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NASCAR plans to convert Auto Club Speedway into short track

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NASCAR plans to convert Auto Club Speedway into short track
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NASCAR plans to completely reconfigure the two-mile Auto Club Speedway in California into a short track for the 2022 season.

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally, Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Smithfield, Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Monster Energy, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Cincinnati, Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Rush / HAAS CNC
Auto Club Speedway signage
Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas/Production Alliance Group
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Rush / HAAS CNC, Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth and Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Jimmy John's
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries, Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang AAA Southern California, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Express
Five wide salute
William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Axalta, Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth

The Athletic first reported the story Tuesday, which Motorsport.com later independently confirmed with NASCAR.

Currently, there are just three short tracks on the Cup Series schedule: Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville Raceway and Richmond Raceway. 

The ambitious plan would take place following the 2021 spring race with the goal of having the new track ready for the 2022 season, thus transforming one of NASCAR's largest tracks into a Martinsville Speedway lookalike with long straightaways and narrow corners. However, the corners will be banked similar to Bristol Motor Speedway, which range from 26 to 30 degrees.

In another move in favor of more short tracks, NASCAR moved its All-Star Race from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Bristol for the first time earlier this year. 

“We are still very early in the process, but we are excited about what this ambitious project could mean for our loyal fans in Southern California. This is our first step towards creating a state-of-the-art facility that would deliver the intense short-track racing our fans love, an intimate viewing experience, and upgraded suites and hospitality areas that would position Auto Club Speedway among the top entertainment venues in the market,” said Craig Neeb, EVP, Chief Innovation Officer, NASCAR.

Auto Club Speedway has hosted NASCAR events since it opened in 1997 and has also hosted IndyCar on several occasions. 

You can take a look at the plans NASCAR submitted to San Bernardino County below:

Next Gen Auto Club Speedway plan

Next Gen Auto Club Speedway plan

Photo by: NASCAR Media

 

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Series NASCAR Cup
Author Nick DeGroot