Reasons Fontana dropped from IndyCar schedule

Auto Club Speedway on Friday announced that the Verizon IndyCar Series "would not make a return visit in 2016, ending four years of changing race dates that resulted in entertaining racing in front of sparse crowds," according to David Zink of the Riverside PRESS-ENTERPRISE. ACS President Dave Allen: "We’ve been trying to work hard to come up with a date and business proposition that makes sense for us and our fans." Track officials had "requested a return to hosting the season finale after the MAVTV 500 was moved to the middle of June this year and saw a low fan turnout."

The race "was the latest in a four-year span at Fontana in which speedway officials had to deal with four different race dates and multiple race times that accommodated East Coast television audiences but translated to low turnouts." Allen: "We felt we had tried a few different things with IndyCar, along with our fans and asked them to absorb day races and night races, and different start times and dates. We were just at a point where if we were going to continue this moving forward, we needed to have a time and date that was best for our fans." Riverside PRESS-ENTERPRISE.

Allen: "It’s quite a shame. We don’t like it at all. … It was strictly a business decision. We had to do what we thought best for our fans and for us. Hopefully, open-wheel racing will return in the future." In California, Louis Brewster noted Allen "was adamant in seeking a date in late September or October and being the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale." From '12-14, ACS hosted the final race. Allen: "We were offered three dates after Labor Day, but there were conditions we didn’t believe would work for us. We took it on the chin for three years for the sport and thought we deserved a little better from them." Sources said that ACS "suffered a financial loss in June of about $500,000." Sources added that IndyCar "charged a sanctioning fee" of around $2M. INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN

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