NASCAR Race Weekends and the Debut of the Car of Tomorrow Highlight the 2008 Racing Season

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CA -- Two NASCAR race weekends, an AMA Superbike weekend and a pair of NHRA drag racing weekends will highlight California Speedway's 2008 race schedule, Speedway President Gillian Zucker announced today.

"From the debut of the Car of Tomorrow to the return of the Suzuki AMA Superbike Championship and NHRA SPORTSnationals, 2008 promises to California Speedway's most exciting year yet," said Zucker. "There's something for every race fan."

The 2008 race season opens with the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR during the Auto Club 500 Weekend from February 22-24. The weekend will feature a doubleheader as both the San Bernardino County 200 and the Stater Bros. 300 will both run on Saturday, February 23. Race fans will be treated to 500 miles of racing for the price of admission. The weekend concludes the following day as the Car of Tomorrow will see its first Southern California race action during Sunday's Auto Club 500.

April 25-27 will see the return of the AMA Suzuki Superbike Championship weekend, marking the seventh consecutive season that the series has run on California Speedway's road course. The weekend will again feature a doubleheader with rounds 4 (Saturday) and 5 (Sunday) of the AMA Superbike Championship. Former series champions Mat Mladen and Ben Spies -- the first and second place finishers from each of the last five Superbike Championship races in Southern California -- will once again challenge for a spot in the winner's circle.

The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag racing series on May 2-4 will be the first of two NHRA sanctioned events at the Auto Club Dragway at California Speedway. The Jegs Pacific SPORTSnationals on October 3-5 will be the last SPORTSnationals event for 2008 and will feature competition in a variety of NHRA Lucas Oil Series categories.

The Southern California Historic Sports Car Festival will also return to the Speedway for a seventh consecutive season, this year taking place over the weekend of June 20-22.

NASCAR makes one more pitstop at California Speedway for Labor Day's biggest party over the weekend of August 29-31. The NASCAR Sprint Cup series race on August 31st will continue to be critical to the season as it is the second to last leg in the Race for the Chase. Last year's winner, Southern California-native Jimmie Johnson, went on to win six of the final 12 Cup races en route to a second straight Cup Series championship.

Last week NASCAR announced that California Speedway will also be a host track for Preseason Thunder on January 31 and February 1. The NASCAR Sprint Cup testing event will feature all 43 Cup drivers and will mark the Car of Tomorrow's first run on the Speedway's 2.0-mile oval. Grandstand admission for that event will be free to the public.

-credit: cs