June 22, 1997 |
Roger Penske has had a long winning record in Southern California. In 1963, a promising East Coast sports car driver not long out of Lehigh with a business degree, he came West and won the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside International Raceway. In the 1970s, as a fledgling car owner, he put American Motors cars in the winner's circle in 1973 at Riverside with Mark Donohue, 1974 at Ontario Motor Speedway and again in 1975 at Riverside with Bobby Allison.
November 27, 1995 |
From Les Richter's California Speedway headquarters in the Empire Towers, he can look out his eighth-story window and see remnants of the late Ontario Motor Speedway--a few yards of dirt berm along what was the old front straightaway. Richter is the project manager for Roger Penske, who is planning to build a $70-million motor racing facility less than three miles from the Ontario track. The irony is not lost on Walt Czarnecki, president of Penske Speedway Inc.
September 7, 1990 |
Twenty years ago Thursday, the first California 500 for Indy cars was run at Ontario Motor Speedway before 180,233 spectators, called at the time the largest attendance at any sporting event in California. Jim McElreath, driving a backup Coyote-Ford owned by A.J. Foyt, won the race at an average speed of 160.106 m.p.h. and collected $156,000 from a purse of $727,500. The attendance, the speed and the payoff were never bettered at Ontario.
July 13, 1986
Last traces of the Ontario Motor Speedway are giving way as giant earthmovers scrape away 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt while leveling the once-famous grandstand's earthen berms. In preparation for construction of Chevron Land & Development Co.'s 673-acre Ontario Center, removal of the berms will take an estimated two months at a cost of about L$1.8 million.
January 9, 1986 |
Talk at the start of most racing seasons revolves around who is going to drive what kind of car and for whom, and who has a new sponsor. Not this year. Most of the bench talk at the start of the 1986 season centers on where there will be racing next year. Riverside International Raceway, one of the most famous road racing circuits in the world, is closing in November and as yet no new site has been found to replace it.
August 14, 1985 |
The Inland Empire boom is most visible at the western end of Riverside and San Bernardino counties--in Chino, Corona, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and other communities close to the rapidly expanding Ontario International Airport. The growth of the airport--passenger traffic rose by one-third in the last five years, while there was a thirtyfold increase in cargo volume--has spurred residential, commercial and industrial development in the nearby region, which is fast losing its rural character.