By Jim Steinberg / Staff writer
Published: March 25, 2017 Updated: 3:39 p.m.
FONTANA >> The infield of the Auto Club Speedway during race weekend hosts some 1,900 recreational vehicles, more than 10,000 people, almost as many bicycles, makeshift bars and lounging areas, as well as outdoor cooking paraphernalia of all imaginable shapes and sizes.
Eclectic doesn’t begin to describe the assortment of roosting areas on recreational vehicle rooftops, the odd assortment of flags flying above campsites, and games being played in campsite “yards.”
“Let’s have a party,” said Brandon “Brando” VanScoy of La Mirada, who operates an improvised bar with two kinds of beers for adults and a choice of three non-alcoholic fruit drinks for kids — all free for anyone who stops by during the Auto Club 400 race weekend.
The RVs began to load in and claim their spots in the infield Thursday morning, and campers stay throughout the whole weekend. The NASCAR XFINITY NXS 300 race takes place on Saturday, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 is on Sunday.
In the infield, the beanbag toss might be one of the more popular games of skill, but some bring their own artificial grass “carpeting” to hone putting and chip shot skills.
Non-mechanized transportation modes include bicycles trending towards bright neon shades, some with thin tires, but many more with wide, very fat and fatter still treads.
There are tricycles, some with side-by-side seats, and there was even one self-propelled thickly padded lounge chair.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of professional race car driving on the site of the former Kaiser Steel Mill near Fontana.
And for the avid race fans of the Fernie and Lillian Guzman family of Fontana, the historic site has a very special meaning.
Lillian Guzman said her father worked on a Fontana pig farm on land that became the steel mill. He then became a crane operator at the steel mill.
And the family of Fontana natives hasn’t missed a race since the speedway opened, she said.
Neil Reynolds, Jr., 18, of Rancho Cucamonga came into the world going to the speedway, and he hasn’t missed a race since his birth.