Start Your Engines for the Auto Club 400 in Fontana
If you’re around Fontana on Sunday, you might catch yourself hearing the loud roar of engines coming from Auto Club Speedway where the 23rd Annual Auto Club 400 Nascar race is taking place. KVCR’s Jonathan Linden has the story.
Jonathan: This Friday I had the opportunity to check out the Speedway during the practice and qualifying runs... And walk around the infield with fans who brought their RV’s to camp out for the weekend. A common theme among fans I talked to was that it wasn’t just the race they came for, but also the sense of community. I asked Fan and Menifee Resident Paul Wilkinson why he enjoyed camping out in the infield for the weekend…. And he says the infield is just a very friendly environment.
Fan Paul Wilkinson: The thing with NASCAR and the infield is that if you need something or you forgot something… then you can pretty much go to a neighbor and they’re going to come by and… if you forgot some Propane for your grill, or something breaks… they’re going to bring it to you and they’re going to help you out and take care of you for the weekend and it’s just a good time.
But fans aren’t the only locals at the race. I had the chance to speak with NASCAR Cup Driver and California native Matt Dibenedetto about the opportunity to come back to his home state.
NASCAR Driver Matt DiBendetto: It’s always fun coming back because it’s just always beautiful and I actually have a lot of family down this way in Orange County area, so my Grandmother and my Aunt and cousins live out this way.
Jonathan: I also wanted to get some perspective on track and asked NASCAR Cup Driver Matt Tifft about the conditions and feel for the track come Sunday.
NASCAR Driver Matt Tifft: Well obviously how bumpy it is and you know the seams here.. Especially for Sundays it’s going to be in the 80’s. It’s going to get hot and slick and the seams are not friendly when you cross them the wrong way, so you wanna make sure you get the wheel straight.
Jonathan: Before wrapping up my interview with Fan Paul Wilkinson, I asked him what he would say to people who have never been to a race before.
Fan Paul Wilkinson Quote: I would just say that for all the naysayers and the people that don’t like NASCAR… that if you haven’t been to a track and camped in the infield… been inside and had the experience of the party and all the fun… then you’re really missing out. And it’s not just about the NASCAR and races and stuff, it’s about the comradery and the friendships as well.
Jonathan: Tickets for Sunday's race are still available online with the Green Flag waving at 12:30 P.M. to start the race. For KVCR News, I’m Jonathan Linden.