Photo courtesy of Auto Club Dragway
It’s true that you don’t appreciate what you have until you lose it. Both two- and four-wheel drag racers in southern California have been without a quarter-mile strip since the Fontana-based Auto Club Dragway was forced to close by court order in 2012. Since then, the closest venue offering 1,320 feet of straight-line asphalt track is Famoso Raceway located approximately 150 miles north of Los Angeles in Bakersfield, CA.
With major sponsorship coming from Auto Club, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the track’s owner, International Speedway Corporation, has been able to not only upgrade the Fontana-based facility, but also construct a 24-foot high by 1,800-foot long concrete sound barrier along the north side of the property to help contain the sound. The man largely responsible for keeping the re-opening of the Dragway on schedule is Director of Operations Ray Wilkings, who has been spearheading the construction of the wall since the project was given the thumbs up late last year. Heavy equipment and materials began rolling onto the grounds in early November and the project should be completed in time for the track’s scheduled open house on February 15th.
This is obviously a welcome development for local bracket racers, NHRA Pacific Division competitors and test-and-tune riders who simply want to see what their bike (or car) will do down a quarter mile racetrack with staging lights and timers. The Dragway will host a schedule of events throughout the year including the Summit E.T. Bracket Racing series, which has a class for motorcycles. Motorcycles can also run during any of the track’s open test-and-tune days. Hours of operation and scheduled events are updated on the Auto Club Dragway website