The Famoso Raceway dragstrip is located north of Bakersfield, California, and is known historically as the home to the annual March Meet, also known as the U.S. Fuel and Gas Championships. The strip, located on Famoso Road between Highway 99 and Highway 65 east of the Highway 99 and Highway 46 interchange, was originally built in World War II as an auxiliary training base for the nearby Army Air Corps training base at Shafter's Minter Field. After World War II, the Army abandoned the field. It was in the 1950s that an aspiring group of drag racing pioneers from the Bakersfield area, the Bakersfield Smokers, purchased the strip and made the necessary adjustments to allow for drag racing. The Famoso Raceway hosted the first ever March Meet in 1959 and it helped establish the fledgling National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) legitimacy.
Today the Famoso Raceway still hosts the March Meet but it is now strictly a nostalgic hot rod and dragster event. The track also hosts fuel-altered events and the annual California Hot Rod Reunion in October as well as a high school racing series and other smaller events. It is run by the Kern County Racing Association, Inc. with major sponsorship from the Automobile Club of Southern California, which also sponsors NASCAR and NHRA events and tracks throughout Southern California.
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