Most people know that Auto Club Speedway is one of the largest racetracks in the U.S., but how large is it really? Let’s find out.
World’s Largest Drag Race Track
Based on the 2016 calendar, we know that Auto Club Speedway is located in Fontana, California. According to the website, the track has a design capacity of 149,000, and there are plans to expand it to 171,000 for the 2017 season. That would make it the 2nd largest drag race track in the U.S. (Perrysville Speedway).
One Of The Largest Drag Race Tracks In America
If we compare the size of Auto Club Speedway to other prominent drag race tracks in North America, the result is pretty interesting. As you’ll see below, it’s one of the largest in the country, and it has the most seats of any venue in California. Here’s a comparison:
- Toronto: CANADA- The Toronto drag race track opened in 1972 and has a design capacity of only 98,000. In 2016, it is the 6th largest drag race track in North America.
- Los Angeles: U.S.- Opened in 1959, the Los Angeles motor speedway has a design capacity of 100,000. It is the 4th largest drag race track in North America.
- Cherry Township Raceway Park: U.S.- Opened in 1979, the Cherry Township Raceway Park is a half-mile dirt track located in Michigan. It has a design capacity of 74,000.
- Full Throttle Motor Sports Park: U.S.- This dirt track is located in Brimfield, Massachusetts and opened in 1962. It has a design capacity of 71,500.
- Road America: U.S.- This is the largest road course in North America, with a 12-mile oval, a 4.7-mile road course, and a 6.4-mile road course. The total capacity is 140,000.
- Kentucky Speedway: U.S.- Opened in 2001, this is the 3rd largest drag race track in North America. It is a 3/4 mile asphalt oval with seats 24,000.
It’s clear that the auto racing world has passed Auto Club Speedway by in the grand scheme of things. Still, the location is important: it’s the only California track on the list, and it’s one of the largest in the country. So, it’s not like the racing world has been neglecting it, it’s just that the rest of the country has grown so much that it makes up the majority of the races now.
How Many Seats Does It Have?
According to the 2016 calendar, the grandstands at Auto Club Speedway hold 104,000 people and there are plans to expand to hold 125,000 for the 2017 season. That would make it the 3rd largest grandstand in the U.S., behind only Michigan and Atlanta. Interestingly, the seating capacity is the same as one of NASCAR’s smallest venues, the 0.97-mile Martinsville Speedway. So, it seems that with every new generation, racing fans have either moved away or taken a liking to smaller tracks.
Is It One Of The Most Popular Racing Venues In The Country?
With a capacity of 104,000, Auto Club Speedway is one of the more popular venues in the country. Its grandstands are often full, and tickets for the races are popular. In 2016, it hosted the Verizon IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. That’s a lot of racing! And it’s probably one of the biggest draws is that it’s the only California venue on our list of the largest drag race tracks in the U.S. So, if you like racing in California, this is the place to be. It also hosts the Auto Club Grand Prix, which is one of the biggest auto racing events in the country. That should give you an idea of how popular it is.
How Many Lights Does It Have?
Based on the 2016 calendar, Auto Club Speedway has 12 light towers spaced around the track. The website claims there are 20 more on the way and that they will be evenly spaced around the track. There are also plans for a digital scoreboard, which could be displayed on big screens for everyone to see. So, not only do you have lights, but you have enough cameras to play Pokemon Go on, which is pretty amazing when you think about it.
Overall, given its size, location, and amenities, it’s clear that Auto Club Speedway is one of the largest and most important venues in the country. For years, it’s been the home of auto racing in California, and it will continue to be for years to come.