A replacement circuit is under construction, with the Collins family co-owing the track. On February 7, 2007, the new track in Bakersfield broke ground. Ground naming rights are currently for sale and the new track, currently referred as "Kern County's New Home for NASCAR," is scheduled to open in 2008. Construction has stalled in 2008 because of financial issues, but officials are hopeful to have the track ready by the end of the year.
Many of its events were broadcast on television, including the 1995 Craftsman Truck Series race on ABC's Wide World of Sports, and also airing the NCTS on The Nashville Network and later ESPN, and featuring local races and both the NASCAR West Series and Southwest Tour (sanction of that tour changed to SRL in 2007) on Speed Channel and HDNet.
The advent of the 911 racing series "pitted" area firefighters, police, sheriff and other local agencies to race against each other at Mesa Marin and at the same time offer assistance to youth programs in the area.
It ran NASCAR-sanctioned local racing, including the NASCAR Camping World Series West, United States Auto Club open-wheel racing, the NASCAR Southwest Tour, and other notable local racing. Nearly 4 million spectators attended Mesa Marin Raceway over the original track's 29 year lifetime.
Mesa Marin is a recipient of the Beautiful Bakersfield Award for bringing national recognition to the City of Bakersfield. Of the 900 short tracks in the nation, Mesa Marin Raceway's October Classic was voted the Premiere Event of the Year by National Speed Sport News. The track was featured in the Truck series Expansion for NASCAR Racing 3.
The track will feature considerable differences with the old track; one notable difference will be the track becoming a progressively banked track, similar to its neighbour in the south, Irwindale Speedway, with a progressive banking starting at 12 degrees on the bottom and rising to 14 degrees at the top, with an uphill climb to the backstretch, ten feet higher than the pit straight for spectator visibility. Turns three and four will also be banked 12-14 degrees, and feature a ten-foot descent. An 1/8 mile drag strip and a 1/4 mile infield oval are slated.
The track is seeking a major sponsor for naming-rights to the facility that lies right next to the southbound lanes of Interstate-5 (Golden State Freeway) and Enos Lane, the major artery of transportation between San Francisco/northern California and Los Angeles/southern California. For now the track is referred as Kern River Raceweay.
During September 2007, the track announced rules for the 2008 season, the 30th season for the Collins family, and the first with the new track. The 29th October Classic is scheduled to return in 2008 with a $30,000 to win Late Model race with NASCAR Late Models, NASCAR Camping World Series West, and SRL Flashco Southwest Tour, and will have coverage from HDNet (NASCAR Camping World Series West) and Versus (SRL Late Models). The Camping World Series West race will end the 2008 season for that tour.
Currently the track construction has been delayed due to financial difficulties as well as issues with obtaining permits. The original opening date scheduled for June, 2008 has been delayed. The owners do hope to have the track completed in time for the October Classic.
KANKE LOGS TIME AT TOP COMING INTO RACE AT CNS, DRIVER HAS LED 184 LAPS IN A ROW IN SOUTHWEST TOUR EVENTS.(Motor Sports)
May 29, 1998; Byline: Scott Stocker Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer M.K. Kanke comes into Colorado National Speedway riding a streak that...