The California race for 2011 has been shortened -- err, "re-mileaged," according to the press release -- 100 miles from 500 to 400.
"It’s impossible to ignore the on track excitement we experienced at Auto Club Speedway in October when NASCAR reduced our Chase race from 500 to 400 miles," ACS President Gillian Zucker said. "The intense side-by-side racing elicited rave reviews from everyone, including race winner Tony Stewart (who won by a mere 0.466 seconds), fans and the media. It was hailed by many as the “best race ever at Auto Club Speedway.”
You can't blame Zucker for the spin because she's in a very tough position. She's the president of a track that doesn't sell out and has a history and reputation of producing snooze-inducing racing. Plus, the track has gone from having two races to one race that's out of the Chase. This year's California race is March 27.
That 2010 race that Stewart won was the first 400 mile race at the track and clocked in at just over three hours. Until then, no California race had been shorter than 3:20 since 2002.