California Short Track May See Green Flag
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Through an ownership group of area racers and businessmen, led by James Vernon, the long-awaited Kern County Raceway Park is finally set to open as soon as late 2012.
The crown jewel of KCRP is a half-mile paved oval with a quarter-mile oval within it.
The property at Enos Lane and Highway 5 has sat dormant since 2008 when construction ceased after the housing bubble burst. With the bankruptcy settled, the opportunity arose for the racing community to rise and take ownership of the facility.
“It just broke my heart to drive past the speedway everyday unfinished,” Vernon said. “This was an opportunity to both bring racing back to the area but also complete the project with the original vision in mind. We can’t wait to go racing.”
Construction will begin immediately to complete the complex, with the track expected to be available for testing by this summer. The state-of-the-art facility includes a paved infield with tunnel access underneath turns one and two for pit crews and equipment. The signature half-mile track is banked 13 degrees in the corners with a slight kink at the start/finish line.
Racing action could begin as soon as this fall, with a full schedule of racing events on tap for the 2013 season. Divisions such as Late Models, Elite (Tour) Late Models, and Legends are among the planned classes. Complete rules and information are expected to be released in the next month.
In addition to short track racing events, KCRP plans to become an entertainment destination in the central valley with concerts and other events.
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