The jet-dryers are still circling the California-turned-Auto Club-Speedway surface, and it looks as if the rain has died for the night. There is an 11 p.m. curfew for racing in Fontana, so if they can get the final 38 laps in before then, they’ll probably try to finish the race. Grandstand fans still number in the hundreds. If you went home thinking the Auto Club 500 was over, still have your ticket stub and don’t have to be up early in the morning, you might consider coming back.
The clouds are parting, the cars are entering the track and the grandstands are (slowly) beginning to fill up in Fontana. So if you haven’t been able to catch that on TV, the coast looks clear for NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, with a targeted start time around 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, I’ll let Sam Hornish Jr. sum up the last 24 hours of action:
“There’s nothing more boring than being at the racetrack on a rainy day because you can’t go anywhere because you don’t know if it’s going to dry out and you’re kind of forced to sit there and deal with it as much as you can.”
It’s funny to watch these huge NASCAR blow-dryers. They’re being towed around the track on the back of pickup trucks going about 5 mph. It rained lightly for about half an hour, finished not too long ago, and now begins the tedious process of drying the track in the hope that a race can be held sometime in the next four and a half hours.
There’s actually still a spattering of fans in the grandstands, most of them leaning over the front-row railing watching the blow dryers. Proof that when NASCAR’s in town, folks will watch anything driving counter-clockwise around a paved track.
Or, hopefully, proof that Southern California’s racing fan base has a better sense of the weather forecast than I do.
My thoughts today are with Archie Manning and the City of San Diego.