things we’ve working on from a fan element that we’re working on, like clubs, the fan interaction-type areas, garages, the track itself, trying to figure out what makes the most sense the way we’re building the grandstands.
“There’s a lot of pieces that factor into the overall experience and honestly getting input from other people and parties. We’re not doing this in a vacuum. I’m definitely not the expert, the are other experts in the room that have a lot to say about it.
“I think we just want to make sure we get it right.”
Auto Club Speedway, located in Fontana, Calif., and about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, has hosted NASCAR events since it opened in 1997 and has also hosted IndyCar Series events on several occasions.
The original renovation plans showed the 2-mile oval being replaced by a Martinsville Speedway lookalike with long straightaways and narrow corners. However, the corners were to be banked similar to Bristol Motor Speedway, which range from 26 to 30 degrees.
After not hosting races in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Auto Club Speedway was the second stop on the 36-race NASCAR Cup Series schedule last season and is again this year.
Corey LaJoie, Spire Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro General Formulations/Mutoh
Photo by: Jasen Vinlove / NKP / Motorsport Images
The track, under its current configuration, has hosted 32 Cup races, 32 Xfinity races and 13 Truck series events.
There are currently four short tracks on the Cup Series schedule – Martinsville, Richmond, Bristol and North Wilkesboro (which will host the All-Star Race this year).
“As we work through it this year hopefully we’ll have a lot of cool announcements and milestones,” Allen said. “It’ll just take some time here to make sure we get it right and build the best state-of-the-art short track that’s ever been built.”