So I have been promising you all a post comparing my experiences at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. This is based solely on my experiences at both tracks this year. I was at the Vegas race and the September Fontana race.
I have to say that between the two tracks- although I had a great time at both- I think I perfer Las Vegas. I like Las Vegas because it seems to be much more fan friendly. I spoke with people at the box office with each speedway- and had a far better experience with Las Vegas. I felt that the ticketing agent at Las Vegas (each time I called) had making sure my best interest and experience at heart at all times and was very helpful when it came to purchasing up my tickets for the race. At Autoclub speedway I felt a little dissuaded. I called and asked about the Jimmie Johnson foundation package because BFM is a Jimmie Johnson fan (her second favorite driver)…and they had no record of it and told me to wait a month before ordering to see if they would go onsale. They never did and I bought my regular tickets when just a few weeks later the Jimmie Johnson Foundation package went on sale…so while the internal extensive planner in me was pleased to have my tickets, I was dissapointed. I was a little disappointed too because I thought we were sitting closer to the Start/Finish line then we were.
By the way- if you are a fan going to a track you have never been to before? I highly suggest calling to get your tickets instead of using the online ordering…they are more then willing to help you with selecting a good seat in the price range you are looking at. That’s just my thought.
The facilities at Las Vegas seemed just overall better cared for…the chairs and tables at Autoclub were generally filthy. I think my friend said it best: Have they not heard of a hose? My experience with the bathroom facilities were that the ones at Las Vegas were nicer and the lines were shorter (although that could just be the difference between a well timed potty break and not). The food was good at both facilities. I will give Auto Club the A+ for delivering beverages in the stand. There was always someone walking around selling beverages…that was nice.
Auto Club offered Pit Passes where Las Vegas offered garage tickets. I LOVED LOVED LOVED the Neon GARAGE passes for the Vegas race. They totally rocked. I loved being able to look in on the the garage stalls. I am pretty sure that for the teams it must be like hanging out in a fish bowl with all these people looking in on them. I spent nearly all of Friday in the Neon Garage….and had a total ball. The pit passes at Auto Club were ok on friday. It wasn’t well marked where you could and couldn’t go…and frankly I spent most of my time parked on a pedestrian bridge over by the exit of pit road taking pictures of the cars practicing. It definitely wasn’t as interactive. At least on Friday. Now I can’t tell you what Neon Garage was like on Sunday because I didn’t have sunday Neon Garage access, but I did have Sunday pit passes at California Speedway and that time rocked. We walked around on the track. We signed the start / finish line. We walked behind the pit boxes on pit row…watching them set up. BFM had her picture taken in Victory Lane. I took a couples picture in Victory Lane as well. It was just a fun time. I still think I preferred Neon Garage though.
The area that I call the Midway at each track was full of fun stuff. I liked that there was a big home depot facility at the California Speedway. I didn’t see one of those at Las Vegas- but then again- I didn’t walk through the whole area either.
My main complaint about my seats in California (I was sitting three sections to the right of the start/ finish line if you were facing the grandstands) is that I wasn’t high enough up to see the backstretch (I was probably just a bit shy of half way up). So once the cars went zooming off of corner two? I was lost and just waiting for them to come back into view in turn three. I have heard, however, this counts true for most of the seating at California. In Vegas I was sitting in the section between turns three and four…our seats favored turn four turn three (for those who saw Tony Stewart wreck in the spring race? Yeah that was right in front of me…he smacked the wall right in front of us and followed the curve all the through 4) I could see the entire track from my seats. I was third row from the top.My main complaint about these seats where that I couldn’t see much of the prerace activities except for the lap where the drivers stand in the beds of the pickups.
Parking is ample and free at both facilities. I will say that it took us over an hour to get out of the parking lot at Las Vegas. Lets just say we had time to watch some guys set up a table, grill their entire dinner, watch them sit at the table ad eat said dinner, then pack up…all while waiting to get out. At California we were out of the lot far quicker and probably sitting down to dinner at a diner in the same amount of time that it took us just to leave the parking lot at Las Vegas.
Overall I really did like both tracks and had a great time but I think I liked Las Vegas better.