Rumor: Fontana Auto Club Speedway to be converted to short track (3rd Update)

The future of NASCAR’s Fontana track remains uncertain as the former 2-mile speedway continues to undergo a reconfiguration.

According to the Los Angeles TimesTrack President Dave Allen said that the reconfigured track “most likely” would not be ready for the start of the 2025 Cup Series season. Allen cited COVID [People are still using COVID as an excuse?] and other factors that have continued to push the timeline back.

“We’ve got some internal approvals to work through, but the hope is to have something to go out with sometime in the near future,” Allen told The Times. “Right now, we just don’t have anything to discuss until we have some approvals done.”

Track President Dave Allen
Track President Dave Allen

December 19, 2023 

NASCAR President Steve Phelps has spoken out to reassure those who are wondering if NASCAR is still moving forward Auto Club Speedway reconstruction plans.

Phelps provided an update about Auto Club when he appeared on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio this week.

“We’ve got renderings of what the racetrack will look like, both the surface itself working with iRacing to make sure whatever asphalt track we put down there, whatever size — it will be a short track for sure just based on the fact that we don’t have as much real estate as we had (before),” Phelps said.

“Oh, and by the way, fans for years and years and years said ‘Hey we need some more short tracks.’ And as we continue to improve on our short track package with this Next Gen car, at some point, that track will come online.

“When that is, I don’t know but that’s our desire and that’s what we’re working towards.”

February 24, 2023 

By Mark Cipolloni

This rumor is upgraded to ‘strong’ today and it’s looking increasingly likely this weekend’s race at Fontana will be the last.

NASCAR has sold a majority of the Auto Club Speedway property at Fontana, Calif., Sports Business Journal reported, with Sunday’s Cup Series race likely the last ever at the 26-year-old venue east of Los Angeles.

According to the report, 433 acres of the 522-acre site have already been sold, despite a long-rumored NASCAR plan to reconfigure the 2-mile track into a half-mile oval. Some details of the sale of the property, formerly an abandoned steel mill, were discovered at the California Environmental Quality Act website.


February 22, 2023 

By Mark Cipolloni

This weekend’s NASCAR Cup race at Auto Club Speedway will be the last race on the 2-mile oval in Fontana, CA. due to dwindling crowds

There is talk of making the track a paperclip shaped high-banked version of Martinsville, but it is very possible the track will be shuttered and sold for its valuable real estate value.

“Right now, this will be our last race with the 2-mile track,” NASCAR president Steve Phelps told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio last week. “Right now, it’s going to take a couple of years to build the new track. It’s something right now that we’re interested in doing. What that timeline looks like, we’re not sure.”

NASCAR president Steve Phelps

Coupled with NASCAR chief operating officer Steve O’Donnell’s similar uncertainty in a recent interview with the Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern, it would seem a  permanently closing Auto Club Speedway is on the table.

A short oval is not going to draw any additional paying customers, and NASCAR now has another race in Southern, CA at the LA Coliseum Mickey Mouse 1/4-mile oval.  Building a slightly bigger one out in Fontana appears to make zero sense.

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