Monday, March 21, 2011

A history of NASCAR from Riverside to Ontario to Fontana

Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29  Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, speaks to the media during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, held at Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, N.C.
NASCAR first started visiting Southern California in 1958. Riverside International Raceway was the site of the first NASCAR race in Southern California. Eddie Gray won the race.
Dan Gurney, AJ Foyt, Benny Parsons and Rusty Wallace won races at Riverside and Ontario Motor Speedway, the tracks NASCAR raced at before Auto Club Speedway in Fontana was built.
Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch are the NASCAR stars who have added to the long history of stock car racing in Southern California by winning races at Auto Club Speedway.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its only visit to Fontana this weekend for the Auto Club 400. After hosting two races a year since 2004, Auto Club Speedway is starting a new era of NASCAR. One race, one weekend for NASCAR fans in Southern California to get their high-speed fix.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Jimmie John's Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, saw only one race at Riverside. It was the last race in 1988.
“I actually went to—you’re going to laugh—the only time I went to Riverside, I wasn’t old enough to get in and my dad was there working on Rick Carelli’s car," Harvick said. "I actually went into the infield in the backseat of Cathy Carelli’s car with a blanket over the top of me to get into the pits. I stayed in the back of the—Rick had a bread truck basically as a hauler at that particular point—but that was the last race at Riverside."
Go to For more on the history of NASCAR in Southern California.
Click here for a list of events leading up to the Cup race on Sunday.

No comments:

Post a Comment