This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Was fascinated by an online conversation this afternoon that speculated about NASCAR building a short track on the site of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

Destruction has started and most think a high banked half-mile racetrack is in the future. But Irwindale Speedway is 35 miles away and bankruptcy in 2012 is in its bank stretch and the track has struggled for fans ever since.

Talk of an outlet mall with offshore money from Chinese investors went away when enough anchor stores couldn’t be found for the project. I’m told the track was built with expansion in mind so NASCAR could do worse than taking over that site.

The larger issue, though, is fan support. And if you doubt that, look at all the empty seats in Phoenix Sunday afternoon. And that was for a championship event.

The glory days of NASCAR might be over in America’s Southwest, at least for the foreseeable future. Especially when you learn that development loans in California are costing eight to nine percent right now.
That’s a guarantee of failure with Southern California race fans spending money elsewhere.

Maybe there’s just too much to do from the desert to the sea in America’s Southwest to sit for four hours and watch… well you know the rest.