Track Update: Fontana Quarter-Mile To Reopen
The situation looked grim last year when the Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, closed due to a lawsuit brought against it by the town’s few residents who live in the area, which is primarily populated by heavy industry. Fontana is largely given over to manufacturing and warehousing, and the Auto Club motorsports campus (which includes the two-mile banked NASCAR track) resides on the grounds of the old Kaiser steel plant, far away from homes. Nevertheless, environmental complaints accumulated, legal action was taken by an aggressive group of homeowners, and the only remaining quarter-mile track in the greater Los Angeles area was forced to close.
This August, however, the Auto Club Dragway released a statement saying they had agreed to terms that would address the environmental concerns of Fontana residents—the most significant being the construction of a sound barrier. Once those conditions are met, the track will resume operations.
Facebook Topic Of The Month: Chrysler Pulls Out Of NASCAR
On August 7, Chrysler made the surprise announcement that they were pulling out of NASCAR. As in “completely,” and “not even keeping the Challenger in the Nationwide series.” Despite a bright outlook after the rollout of the new ’13 Sprint Cup Dodge Charger in Las Vegas this past March, Penske—who runs most of the competitive Dodge teams—announced a switch to Ford, leaving the Mopar boys with egg on their face. Rather than bleed millions of dollars for little payback (NASCAR stopped being about win on Sunday, sell on Monday decades ago), Chrysler pulled the plug, saving the dough for more worthwhile endeavors. We posted the news, and you guys went on a feeding frenzy. Here are just some of the interesting comments left by readers on the Popular Hot Rodding Facebook page:
Brian Massie: Doesn’t really matter. Since the ability to be competitive disappeared long ago, competing doesn’t say anything about the quality of the product. It’s all about the drivers. And beer.
Steve Vesperman: Of course, it’s bad. NASCAR has been on a popularity decline for a few years now. They need all the corporate support then can get, and about 30,000 more fans at each race.
James Sanders: The COT killed the identity of the cars. Shame Dodge is leaving, because the new Charger looks great.
Ted Fox: Bring back the days of stock car racing when you could associate with the car and the driver.
TBone Jones: Who cares because it’s NASCAR, and it stopped being relevant in 1977.
Kevin Boatwright: I’m a Bow Tie fan myself, but do love them Mopars. Gonna be somewhat bittersweet. Love to see all three U.S. manufacturers in competition. It’s more fun.
Brett Behrens: Well, they’re somewhat relevant now that they’re using fuel-injection technology from the late ’80s
Ernie A. Zavala: I stopped following NASCAR once they let the Japanese in. The ricers should be leaving instead of Chrysler!
VP Fuel: Fuel Cubes Coming To Service Stations
We get buried in industry press releases daily, but this one caught our eye: The RE Powell Distributing Company—one of the largest wholesale fuel distributors in the Northwest United States—has signed on as a distributor for VP Fuels. The significance? Powell is in the business of bulk fuel delivery for regular service stations like Exxon, Texaco, Chevron, 76, Conoco, Mobil, and a lot of independent stations. Now imagine being able to pull up to your local service station, going up to the counter, and buying a 5-gallon can of your favorite VP Fuels racing fuel? Moreover, stations carrying VP Fuel will sport exciting VP Fuel branding, and a spiffy new point-of-sale display called a “Fuel Cube.” Yeah, that’s the ticket! Let’s just hope it catches on in the rest of the country!