NHRA Drag Racing resumed February 22 at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, nearly two years after the popular track was shut down following a successful challenge from neighboring residents over the sound emanating from the quarter-mile dragstrip on the grounds of Auto Club Speedway.
The construction of a concrete sound-mitigation wall—1800 feet long and 24 feet tall—allowed racers to resume burning rubber at one of the few dragstrips still operating in Southern California.
“All of us at NHRA are excited to have Auto Club Dragway at Auto Club Speedway reopening,” said NHRA Pacific Division Director Mike Rice. “This track is a pivotal place for the racers of Southern California and the Pacific Division. We look forward to hosting a Pacific National Open Series event there later this season and expanding the number of NHRA events at the facility going forward.”
The track hosted a “We’re Back” open house February 15, when racers, media, and all of the other associations that will race to came out and met the employees and reviewed the schedule. Chassis certifications also were available.
“The response to our announcement of re-opening has been unbelievable," said Ray Wilkings, Vice President of Operations. "Once the track was shut down the racers really understood what they lost and they’ve been coming out of the woodwork since we announced our schedule. The racers are extremely excited about it. We’ve received nothing but great comments.”
The reopening of the track was made possible through the support of Auto Club of Southern California, NHRA, SEMA, Lucas Oil and K&N.
Street Legal Drag racing kicked off the actual re-opening on February 22; it will be followed by a robust schedule of NHRA Summit Racing Series, PSCA, SCEDA, IDRC, and NMCA West events.