Auto Club Speedway Will Be Absent From 2024 Schedule

Dave Allen

Getty Dave Allen (right) has addressed the future of Auto Club Speedway.

Auto Club Speedway will undergo a massive reconfiguration after the 2023 race. The timeline means that the track will not be on the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

Auto Club Speedway President Dave Allen provided the update ahead of the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum. He told media members that he doesn’t have an exact timeline for the project that will turn the two-mile track into NASCAR’s latest short track. All he knows is that the track will not be on the 2024 schedule.

“Unfortunately, even with the most aggressive timeline, we will not race in 2024 on the new track,” Allen told media members. “The timeline beyond that still has yet to be determined. There are just milestones we need to get through, not the least of which is the design of the race track. We’re still working on that.”

Allen Provided Another Update During His Session

Auto Club Speedway

GettyAuto Club Speedway will undergo a transformation to a short track.

Allen understandably faced several questions about Auto Club Speedway after the confirmation that it will not be on the 2024 schedule. One of the biggest focused on whether the track would return at all. Allen shut down that notion by definitively stating that Auto Club Speedway will be back at some point.

Another point of the conversation focused on the design of the track. There were questions about the layout, the length, and the banking. Allen didn’t provide all of the details, but he answered one important question.

Auto Club Speedway will become a half-mile short track, keeping it at the same length as Martinsville Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. Allen also explained that there will be multiple updates made to the facility while work continues on the track itself.

“There are a lot of iterations we’re still designing, both on track and off track,” Allen said. “It’ll be really exciting when we get to a point where we can share that. What we’re working on is really exciting. The fact that we race at a half-mile at Martinsville and Bristol, it’ll be cool to have another half-mile, especially out here on the West Coast with so much racing history here.”

The LA Memorial Coliseum Presents a Potential Option

NASCAR wants to have a presence in Southern California, but there won’t be a points-paying race at Auto Club Speedway in 2024. So what will the sanctioning body do to reach this important market?

One potential option is building a track at the LA Memorial Coliseum once again and turning it into a points-paying event. NASCAR has not provided any indication that it would make this move, but multiple drivers weighed in about the possibility.

“I think it’s a great venue,” Brad Keselowski said during his own media session. “They did a heck of a job. Similar to Kevin [Harvick], I had some pretty big concerns coming into it last year and I was blown out of the water by what I saw here. I thought they did an amazing job.

“The potential is here to do so many different things — points races or carry the idea to other venues that I think it’s certainly in one year’s time earned a lot of respect within the industry that opens up numerous doors and opportunities. How that plays forward, I know I’m pretty open-minded to it as both a driver and an owner and look forward to see it do just that — play out.”

“Sure. I think NASCAR whatever deems it important to them,” Denny Hamlin added. “I’m sure having a race in this area is very important with the talk of the two-mile oval in Fontana, you would have no more and they may be taking a year off while it rebuilds. Certainly, I think they’re going to be open to options and maybe this does fall in that slot or we go somewhere else.”

Hamlin actually changed his opinion about this possibility after completing a caution-filled Busch Light Clash. He joined Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano on the list of drivers that felt trying to fit the full field on the short track was not a realistic option.

“Why would you want to screw it up and make it a points race? It’s like a one-off deal, the Clash,” Truex said after winning the exhibition event. “The Clash used to — since I’ve been doing it, it just kind of got boring, from back in the day when it was just pole winners from last year, then it was champions, and then it was everybody that made the playoffs.

“It just got all weird, and now this is really cool. It’s got its own identity, fun race, all the way out here in a cool venue that’s got a lot of history. I don’t know, I think it’s kind of got a good vibe to it now. Let’s not maybe screw that up. And we have enough points races. How many are we going to have? Where are you going to take it from?”

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