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The End of Auto Club Speedway
Nov 5 - NASCAR has begun tearing down the Auto
Club Speedway near Fontana CA and plan to
replace it with a short track.
Auto Club Speedway (aka California Speedway)
was a 2-mile D-shaped oval 47 miles east of Los
Angeles and is near the former locations of Ontario
Motor Speedway and Riverside International
Raceway. A road course was added to the infield
and a drag strip was constructed outside the back
stretch in 2001.
Roger Penske built the track in 1996 at an
abandoned steel mill. He sold it in 1999 to
International Speedway Corp. They sold it to
Nascar in 2019.
NASCAR held races there every year since 1997.
CART raced there from 1997-2002. Canadian
driver Greg Moore was killed there in a crash
during the 1999 Marlboro 500 CART race.
INDYCAR held races there from 2002-2005 and
11/11 - F1's new race in Las Vegas will run right down the main drag!
To lessen the strain on traffic, all race activity will take place in the middle of the night.
The race airs at 1 a.m. EST on ESPN November 26 (Saturday after midnight.)
F1 Vegas Race Off to Rocky Start
Nov 17 - After several years of planning to bring
Formula 1 to downtown Las Vegas, a whopping
half a billion dollars has been spent!
The racing surface is all new smooth pavement.
Concrete barriers, fencing and lighting have been
installed all around the 3.85 mile course and many
grandstands have been built. A paddock and
garage area is included of course.
News reports indicate that locals have been angry
about the interruptions to their daily routine that
has been going on for months.
The logistics are very unique. Since the course
runs right through the main drag between all the
casinos, F1 is only allowed to run the cars late
at night and must be done before 4 a.m. when
traffic is once again allowed back on. The 10
pm local start time for the race is the latest
starting time in F1 history.
I looked into going to the event a few weeks prior
and found the prices at hotels Paris, Bellagio and
the Venetian were higher than normal. The $500
general admission race tickets were sold out and
a 3-day ticket for the grandstands was $2500-
$3000. I would probably have had to spend
around $6k if I didn't buy anything or gamble. I
suppose people with G.A. and a cheap motel
could squeak by for $1000 for a short visit.
The nighttime temperature has been rather cold
making it more difficult for the drivers to warm up
their tires. The fragile English announcers wore
coats to stay warm.
The first practice session started around 9pm local
time. Within 8 minutes, two cars were damaged
by an iron water shutoff plug which was sucked
up out of the street by the high speed cars. The
session was halted and cancelled.
I've seen similar situations occur at new road
courses in both IndyCar and F1. How they didn't
test this before hand is curious.
F1 began inspecting and fixing all such water
plugs. At 1:30am, F1 told all the spectators who
had been waiting around that they had to leave.
This was because security staff were not allowed
to work beyond that time due to labor laws.
The 2nd practice got underway at 2:30am and
ran for 90 minutes.
It was surreal to watch the F1 cars pace this
$500,000,000 race course in what looked like
a ghost town.
Update Nov 18 - Fans with one-day tickets were offered a $200 voucher for the official Las Vegas
Grand Prix store as compensation. Nothing was offered to those with three-day passes.
A local Las Vegas law firm filed a class action lawsuit against the Las Vegas Grand Prix over the
practice cancellation and delays that occurred on Thursday night "on behalf of the 35,000 people
who purchased tickets” and didn’t get to see practice take place.
11/23 - The McLaren Formula 1 Team today announced that Arrow McLaren IndyCar
Team driver Pato O’Ward has been upgraded from F1 test driver to F1 reserve
driver for 2024. This means he may fill in for a F1 driver if they get sick or injured.
11/26 - The long Formula 1 season has finally ended and Max Verstappen wrapped
up his 3rd straight championship for Red Bull with an astounding 19 wins - out of 22 races.
His team-mate Sergio Perez won 2 races and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz won one.
New 2024 NASCAR Cup Cars
Nov 27 - Two of the three manufacturers in the
Cup Series will have a new body style next
The next iteration of the Ford Mustang that will
compete in the NASCAR Cup Series beginning
next season is based on the Mustang Dark Horse.
Ford introduced the Mustang Dark Horse
production vehicle last year.
The Toyota Camry will also be updated. Among
its characteristics are a new front fascia and
upper grille slot. There are new character lines,
duct exits on the hood and C-shaped corner vents
on the larger lower grille area. The front headlights
are slimmer and wider and the taillights are thinner.
The newly designed car replicates the 2025
Toyota Camry XSE production car.
Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Camaro will go
unchanged. This is because Chevy is halting
production of the Camaro this January.
Chevy says the nameplate will return, however in
what guise remains to be seen.