Auto Club Speedway’s President Gillian Zucker Talks All Things ACS
For those of you who may not be familiar with folks who run and manage racetrack venues, Auto Club Speedway President Gillian Zucker is the first female president of a track that hosts auto racing’s most popular event, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and was recently named by FOX Sports and MSN as one of the top five most powerful women in motorsports.
The Verizon IndyCar Series will be holding their third championship season ending, double points paying, 500 mile race at Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, with the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships – this coming weekend, ending at night, under the lights, Saturday, August 30.
Gillian Zucker, Welcome …
1) First off, what training and background does one have to have to become a person to occupy a position as president of a major racing facility? What road did you travel to get at this point?
2) Just what was the interest in this challenge – are you a fan? a good business manager, both?
3) In this economic climate … what are the challenges to drawing fans from the greater Los Angeles/Orange County basin for NASCAR and IndyCar?
4) There are other forms of racing held at Auto Club Speedway – for example, most people seem to think the only drag-racing that takes place in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County basin is another Auto Club sponsored facility in Pomona, but there are actually a couple more … and Auto Club Speedway is one. Please tell us more about the drag-racing program at Auto Club Speedway’s Auto Club Dragway – how professional is the activity?
5) Another program at Auto Club Speedway is a bit more fan interactive – Exotics Racing gives one the opportunity to drive their choice of exotic super cars on a race track with 1-on-1 coaching from driving instructors! How has the Ëxotics Racing¨venture worked out so far?
6) The facility at Auto Club Speedway has a large infield, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Indy 500 is held, has successfully transformed its infield into a very compelling road course race track reminiscent of the layout pace found at the track in Portland Oregon … is Auto Club Speedway planning on attracting professional sport-car racing through a road course addition as IMS has done?
7) The IndyCar competitors resoundingly enjoy testing and racing at Auto Club Speedway but for 2015, the series management is considering different options for a venue to hold the season finale … given the banter in the broadcast booth during the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma –
Do you see the Verizon IndyCar Series remaining on the calendar as the season finale? … or any date, for the foreseeable future?
8) Lastly, what do fans need to be on the look out for while attending MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships – this coming weekend?
… notes from The EDJE