The following is a commentary from Jared Edgley of Southern California:
In 2004, I attended my first NASCAR race and was hooked. I am a 34-year-old caucasian male and I live about 30-45 minutes north of Auto Club Speedway.
The following year, my mom, sister, brother-in law, niece and nephew drove 12 hours from Pocatello, Idaho to attend their first race. After they attended one live, they became hooked and made it a point to come down every fall specifically for the race.
We have not missed a race in the last five years and NASCAR was something we excitedly planned for and talked about all year. When we go, we attend ALL day for ALL three days and usually spend 90 percent of our time hanging out between the garages and pit road so we can get autographs, meet drivers and crews and be close to the cars as they exit and enter the track.
But I am writing today in order to express my disappointment with the recent changes we are seeing at Auto Club Speedway.
First off, how are we supposed to be excited about losing a Chase race and then having our race moved to the end of March? I would compare that date to Game 15 of the Major League Baseball regular schedule. It's completely meaningless.
Even when we had the race in February – right after Daytona – there was still some of the Daytona momentum that would bleed over to the California race.
Second, it was only a few years ago that we annually had a truck race, two Nationwide races (one at night) and two Cup races (one at night). Not to mention one of those was a Chase race.
As I sit here right now, we currently are down to one Nationwide race and one Cup race – and I recently got an e-mail from them saying the Cup race has been shortened from 500 to 400 miles because the fans asked for it.
Really? What fans? We just lost an entire weekend and now we are going to have to wait a year to see them again, but the "fans" spoke and want to see 100 less miles of racing? I could see if we still had two races, sure – make one 500 and the other one 400. But that's not the case anymore.
The final issue I would like to touch on is in regard to ACS no longer having a night race. We no longer have a night race because the "fans" voted last year, and the noon start time was chosen. Why?
Reasons included people not wanting to get home too late, people had babysitters, etc. Come on! Real NASCAR fans would rather see the sparks fly at night then worry about getting home at 11:30 P.M.
Would a place like Bristol get rid of their night race to please a bunch of soccer moms who have no clue about NASCAR?
It's just very frustrating for my family and I. The more we support NASCAR and ACS, the more they seem to take away. We have already declined to renew our season tickets. We will probably figure out a way to go to Vegas or the Phoenix Chase race. It's obvious that ACS has no clue what true NASCAR fans really want.
Jared J. Edgley / Southern California
On Twitter: @ajedgley