2006 Racing Season Concludes, 2007 Just Around the Corner
2007 Season Tickets on Sale Now
As the stars of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series battle their way through the last half of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Auto Club Speedway sees the checkered flag wave on the 2006 racing season. This season featured incredible race competition, with two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, two NASCAR Busch Series, one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, one NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series, a double-header of AMA Superbikes, Southern California Historic Sports Car Festival and the re-opening of the Auto Club Dragway at California Speedway.
"The 2006 season marked an amazing milestone for Auto Club Speedway and further solidified our position as one of the most exciting tracks in the sport," said Speedway President Gillian Zucker. "We launched a new branding campaign that captures the special personality of the track, as well as opened the new Opportunity, California FanZone that includes Apex by Wolfgang Puck, more shade features, live entertainment, retail and more for our fans. Moving forward, we are confident that 2007 will continue to rival any other track experience from both a value and entertainment standpoint."
In February, the 2006 West Coast Premiere of NASCAR saw Matt Kenseth lead a Roush Racing assault on Auto Club Speedway when he won the Auto Club 500; Greg Biffle then took the Busch Series Stater Bros. 300 and Mark Martin claimed the Craftsman Truck Series Racetickets.com 200 - making him the only driver to ever win in NASCAR's top-three series and IROC at the same racing venue.
In March, construction began on the Opportunity, California FanZone that would add an entertainment stage, Apex by Wolfgang Puck restaurant, Impulse retail store, shade and lounge features and nearly double the size of the midway, all to debut during the NASCAR Labor Day weekend events.
As construction continued behind the Speedway's main grandstands, California Speedway played host to the AMA Suzuki Superbike Challenge in April where the best two-wheel riders in the nation converged for early season points. It was AMA's third round of the season and race fans witnessed a young Ben Spies capture both major Superbike events over Yoshimura teammate and former five-time Auto Club Speedway champion Mat Mladin. The weekend also saw several of AMA's under-card series' and the first-ever points-paying Supermoto event held at Auto Club Speedway.
The Southern California Historic Sports Car Festival rolled onto the Infield Road Course at Auto Club Speedway in June. Some of history's most famous auto racing machines of yesteryear were on display both on and off the racing surface.
On the same weekend, Auto Club Speedway re-opened the Auto Club Dragway and hosted a regional divisional event for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Pacific Division. The racers christened the new racing surface, which has been touted as the smoothest in the country, with speeds of more than 260 mph and ultra-quick reaction times.
NASCAR completed all interior-course racing for the 2006 season at California Speedway with the Labor Day weekend SONY HD 500. During the ninth month of the year, the No. 9 car made it into Gatorade Victory Lane all weekend long beginning with Mike Duncan in the NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series Relocate Here 200 presented by the County of San Bernardino on Friday night. Kasey Kahne swept the next two nights to become the first competitor at the Southern California racing facility to take the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series wins in the same weekend when he drove to Gatorade Victory Lane in both the SONY HD 500 on Sunday and the Ameriquest 300 on Saturday.
Although racing has come to a close on the inside courses of California Speedway, a few more events remain
on the Auto Club Dragway before the book
closes on another chapter of racing at the West Coast's premier sports and
entertainment venue. The Pacific Street Car Association visits the dragstrip
twice before the year is through; once on October 6-8 and once again on November
3-5. The Import Drag Racing Circuit also comes to the quarter-mile strip on
November 18-19. Visit
www.autoclubspeedway.com and click on the drag racing schedule link for a
complete listing of events for the remainder of the 2006 season.
Though the engines are shutting down for this season, the 2007 season will be here before long and Auto Club Speedway is already looking forward to another great season of racing. The 2007 West Coast Premiere of NASCAR takes center stage with the Auto Club 500 on February 25. Tickets are on sale now for the 2007 season by calling 800-944-RACE  or by logging on to www.autoclubspeedway.com. Season ticket packages, select fan hospitality options and off-site camping reservations are currently available.