Southwest Bakersfield

Drivers test out new half-mile track at Kern County Raceway Park

Drivers test out new half-mile track at Kern County Raceway Park »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- Drivers took advantage of the first test run Saturday at the new Kern County Raceway Park which is set to open to the public May 4. 

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Brian Richardson said he felt like a little kid at the practice session. "It's awesome," said Richardson. "It's a dream having this track back in Kern County."

The grandstand holds about 5,000 people. Track officials expect 70 to 100 cars on the track each weekend with up to six divisions in NASCAR-sanctioned racing that will run through late October.

Kern County hasn't had a NASCAR sanctioned track since 2003 in the now-defunct Mesa Marin Raceway.

The new park will also provide hundreds of part-time jobs.

Another test and tune session is planned Saturday, April 20. There are no fees for cars, but pit passes for drivers and crews are $40. Teams should arrive by 10 a.m. to get checked in and set up before the track goes hot at noon.