Welp, it's officially gone. NASCAR's long-standing Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California is nothing but a heap of rubble, or at least in progress of becoming one. Plans for its destruction, and the rebuilding of an entirely new, much smaller facility have been underway since the track ran its final race in February. Now, you can see the crumbled remains of the old NASCAR oval from space, thanks to a satellite image of the barren site obtained by The Drive.
Most of the paved track and access roads are still there, but many facilities and grandstands are gone. There's one small grandstand still in place and, as far as current plans go, it will likely remain. That's because, in place of the old two-mile oval track, NASCAR is building a high-banked, half-mile oval that will still utilize the current seating.
"It’s going to be a short track. Most likely be a half-mile racetrack. What exactly that looks like … We’ve got renderings, we’ve got what it looks like. We are ready to go when the time is right," said NASCAR President Steve Phelps during the annual State of the Sport conference last week.
You can see on-the-ground photos of the Speedway's demolition, thanks to photographer Mark J. Rebilas, illustrating the sheer size of the two-mile oval's former footprint and surrounding facilities. An industrial park made up of at least seven planned buildings will surround the new smaller track, which NASCAR estimates will take about 18 months to build once construction begins. According to a Los Angeles Times article from February after the Speedway's final race, the upcoming facility will have more premium dining options and more comfortable seating.
Most of the comments in Rebilas' Twitter post are from NASCAR fans who are sad to see the old track go, while also bemoaning the idea of a smaller one. Like it or not, though, it's already gone just 26 years after opening, and development on a replacement is underway. In the interim, NASCAR plans to continue hosting races at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
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