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Who Owns the Road Courses in California?

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  • Who Owns the Road Courses in California?

    A post on another tread, and a conversation with Aaron Bitterman last weekend at Chuckwalla got me thinking about this.

    Owner -- SCCA
    Thunderhill Raceway Park
    Buttonwillow Raceway Park

    Privately owned by the Huth family
    Willow Springs Int'l Raceway (the Big Track, or "The Fastest Road in the West")
    Streets of Willow
    Horse Thief Mile

    Monterey County, California
    "Mazda" Laguna Seca Raceway

    International Speedway Corporation (owner of 10 other NASCAR ovals and Watkins Glen)
    Auto Club Speedway

    Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (also owns about a dozen NASCAR ovals)
    Sonoma Raceway (fka Infineon Raceway, fka Sears Point)

    A few rich guys who won't rent our their track for open track days or amateur racing
    The Thermal Club at La Quinta

    Micky Grana (and partners, I assume)
    Chuckwalla Valley Raceway

    So what is the point of all this? Aaron made the point that the only road course built and opened in many years (including stillborn projects, Riverside in Modesto and another track near Lancaster that never happened) is Chuckwalla (not counting Thermal, which only Daddy Warbucks can run). It is very difficult to plan, get permits, finance, grade and build, open and run a road course in California. Props to Micky Grana for getting it done at Chuckwalla.
    Last edited by Richard EVO; 03-31-2015, 09:20 PM.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - my last track day car (FOR SALE or not, depending on how I feel when I fall out of bed tomorrow morning)
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

  • #2
    There have been news reports in the Santa Maria Times about expanding the drag strip and circle track to include a road course. That was a couple of years ago, so the likelihood diminishes as time passes, but that would be a prime location for an inviting road course.

    During the summer months when all the other tracks are boiling over at 100-plus degree temperatures, we could be racing in Santa Maria's coastal climate. It would get a bit windy at times, but that's something we deal with at Willow Springs anyway.

    I'm still hoping.
    www.TrackHQ.com

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    • #3
      ^^^ Santa Maria BBQ . . . mmm
      Last edited by Richard EVO; 03-31-2015, 09:38 PM.
      The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

      2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
      1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
      2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - my last track day car (FOR SALE or not, depending on how I feel when I fall out of bed tomorrow morning)
      2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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      • #4
        I've watched dirt racing at their oval.

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        • #5
          Reno-Fernley had a rough time.
          Jack Olsen - 1972 Porsche 911
          What? An awesome video about me and my car
          My Corner-By-Corner Guide to Willow Springs
          My Two-Car Garage's Very Own Website

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          • #6
            Who Owns The World?

            I've spent too much time in the wrong places on the internet. I was expecting the answer to be "the jews," followed by a conspiracy theory.
            2001 MR2-Eleven
            Experience Points: 21
            Youtube Channel.

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            • #7
              Actually, I believe the track being built in Carson is owned by "the Germans".

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              • #8
                I'm pretty sure the Santa Maria project was moved to Lompoc or Buelton, can't remember which, and the road course was axed.
                99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
                '91 Mariner Blue Miata project AKA Napoleon

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                • #9
                  Arrrrgh!
                  www.TrackHQ.com

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                  • #10
                    Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Parhump, NV (just over the Cali border) is owned by John Morris and Brad Rambo.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Richard EVO View Post
                      Props to Micky Grana for getting it done at Chuckwalla.
                      And getting it done WELL. In addition to track days and amateur racing, the amount of private rentals for events and corporate promotional shoots (e.g., by Yamaha, Ford, etc.) keeps increasing. Plus he continues to steadily reinvest money back into the track for improvements, as well as just being present and interacting with patrons at events (and not in the "let me sell you on something" kind of way). It's great to see someone who is nice and genuinely into racing be successful at running a track.
                      Follow my racing: https://www.youtube.com/ryandhouck
                      2009 Yamaha R6 (race bike)
                      2014 Triumph Street Triple R (street bike)
                      2009 Honda S2000
                      2008 BMW M3 (sold)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Red Mist View Post
                        Actually, I believe the track being built in Carson is owned by "the Germans".
                        I was driving down to long beach last friday on the 405, I saw this (see pic): in an empty lot, I remember 10 years ago someone mentioning Porsche was building a "test track" in Carson.. I assume this is it?
                        What's happened in the last 10 years? any development??

                        Click image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rhouck View Post
                          And getting it done WELL. In addition to track days and amateur racing, the amount of private rentals for events and corporate promotional shoots (e.g., by Yamaha, Ford, etc.) keeps increasing. Plus he continues to steadily reinvest money back into the track for improvements, as well as just being present and interacting with patrons at events (and not in the "let me sell you on something" kind of way). It's great to see someone who is nice and genuinely into racing be successful at running a track.
                          love the track, but:
                          they had a bunch of Ford Mustang GT for "driving school" and corporate event.

                          1. stock seats with 4 point belt (not ASM)
                          2. noodle on roll cage

                          I never am sitting in that thing. not track, not street.
                          S1 Supermiata - 220whp
                          13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
                          17 GT350R
                          03 Miata Club Sport
                          96 NSX
                          06 EVO MR
                          15 Mini Cooper S
                          Beck 550 Spyder

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                          • #14
                            The Porsche Experience Center, as it's called, has only recently started construction. It used to be a golf course, I'm pretty sure.

                            I don't think it will ever be something that will rent out to clubs. I think it's there for race drivers to take rich guys out for rides in order to sell Porsches.

                            Jack Olsen - 1972 Porsche 911
                            What? An awesome video about me and my car
                            My Corner-By-Corner Guide to Willow Springs
                            My Two-Car Garage's Very Own Website

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Red_5 View Post
                              I'm pretty sure the Santa Maria project was moved to Lompoc or Buelton, can't remember which, and the road course was axed.
                              I didn't think that would happen. In the 90's when I was running there, they were having issues with noise and local home owners. To the point there was talk about closing.
                              great track and location. Only bummer about that track was when the fog rolled in the hard tacky clay track turned to snot with in minutes. Or if it rains, your stuck in a soup bowl. A few racers have had to leave there cars/trailers and sometimes tow vehicles till it dried out.
                              Though that wouldn't effect and Asphalt track as much.
                              That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

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