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Did They Destroy The Best Track In NASCAR? (Mega Warehouse)

Future of Rebuilt Race Track in Fontana Remains Uncertain

The fate of the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, a storied race track located about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, is hanging in the balance. Known simply as “Fontana” in racing circles, this track has seen some of the biggest names in stock car racing compete on its 2-mile oval. Its prominence extends beyond the racing world, having appeared in movies such as the 2019 film “Ford v Ferrari,” where it stood in for the Daytona International Speedway.

Historical Significance

Since its inception, Fontana has held a special place in the hearts of racing fans. The track was built on the site of the former Kaiser Steel Mill, with ground broken in 1995.


It quickly became a significant venue in NASCAR’s calendar, with legends like Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch frequently finding success on its asphalt. Jimmie Johnson, for instance, secured six victories at Fontana, while Kyle Busch clinched five. Other notable winners include Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Matt Kenseth, each adding to the track’s rich history.

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Fontana’s influence extended into pop culture, with its track used for various film and television productions. Beyond “Ford v Ferrari,” scenes from movies like “Charlie’s Angels” and “Herbie: Fully Loaded”, Street Outlaw’s Farmtruck and AZN “Mega Race” were filmed there, showcasing its versatility and appeal.

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The Demolition and Uncertainty

Despite its storied past, Fontana’s future is currently uncertain. Following last year’s NASCAR race in February, the demolition of the 2-mile oval began, leaving behind only a few grandstands and suites. The plan is to rebuild the track as a half-mile oval, designed to offer a racing experience reminiscent of Martinsville and Bristol. However, the specifics of this project remain nebulous.

NASCAR has yet to finalize the plans or set a date for the reopening of the new track. Dave Allen, the track president, mentioned that several internal approvals are still pending, and without these, no concrete details can be shared. This delay has transformed the eagerness of race fans in Southern California into anxiety, as they wait for updates on when racing might return to Fontana.

NASCAR last raced at the track in February and since then demolition has been ongoing GETTY IMAGES

Reasons Behind the Delay

NASCAR’s reluctance to commit to a timeline has been a point of contention. Despite being a company known for speed, their decision-making process regarding Fontana has been anything but swift. Allen pointed to several factors contributing to the delay, including the impacts of COVID-19 and other unspecified challenges. He emphasized the importance of doing things right rather than rushing the project, suggesting that the timeframe might need to be adjusted further.

Building the new track will likely take 12 to 18 months, delaying its readiness until after next year. NASCAR president Steve Phelps reaffirmed the commitment to building a short track in Fontana, but also highlighted the challenges posed by inflation and rising construction costs. For 2024, NASCAR has scheduled races at the Coliseum, indicating a temporary shift while the Fontana project remains in limbo.

Financial and Real Estate Dynamics

The uncertainty surrounding Fontana’s race track also ties into broader financial and real estate developments. The original footprint of the property was 560 acres, but after the final race last February, 433 acres were sold to Hillwood Investment Properties and CBRE Investment Management for $569 million. This leaves about 90 acres for NASCAR to develop the new track and possibly an entertainment complex.

Hillwood and CBRE are advancing a major logistics development called Speedway Commerce Center on the sold land. This project will feature up to 6.6 million square feet of logistics space, with the first phase of 1.8 million square feet already under construction. This sale was notable for being the largest and highest-priced industrial land transaction in U.S. history, earning a 2024 CoStar Impact Award.

Fan Reactions and Future Prospects

The fanbase’s reaction to the changes at Fontana has been mixed. While some enthusiasts are excited about the prospect of a new short track, others lament the loss of the iconic 2-mile oval. Chase Elliott, a six-time most popular driver awardee, expressed his mixed feelings, appreciating the track’s history and acknowledging the business reasons behind the redevelopment.

The Busch Lite Clash at the Coliseum, an exhibition event featuring heat races and a championship race, represents NASCAR’s continued presence in Southern California. This event, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, is part of a three-year contract during which the venue is transformed into a race track. The future of this event beyond the current contract remains uncertain and could depend on its success this year.

Moving Forward

Despite the delays and uncertainties, NASCAR remains committed to the Southern California market. The organization is keen on building a state-of-the-art short track in Fontana and exploring various entertainment options for the facility. Possible features could include year-round restaurants and concert venues, aiming to make the track a multi-purpose entertainment hub.

Kyle Busch, starting his 20th year in Cup racing, reflects on Fontana with fond memories. For many in the racing community, the track holds a sentimental value that goes beyond its physical structure.

Redevelopment Races Ahead

The story of Fontana’s race track is still unfolding. The sale of the Auto Club Speedway site and the ongoing logistics development signal a significant transformation. Hillwood and CBRE’s Speedway Commerce Center project is pushing forward, showcasing modern logistics capabilities with cutting-edge functions and technology. This development aims to position the Inland Empire as a leading logistics hub in the nation.

John Kay

Corion Properties played a crucial role in brokering the sale, with the transaction considered a landmark deal in the industrial real estate sector. The redevelopment project represents a new chapter for the former race track site, balancing the historical significance of Fontana with the demands of contemporary industrial and logistics needs.


The future of the rebuilt race track in Fontana remains up in the air. While the demolition of the old 2-mile oval marks the end of an era, the promise of a new half-mile short track offers hope for the future. NASCAR’s commitment to Southern California and the ongoing real estate developments reflect a dynamic and evolving landscape. As the plans continue to unfold, racing fans and the broader community will be watching closely, eager to see what the next chapter holds for Fontana. Photo Credit – GETTY IMAGES / AcAdapter Inc / John Kay