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  • Originally posted by Big G 94 View Post

    In fairness, Riverside and Ontario went away because of factors completely outside NASCAR’s control.
    Just like Fontana will eventually.

    I was referring more to the efforts to make inroads in the LA market.

    I realize those tracks aren't exactly in LA but still...

    Live like Dave

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    • Originally posted by KevMcNJ View Post

      Just like Fontana will eventually.

      I was referring more to the efforts to make inroads in the LA market.

      I realize those tracks aren't exactly in LA but still...
      Again, though, in their heyday I don’t think Riverside or Ontario had problems from lack of interest, did they? Although Ontario … and maybe Jim Thurman can elaborate or clarify … by my understanding was doomed before a car ever turned a wheel there and it wouldn’t have mattered if they drew 500,000.

      Fontana is different story I know …

      Comment


      • I think Riverside was doing well right up til the end.

        I know I hated road course racing back then but always watched the Riverside races.

        That place was just too cool.

        I think Ontario was built on sand financially speaking. (?)

        I think they had to sell every ticket for every event to come even close to breaking even.

        But I get in trouble for thinking sometimes.

        I guess we'll all know more about the future of Fontana around 2024, 2025, 2026.

        Someone closer to the ground can paint a better picture of course.
        Live like Dave

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        • Originally posted by KevMcNJ View Post
          I think Riverside was doing well right up til the end.

          I know I hated road course racing back then but always watched the Riverside races.

          That place was just too cool.

          I think Ontario was built on sand financially speaking. (?)

          I think they had to sell every ticket for every event to come even close to breaking even.

          But I get in trouble for thinking sometimes.

          I guess we'll all know more about the future of Fontana around 2024, 2025, 2026.

          Someone closer to the ground can paint a better picture of course.

          I do appreciate road course racing, always have, although if you put a gun to my head and told me pick one it would probably be ovals although I detest the modern cookie cutter ovals. (I’m dating myself but one of my favorite ovals ever was Trenton because of the kink in the backstretch that was something unusual and non cookie cutter.)

          But Riverside was just a bada## race course. I have Dick Wallen’s history/photo book on Riverside and it’s one of the jewels of my racing library.

          Wasn’t the last Cup race the final race of any type there?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by KevMcNJ View Post
            I think Riverside was doing well right up til the end.s.

            I think Ontario was built on sand financially speaking. (?)

            I think they had to sell every ticket for every event to come even close to breaking even.

            Someone closer to the ground can paint a better picture of course.
            Well, not quite every ticket, but OMS was a financial disaster for many reasons that weren't for lack of support. Mainly it was due to overly optimistic thoughts that auto racing would be "the sport of the 70s," Even renegotiated leases were hard to dig out from under. Factor in the USAC-CART split and bad weather in what proved to be its last year, and it was a recipe for failure. FWIW, someone has re-written the Wikipedia entry on Ontario Motor Speedway and it's much, much better and covers some of this.
            Last edited by JThur1; 09-18-2021, 11:33 AM.
            "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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            • Originally posted by Big G 94 View Post
              Wasn’t the last Cup race the final race of any type there?
              Nope. I think that's in the Wallen book Jerry Punch made a big deal of that on the ESPN telecast of the last Cup race, but he was wrong. RIR ran for another year, but only for SCCA club racing and schools on a modified course. The huge Turn 6 bleachers were there for a couple of years and part of turn 9 and the start/finish area was there to some degree for another few years after that. I think the NASCAR race was the final major, professional event. There used to be a website that had photos of that area years later and concrete walls and various bits were still there until the late 90s.

              Despite falling into the hands of developers as part of Larry LoPatin's ARI debacle, Riverside could have hung around if Les Richter hadn't sold his majority shares. It might have been the dementia or Alzheimer's talking early, but in his latter days, Les Richter said he regretted selling his shares and wished he wouldn't have done so.
              "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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              • Kev, of course NASCAR isn't acknowledging history. History is old ​ There are only two sportscasters on Los Angeles television that covered anything at Riverside, and only one who goes back to OMS days. I don't think there's anyone at the Times from back then. One has to be at least 40+ to recall Riverside and about 50+ to remember Ontario. Those folks don't matter to the advertisers. We're old ​ (you a bit less so than me, but...)

                I'm so old, I went to one of the only two or three stock car races they held on the 1/2 mile oval at Riverside
                "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                  Nope. I think that's in the Wallen book Jerry Punch made a big deal of that on the ESPN telecast of the last Cup race, but he was wrong. RIR ran for another year, but only for SCCA club racing and schools on a modified course. The huge Turn 6 bleachers were there for a couple of years and part of turn 9 and the start/finish area was there to some degree for another few years after that. I think the NASCAR race was the final major, professional event. There used to be a website that had photos of that area years later and concrete walls and various bits were still there until the late 90s.

                  Despite falling into the hands of developers as part of Larry LoPatin's ARI debacle, Riverside could have hung around if Les Richter hadn't sold his majority shares. It might have been the dementia or Alzheimer's talking early, but in his latter days, Les Richter said he regretted selling his shares and wished he wouldn't have done so.
                  Yeah I meant professional series race, saying race of any type was overstatement.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                    Kev, of course NASCAR isn't acknowledging history. History is old ​ There are only two sportscasters on Los Angeles television that covered anything at Riverside, and only one who goes back to OMS days. I don't think there's anyone at the Times from back then. One has to be at least 40+ to recall Riverside and about 50+ to remember Ontario. Those folks don't matter to the advertisers. We're old ​ (you a bit less so than me, but...)

                    I'm so old, I went to one of the only two or three stock car races they held on the 1/2 mile oval at Riverside
                    I recall RIR looking a little drab and shopworn on TV.

                    Its desert I realize , but was it "rustic" in person?

                    A different time of course.

                    Back when race fans didnt need individual seats with Cup holders and unlimited wifi to enjoy a day at the races.

                    Now get off my lawn.
                    Live like Dave

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by RHR Fan Always View Post

                      I'd guess it'll be even smaller based off this picture. The Bowman Gray track is around a football field, and measures at .25 mile I believe. The Coliseum track will not be able to go around the football field, it'll cut into the endzone corners for sure.

                      So it'll be smaller I'd guess, or right at .25 at most.

                      I would imagine it would be one of the slowest stock cars races on record....the track is even smaller and they are limited by the permanent seats in the stadium.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by LAindycarfan80 View Post

                        I would imagine it would be one of the slowest stock cars races on record....the track is even smaller and they are limited by the permanent seats in the stadium.
                        Pole speed at last Cup race at Bowman Gray in 1971 was 55 mph.

                        Comment


                        • Riverside always was a placeholder waiting for development, no? The property was owned by speculators.
                          Racing ain't much, but workin's nothing. Richard Tharp

                          Lying was a no-brainer for me. Robin Miller

                          "I thought they booed [Danica] because she was being a complete jerk, but then they applauded for A.J. Foyt. Now I'm just confused."

                          The real world sucks. Ed McCullough

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                          • Most of the issues with NASCAR is that they are always switching between purists keeping to small town Southern United States, and going into Big Cities like Los Angeles, Dallas area, "Boston Area", allegedly Loudon is now Boston Area, Chicagoland, Louisville/Cincinnati area, etc.

                            If you include Kentucky and Indianapolis, Michigan, and Mid-Ohio the whole Chicagoland area is oversaturated.

                            I really think NASCAR as a corporation is ready for a Psychologist, they are going legitimately Bi-Polar right now.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by JSJLW View Post
                              Most of the issues with NASCAR is that they are always switching between purists keeping to small town Southern United States, and going into Big Cities like Los Angeles, Dallas area, "Boston Area", allegedly Loudon is now Boston Area, Chicagoland, Louisville/Cincinnati area, etc.

                              If you include Kentucky and Indianapolis, Michigan, and Mid-Ohio the whole Chicagoland area is oversaturated.

                              I really think NASCAR as a corporation is ready for a Psychologist, they are going legitimately Bi-Polar right now.
                              They absolutely are throwing merde at the wall hoping some will stick right now, but the basic mindset IMO remains that, rightly or wrongly, long term they do not think they can maintain the kind of audience they want and the level of profitability they want appealing to their traditional fan base with traditional racing.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by JThur1 View Post
                                Nope. I think that's in the Wallen book Jerry Punch made a big deal of that on the ESPN telecast of the last Cup race, but he was wrong. RIR ran for another year, but only for SCCA club racing and schools on a modified course. The huge Turn 6 bleachers were there for a couple of years and part of turn 9 and the start/finish area was there to some degree for another few years after that. I think the NASCAR race was the final major, professional event. There used to be a website that had photos of that area years later and concrete walls and various bits were still there until the late 90s.
                                It depends on what is considered professional, but was there an off-road racing weekend in the latter part of 1988? I remember a story in a periodical of the time that it was billed as a rowdy blowout where spectators were welcome to take home parts of the grandstand, among other remnants(!). It fell short of expectations because of poor weather and disappointing attendance.

                                Skip Barber's mailings of early 1989 touted races at "Riverside Regional Raceway" where impromptu paving made a curvy road from turn 7 back to the backstretch dogleg. Destruction of the far end of the track must have begun by then.
                                "Everyone in front of you is cheatin', and everyone behind you sux!"--nonpareil racer T. Kester

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