IndyCar 400-mile race at Fontana date revealed

UPDATE was there in 2000 when Gil de Ferran set the World Closed Course record in qualifying for a race at over 241 MPH in his CART IndyCar. What isn't talked about much was the fact he was towing the Handford Device Wing (with all its drag) around the track and his trap speed down the backstraight was still over 260 MPH. Now that was when IndyCar was exciting. Real men in real machines.
Mark Cipolloni/

The night race marking the return of IndyCar-style racing to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana next year will be a 400-mile event with ticket prices starting at $30, track and IndyCar officials said Tuesday.

The big question is how large a crowd the Fontana race might draw.

Auto Club Speedway, with 92,000 grandstand seats, this year lost one of its two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in good part because of slipping attendance, and NASCAR is more popular overall than IndyCar racing.

Even so, "we fully expect to have a big crowd," said track president Gillian Zucker, noting that the track and series would have a year to promote the race. Tickets go on sale Sept. 12.

"There isn't a day that goes by that we don't have fans asking for the return of open-wheel racing," she said. "They also want to see racing under the lights."

Zucker said a "significant portion" of the grandstand seats would be reserved for those buying the $30 general-admission tickets, and that "kids 12 and under are free in the general-admission sections."

07/05/11 Rumor has it that IndyCar's return to the 2-mile high speed Fontana oval will be on the night of September 15 or 22, 2012 – under the lights.

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