Even though the track is two miles in length, many drivers say handling is just as important as horsepower. Still, it’s a smooth, new track. And when you have 500 miles of racing at full throttle, engine wear is an issue. (Sorry Kasey Kahne fans.)
The straightaways are long enough for side-by-side racing. You’ll see speeds occasionally top 200 miles an hour.
This is often a strategy race. There are long green flag runs; so, fuel mileage will be on the minds of crew chiefs. Tire wear usually isn’t a concern; so, you may also see many crews change two tires instead of four like we saw at Kansas on Sunday.
This also might be the final race at Fontana with the current track structure. There is talk of increasing the banking to get fans closer to the action. It would make the course more like Daytona.
Random facts to impress your friends Sunday:
- There are 23,000 concrete blocks at the track.
- 2.3 million cubic yards of earth was moved to make the track.
- The start/finish line is 1,121 feet above sea level.
- Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon have each won here three times.
- Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle are other Chase drivers who have won here.
- Mike Skinner and Steve Park have won the pole.
- Jeremy Mayfield and Elliott Sadler have won at the track.
Banking: 14 degrees in turns; 11 degrees on frontstretch; 3 degrees on backstretch
Frontstretch: 3,100 feet
Backstretch: 2,500 feet
Defending Champion: Jimmie Johnson