Auto Club Dragway

This is a photo from the 2019 drag racing season at Auto Club Dragway.  (Contributed photo by Mike Myers)

Auto Club Dragway, a drag racing area located within Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, has been closed for good.

"After careful consideration on the best direction forward for Auto Club Speedway, the difficult decision has been made to permanently close Auto Club Dragway," the speedway said in a Facebook post on Dec. 3.

"We thank all of the competitors, fans and corporate partners who made so many wonderful memories at Auto Club Dragway through the years, and we look forward to making new ones as we embark on our 25th Anniversary Season at the 2-mile oval in 2022."

The drag strip had been a popular destination for professional as well as amateur racers for many years, but it closed down in early 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and has never reopened.

Fans were hoping that the drag strip would be able to return, but in April of this year, the speedway posted a message which said:

"Over the last year, we have had to make a number of tough decisions with respect to our business structure and operations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, as part of this, the Auto Club Dragway will remain closed for 2021."

Many Facebook commenters were extremely disappointed with the final decision to shut down the drag strip and said it would lead to more illegal street racing.

Brian Fischle commented:  "This is a disappointment to say the least … there was rarely a time where the drag strip was not packed! This also provided a venue for kids to race (no different from a baseball field). I’m very sad to see it go, and I’m disappointed in those that allowed it to happen!"

Gregg Suyenaga was blunt:  "Worst decision ever. Because of them closing, street racing is going to be at an all time high and everyone should be pointing at their bad decision."

"How is this the “best decision”? It should never be a decision at all," commented Eric Kent.  "If you aren’t into running it anymore, hand it over to someone who is. Trust me when I say there are thousands of people who would gladly step up and run the place and love it."

Drag racing started at the speedway in 2001 and attracted many fans, but neighbors in the area complained about the noise, forcing the dragway to be closed in 2012.  After a sound wall was built, the site reopened in 2014.

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