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It's official: NASCAR is indeed shipping a Los Angeles Cup date to Kansas City

  California's Gillian Zucker: Only one Sprint Cup weekend now for Los Angeles in 2011. Is that a positive for the sport? Is NASCAR really solving problems or just shuffling them from one track to another? Wonder what Mr. Riverside, Les Richter, might say about all this. But maybe it's best NASCAR waited till Richter, who helped build California Speedway for NASCAR, passed on before making this controversial decision. (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Yes, it's official now that NASCAR executives have pulled the plug on one of California's two Sprint Cup weekends for 2011.
   The word came out of Los Angeles' Auto Club Speedway Tuesday morning, in what is a run of rather curious changes to next season's NASCAR tour schedule.
   The Fontana track announced it would only host the one Sprint Cup weekend in late March, with the California 500 Sunday March 27th.
   The late March date is something of a surprise too, because the track had its best crowds when it was a May sprint event. The February race there has been hit with rain, and it's in the heart of the November-April rainy season.
    NASCAR's decision to drop California's fall championship event was a surprise, and controversial, since Los Angeles is the second biggest market in the U.S., and an Asian-gateway market too. NASCAR for years held three Cup events in Los Angeles, including the season opener and the season finale.
    NASCAR appears to be pointing to small crowds as reason for the move of that Cup date to Kansas Speedway. The France family promised a second date for Kansas if officials there would okay a casino at the track.
    The reason for small crowds at the California track, however, is quite debatable. And NASCAR's decision to simply drop a major event weekend like this in the largest market this sport plays in may hurt its sponsorship opportunities...because the first thing a potential sponsor asks is 'Where do you play?'
    California boss Gillian Zucker, nevertheless, is trying to put a good spin on this turn of events: "Moving our Auto Club 500 event from February to March provides us the opportunity to show off the area's beautiful 'Chamber of Commerce' weather
    "Our staff and the thousands of Southern California loyal race fans look forward to the return of NASCAR's most talented drivers in both the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series as well as Southern California's own four-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.
    "We remain committed to providing unforgettable experiences to our loyal fans and we will continue to look at ways to diversify our schedule, working diligently to add exciting events for 2011 and beyond."

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With all those truck stops in

With all those truck stops in the area off of Cherry Ave, maybe G-Zuck can host a BOBTAIL TRUCK RACE like Atlanta did back in the '80s with Shawna Robinson hammerin' it down. Until you've seen it, them trucks can flyyyyy!!!! ;-)

hey, i was there for that! it

hey, i was there for that! it was, uh, really rather interesting....didnt they run 'em at Rockingham too.

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