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NASCAR seeks to reshape Auto Club Speedway into a short track

Kevin Harvick is the recipient of some good luck at Darlington, Ryan Blaney is in an early points hole, Alex Bowman and William Byron are surging for Hendrick Motorsports, and Austin Dillon could be a playoff dark horse.

NASCAR seeks to reshape 2-mile Auto Club Speedway into a short track, giving fans another short track on the schedule. NASCAR revealed those plans Tuesday after it was first reported by The Athletic.

“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,” said Craig Neeb, NASCAR executive vice president, chief innovation officer, in a statement. “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.”

The Athletic reported that NASCAR submitted site plans to San Bernardino County on Tuesday. The Athletic notes the plans call for the track to be half a mile. The track would have long straightaways similar to Martinsville Speedway. The corners would be banked similar to Bristol Motor Speedway.

The only short tracks that host Cup races are Martinsville, Bristol and Richmond Raceway, site of this week’s Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series races.

Screen Shot 2020-09-08 at 1.32.11 PM

A rendering of NASCAR’s Next Gen in California that looks to reshape the 2-mile speedway into a short track.

Auto Club Speedway, located in Fontana, California, has been on the Cup schedule since 1997. Jeff Gordon won the first Cup race there. Jimmie Johnson has a track-record six wins. Alex Bowman won there in March.