Lately, it seems like more and more grassroots automotive events are taking place at Auto Club Speedway. It’s where NASCAR’s Auto Club 400 is ran and where the IZOD INDYCAR’s MavTV 500 will race. The INDYCAR’s will race the 2 mile D-shaped oval at speeds of 180-220 MPH. Being in the stands during the early days of C.A.R.T., I’ve always had the itch to be on the inside of the track. It’s where the paddock was, where the action was, and where the behind-the-scenes took place. Several years later, perhaps even decades, it’s happened.
In collaboration with Speed Ventures, the inside area became the home of Fontana Nissan’s 5 Meet in 2013. Traditionally the annual meet was held at their dealership, but in 2012, it completely outgrew the allowed space. Not to mention all the prep work it takes to shuffle ALL the cars off the dealership lot to accommodate a meet or divert customers in a different direction – it’s understandable on why they decided to relocate. But does moving locations give it less of that homely feel? The underground feel? The lack of urgency? We thought it might, but it didn’t.
It was the calm before the storm, the well organized event was right on time. Scott Vanderheide, the man that spearheads the meet, kept everyone informed about roll in time, from when the gates were going to open to how the event was laid out. Right before 11AM, Scott informed us and all the vendors that the gates were about to open. Once it did, a line of Nissan’s, like starving ants, came trooping in. One-by-one, pack-by-pack, these well behaved drivers filled the lot. GT-R, S-chassis, Z’s, and amongst others parked with their kind. A steady flow of spectators and participants walked the black top during this 100 degree weather that was easily distracted with the Nissan RaceShop Hunnies.
In between heat strokes and taking turns holding our tents down from the burst of winds that Fontana is known to have, Justin and I made a few rounds to capture some of the awesomeness 5 Meet had to offer.
Although the day was a bit warm we had a great time hanging with friends and had a great dinner afterwards.
Here are some other random shot’s.
We are going to close this with a non-Nissan, an FR-S 🙂