ISC dragging feet on Speedway upgrades

Auto Club Speedway proposed a multimillion-dollar revamp of the Fontana track to foster closer racing and boost crowds at its two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup races, but the track's owner has taken no action on the plan, The Times has learned.

The plan called for raising the banking of the track's four turns to 23 degrees from the current 14 degrees and narrowing its width in certain sections, all to bring the cars closer together and promote more passing, according to motor racing sources familiar with the proposal who agreed to speak on the condition that they not be identified.

Making the changes probably would cost $23 million to $30 million and could be completed between the track's two NASCAR race dates, and would involve digging up the entire turns to make their banking steeper, they said.

The proposal follows repeated criticism that the Fontana track's current layout — a wide, D-shaped oval two miles long with relatively flat corners — produces races that are too boring. One writer dubbed the Fontana track the "slumberdome," especially since NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow chassis started being used full-time in the Cup series last year. More at L.A. TIMES

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