Auto Club 500 Moving to February in 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Event To Follow Daytona 500 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race Also Moving to February Weekend FONTANA, Calif. (May 14, 2004) --- California Speedway's Auto Club 500 will be the...
Auto Club 500 Moving to February in 2005
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Event To Follow Daytona 500
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race Also Moving to February Weekend
FONTANA, Calif. (May 14, 2004) --- California Speedway's Auto Club 500 will be the second race on the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule, following the season-opening Daytona 500. The race, which has been the 10th race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule since 1998, will be held on Sunday, February 27.
NASCAR released its 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule today at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va.
The speedway's second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race next year, the "Finish Under the Lights" Pop Secret 500, will once again be held on Labor Day Weekend, Sunday, September 4.
"Moving the Auto Club 500 to the second race on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule opens up tremendous marketing opportunities for the speedway to build off the momentum of the season-opening Daytona 500," California Speedway President Bill Miller said. "In addition, it provides more distance between our two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events, the largest single-day ticketed sporting events in the state, providing us more opportunity to prepare for and position the second race in this marketplace.
"We will build off the foundation established last year with our new NASCAR-only ticket packages, when the second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series date was announced at California Speedway," Miller continued. "The fans in Southern California have shown their passion for NASCAR racing at California Speedway with eight consecutive sellouts. Our fans will be ready to welcome the Daytona 500 winner, and all the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series stars, with great enthusiasm. The excitement of the early season date at California Speedway will feed off the energy created by the Daytona 500, and I look forward to one of our most enthusiastic crowds ever."
California Speedway anticipates mailing all renewal forms for ticket packages purchased in 2004 to be mailed in early July. In addition, deposits for new "Ultimate Season Ticket" packages and the renewable NASCAR packages, along with individual orders, will also be taken in early July via www.californiaspeedway.com or the telephone at 1-800-944-RACE (7223).
"We will be communicating the purchasing schedule to all of our customers over the next few weeks, and I encourage our guests to respond quickly when receiving the invitation to renew their seats in early July," Miller said.
Another new change to the speedway's schedule will be the running of the American Racing Wheels 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday night, February 25, during the Auto Club 500 weekend. Since 1997, the truck series race has traditionally been contested in the fall, with the exception of the 1998 race that took place in July.
"The move of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series American Racing Wheels 200 to the Auto Club 500 weekend will enhance the overall value of the weekend for our guests," Miller said. "The truck series always puts on a good show here, and adding it to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series weekend opens up the potential for some of the Cup Series regulars to compete as well."
The NASCAR Busch Series will remain in its traditional Saturday position with a featured 300-mile race on both 2005 weekends at California Speedway.
NASCAR racing during the winter is not new in Southern California. From 1963 to 1981, Riverside International Raceway staged a January NASCAR race, with the exception of the 1969 race on February 1st, all of which preceded the Daytona 500. NASCAR's premier series last competed at Riverside in 1988, prior to its eventual closing.
NASCAR also staged its season-ending race at Ontario Motor Speedway in November from 1974-1980.
"NASCAR has a tremendous history on the West Coast, and for a time, that was lost, until California Speedway opened in 1997," Miller said. "With the national growth of NASCAR racing, the Los Angeles market is ultra-important to the sport, and California Speedway is well-positioned to help continue to build NASCAR's presence, not only in Southern California, but the entire western region of the United States. The move of the Auto Club 500 to NASCAR's largest racing market in February, after its largest event, the Daytona 500, will get the 2005 season off to an incredible start."
Individual tickets and renewable Saturday/Sunday NASCAR ticket packages are currently on sale for the 2004 "Finish Under the Lights" Pop Secret 500 weekend, September 3-5. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or online at www.californiaspeedway.com.