The MAVTV 500 was an IndyCar Series race held at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The event represented a continuous lineage of open wheel oval racing in the Southern California-area that dates back to 1970. Since 2012, the event had been sponsored by MAVTV, a motorsports cable channel owned by Lucas Oil.
|Verizon IndyCar Series|
|Venue||Auto Club Speedway (1997–2005, 2012–2015)|
|Corporate sponsor||Marlboro (1997–2001)|
King Taco (2003)
Lucas Oil (2012–2015)
|First ICS race||2002|
|Distance||500 mi (800 km) – 1997–2002 CART, 2012–2015 IRL|
400 mi (640 km) – 2002–2005, IRL
250 (1997–2003, 2012–2015)
|Previous names||Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota (1997, 1999–2001)|
Yamaha Indy 400 (2002 IRL)
The 500 presented by Toyota (1998 & 2002 CART)
King Taco 500 (2003 CART)
Toyota Indy 400 (2003–2005)
MAVTV 500 (2012–2015)
|Most wins (driver)||Sam Hornish Jr. (2)|
Adrian Fernández (2)
|Most wins (team)||Chip Ganassi Racing (2)|
Newman-Haas Racing (2)
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (2)
Panther Racing (2)
|Most wins (manufacturer)||Chassis: Dallara (7)|
Engine: Chevrolet (5)
For many years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the race served as the season finale for the CART series. From 2012-2014, it served as the finale for the IndyCar Series.
In 2015, the race was moved to June. Despite several journalists calling the 2015 edition one of the best IndyCar races, the race did not return on the schedule for 2016.
CART renewed the 500-mile oval race in 1997 at the newly built California Speedway in Fontana, California. The new track was built just 4 miles (6.4 km) from the previous Ontario Motor Sppedway where the California 500 was held beteween 1970 to 1980. Indy car races were also held at nearby Riverside, but only from 1967–1969 (prior to the opening of Ontario) and again from 1981–1983 (after Ontario closed).
The Fontana race was held under the moniker Marlboro 500, and served as the CART season finale. This event was held through 2002. The race became known for closed-course record speeds, and fast and competitive racing, owing much to the track's width.
Along with the popular Long Beach Grand Prix, the Southern California area featured two major open wheel CART races annually for a time.
Indy Racing League / IndyCarEdit
In 2002, the IRL IndyCar Series added a 400-mile race to the facility. Fontana became the first facility to host races from both rival open wheel series (CART and IRL), although the race distance was different (500 vs 400 miles). The Toyota Indy 400 was held through 2005. However, crowds dwindled, and the event was removed from the calendar.
The now-unified IndyCar Series returned to Fontana for the 2012 season with a 500-mile fall night race under the lights. The race served as the season finale from 2012-2014. For 2015, the race was moved to June.
Closed-course speed recordsEdit
Two world closed course speed records were established in qualifying for the CART event. Maurício Gugelmin, driving a Reynard/Mercedes established a one-lap time of 30.316 seconds (average speed of 240.942 miles per hour (387.759 km/h) in 1997. At the time, CART officials recognized the track measurement as 2.029 miles (3.265 km). Gugelimin had furthermore turned an unofficial lap of 242.333 miles per hour (389.997 km/h) during the morning practice.
On October 28, 2000, Gil de Ferran of Penske Racing topped Gugelmin's time driving a Reynard/Honda. The lap time by de Ferran was 30.255 seconds at an average speed of 241.428 miles per hour (388.541 km/h). Using the more common track measurement of 2.0 miles, de Ferran's lap translated into an average speed of 237.977 miles per hour (382.987 km/h).
- In 2002, the 500-mile CART series race averaged 197.995 mph, and stood as the fastest 500-mile race in history (either open wheel cars or stock cars) for a dozen years. The record stood until the 2014 Pocono 500.
- The 2003 IRL/IndyCar race was the fastest circuit race ever in motorsport history, with an average speed of 207.151 mph (333.306 km/h) over 400 miles (643.737kmh).
|Season||Date||Driver||Team||Chassis||Engine||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|PPG CART World Series/FedEx Championship|
|1997||September 28||Mark Blundell||PacWest Racing||Reynard||Mercedes-Benz||250||500 (804.672)||3:02:42||166.575||Report|
|1998||November 1||Jimmy Vasser||Chip Ganassi Racing||Reynard||Honda||250||500 (804.672)||3:17:54||153.785||Report|
|1999||October 31||Adrián Fernández||Patrick Racing||Reynard||Ford-Cosworth||250||500 (804.672)||2:57:17||171.666||Report|
|2000||October 30||Christian Fittipaldi||Newman-Haas Racing||Lola||Ford-Cosworth||250||500 (804.672)||3:38:04||139.563||Report|
|2001||November 4||Cristiano da Matta||Newman-Haas Racing||Lola||Toyota||220*||440 (708.111)||2:59:39||149.073||Report|
|2002||November 3||Jimmy Vasser||Team Rahal||Lola||Ford-Cosworth||250||500 (804.672)||2:33:42||197.995||Report|
|2003||November 9||Cancelled due to wildfires in the San Bernardino Mountains.||Report|
|Indy Racing League/Verizon IndyCar Series|
|2002||March 24||Sam Hornish Jr.||Panther Racing||Dallara||Chevrolet||200||400 (643.737)||2:13:49||179.345||Report|
|2003||September 21||Sam Hornish Jr.||Panther Racing||Dallara||Chevrolet||200||400 (643.737)||1:55:51||207.151||Report|
|2004||October 3||Adrian Fernández||Aguri-Fernández Racing||G-Force||Honda||200||400 (643.737)||2:14:13||178.826||Report|
|2005||October 16||Dario Franchitti||Andretti Green Racing||Dallara||Honda||200||400 (643.737)||2:22:23||168.567||Report|
|2012||September 15||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara||Chevrolet||250||500 (804.672)||2:57:34||168.939||Report|
|2013||October 19||Will Power||Penske Racing||Dallara||Chevrolet||250||500 (804.672)||3:13:43||154.867||Report|
|2014||August 30||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Chevrolet||250||500 (804.672)||2:32:58||196.111||Report|
|2015||June 27||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Dallara||Honda||250||500 (804.672)||2:57:41||168.846||Report|
- 2001: Race started late because of rain and was shortened because of darkness.
Firestone Indy LightsEdit
|Season||Date||Driver||Chassis||Engine||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed|
|Auto Club Speedway|
|1997||September 27||Clint Mears||Lola||Buick||50||100 (160.934)||0:52:16||116.467|
|1998||October 31||Mark Hotchkis||Lola||Buick||50||100 (160.934)||0:39:41||153.395|
|1999||October 30||Jonny Kane||Lola||Buick||50||100 (160.934)||0:46:52||129.902|
|2000||October 29||Scott Dixon||Lola||Buick||50||100 (160.934)||0:33:08||183.672|
|2001||November 4||Townsend Bell||Lola||Buick||44*||88 (141.622)||0:29:23||182.334|
|2003||September 20||Mark Taylor||Dallara||Infiniti||50||100 (160.934)||0:41:14||145.536|
|2004||October 2||James Chesson||Dallara||Infiniti||50||100 (160.934)||0:40:51||146.894|
|2005||October 16||Wade Cunningham||Dallara||Infiniti||50||100 (160.934)||0:43:07||139.17|
|2012||September 15||Carlos Muñoz||Dallara||Infiniti||50||100 (160.934)||0:37:38||159.41|
|2013||October 19||Carlos Muñoz||Dallara||Infiniti||50||100 (160.934)||0:32:10||186.552|
- 2001: Race shortened due to time limit.
- (IZOD IndyCar) Series Returning to Fontana in 2012 Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
- A.M. Briefing -- Gugelmin Record: Lap At 240.942 Mph
- "De FERRAN SETS NEW WORLD CLOSED COURSE RECORD, ADDS CRUCIAL POINT TO FedEx CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES LEAD BY TAKING POLE FOR MARLBORO 500 PRESENTED BY TOYOTA". SpeedCenter. October 28, 2000. Archived from the original on 7 January 2001. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
- Humason, John (October 29, 2003). "Champ Car season ends early due to California fires". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 20 June 2010.