Mesa Marin Raceway held fond memories, local pride, and unforgettable moments in Bakersfield history. After the closing of the speedway in 2005 due to a change in property owners, race fans from near and far were filled with anger and disappointment.
In 2006 a plan for a new race track off of Emos Lane near Taft Highway came about and had Bakersfield buzzing. The project was set to be finished in 2008, but the construction came to a stop due to the economic crash that took place that year.
Finally after years of anticipation enough money was generated from the new track owners and investors to move ahead towards the completion of the speedway. The new track, Kern County Raceway, is set to open May 4th. The new speedway is on Raceway Boulevard just off of the I-5 near Taft High and Emos Lane. According to the raceway web site, it has many exciting events planned. The track will be hosting a variety of racecars including NASCAR pro late models and mini stock cars just to name a few.
“There has even been talk among the track owners of bringing in big music acts on nights when races aren’t scheduled,” said Ron Jackson, one of the men involved in finishing the construction of the track.
“If that ends up coming through it would be a great way to generate a crowd of not only race fans, but music lovers as well,” Says Jackson.
Admission varies with the events being held, but so far do not exceed $30 for general admission. Although we still have the dirt track Speedway off of Chester Ave in north Bakersfield, or as locals call it the “Okie Bowl”, the new raceway will bring another form of racing to the table. Great things are expected from this new development, as news of its opening has been all over news articles, internet blogs, and Facebook. Finally Bakersfield will once again have the chance to come out with friends and family, enjoy good food and cold drinks, feel the wind carried from the momentum of the cars, smell the rubber from the tires, and feel the adrenaline from the intensity of the race.
“ I couldn’t be more excited for the grand opening of the new track, Bakersfield has been missing this kind of attraction for too long now.” Said Josh Jackson, Bakersfield local and motorsports enthusiast.
“Mesa Marin was such a great time, it seems like everyone has childhood memories from out there and I’m glad that the next generation will be able to have it as well.” Added Jackson.
Saturday, May 4th at Kern County Raceway will be night to remember for our community. The opening ceremonies will include an air show with skydivers as well as some surprise entertainment, but most of all a great night of racing!