So you live in California and you want to go drag racing? Well, good luck.
In all of their infinite wisdom, state officials have forced the temporary closure of the Auto Club Dragway at Fontana, one of four remaining dragstrips in the most populous region of the entire United States. The Pomona Raceway is closed to all weekly racing events, but we’ll count it nonetheless.
The Auto Club Dragway at Fontana, located just outside the expansive Auto Club Speedway used for NASCAR events and located in San Bernardino County, came under fire last year when it was reported that a single neighboring business pitched a fit about the noise coming from the track. In response, the facility ceased hosting the PSCA Pro Street cars as part of the racing program in order to curtail some of the noise. This elicited action from the racing community, some of which even reportedly offered financial assistance in the construction of a large sound barrier wall. But once again, the issue has crept up, and this time, the gates have been forced to close. Below is a statement published on the Auto Club Dragway home page:
A Superior Court has suspended operation of the Auto Club Dragway. The suspension results from a successful challenge of a San Bernardino County sound standard by a group of concerned residents. San Bernardino County officials had approved an amendment to the County Sound Standard in 2010 to accommodate louder sound arising from races at the Dragway. The Superior Court found that the underlying Environmental Impact Report which the County relied on to approve the sound standard amendment was not sufficient.
We are currently reviewing the court ruling and evaluating our options moving forward. We hope to have more detailed information about our future operations at the Dragway soon.
So if you want to go drag racing in the southern portion of California, for the time being, you’re left with only Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield or the Barona 1/8 Mile Drags in Lakeside. But with 22 million people in the region, only two tracks, and plenty of public roads, we have a feeling we know where the racers are REALLY going.