Just before 3:30 AM, the Kern County Fire Department responded to a structure fire at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. Due to the rural location of the facility and the lack of nearby hydrants, crews had to shuttle water from the canal at HWY 99 & WHY 46 to the track in order to fight the fire.
The old part of the tower, that had recently been turned into a VIP and hospitality area, and the storage area below, that housed mission critical equipment, was a complete loss. The structure collapsed during the fire. One of the tracks safety vehicles that was parked next to the structure was also heavily damaged.
Due to the efforts of the Kern County Fire Department Station 33 out of McFarland, the new part of the tower where the almost irreplaceable timing equipment is kept, suffered some minor damage but the equipment inside was spared. If this part of the structure was lost, it would be practically impossible to have replacement equipment built and installed in time for the Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet (March 3-6, 2016).
At this point Auto Club Famoso Raceway is committed to the 2016 schedule as posted. We obviously have our work cut out for us and it will be a struggle to be ready for the Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet Test & Tune (Feb. 19-21, 2016) , but we are already working toward making this happen.
We have been contacted by tracks, racers, fans, and companies across the US offering their support in providing whatever is needed to bring the track back to operating condition. The racing community is strong and we cannot express our heartfelt thanks to the offers of support.
The Kern County Racing Association operates Auto Club Famoso Raceway (just north of Bakersfield, Calif.) and promotes a full schedule of races year round, including the world famous March Meet, which is recognized as the Mecca of nostalgia drag racing. For more details, visit www.autoclubfamosoraceway.com.
Photos: Auto Club Famoso Raceway