Skip to content

Pia Toscano, Billy Ray Cyrus and Elvis (kind of) have Auto Club Speedway president excited

Mar 21, 2014, 3:26 PM EDT

Singer/actress Pia Toscano will sing the National Anthem before Sunday's Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (Photo courtesy Auto Club Speedway) Singer/actress Pia Toscano will sing the National Anthem before Sunday's Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. (Photo courtesy Auto Club Speedway)

Auto Club Speedway track president Gillian Zucker’s personality makes her typically one excited individual — but she’s gone to almost a hyper-speed level of excitement this weekend.

Sure, she’s hosting about 75,000-plus fans at Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Auto Club 400 at the ultra-wide, two-mile Southern California track.

But Zucker has a ton more activities that will encompass the entire race weekend.

Look at Sunday’s lineup alone: potential line dancing to Billy Ray Cyrus (thankfully, without daughter Miley) during a pre-race concert, Pia Toscana singing the National Anthem, the Muppets’ Great Gonzo as grand marshal (and he’ll make his entry being shot out of a cannon) and Olympic medalist skier Bode Miller and volleyball pro wife Morgan will serve as honorary race starters.

And then there’s the – literally – the piece de resistance: Elvis imitators selling chicken pieces in a brand new and aptly-named track restaurant, “Love Me, Tender” (as in the top thing on the menu, chicken tenders).

Oh yeah, and there’ll be a NASCAR Sprint Cup race to boot, on what its track president calls “almost unquestionably the best surface in NASCAR.”

Zucker has so much going that she’ll wax effusively and tell anyone who’ll ask.

One of those was KERN radio morning host Scott Cox, who spent nearly 15 minutes on-air with Zucker Thursday on the Bakersfield, Calif. station’s “First Look” program.

(FYI, Bakersfield is also the home town of NASCAR stars Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears).

Check out the video version of Zucker’s interview with Cox below, and you might want to take notes because we don’t think there’s anything she missed – and there’s lots to remember – about this weekend’s fun-filled weekend.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Latest Posts
  1. Honda unveils new 2015 Accord safety car

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:11 PM EDT

    Photo: Honda Photo: Honda

    Honda takes the wraps off the new Accord safety car.

  2. Indy Lights: Pigot powers to pole in Barber

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:02 PM EDT

    Photo: Indy Lights Photo: Indy Lights

    Pigot scores his first Indy Lights pole at Barber.

  3. Formula E: Di Grassi anticipating “massive” Monaco ePrix

    Apr 24, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

    AUTO-FORMULAE-URU-RACE Getty Images

    Formula E’s championship leader looks ahead to his adopted home race in Monaco on May 9.

  4. Palmer comfortable in Lotus reserve role after FP1 run-outs

    Apr 24, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Practice Getty Images

    2014 GP2 champion reflects on the opening four races of the year with Lotus.

  5. WSR: Comtec pulls out of first Formula Renault 3.5 round, parts company with Regalia after three days

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    © GP2 Series © GP2 Series

    Grid falls to 20 cars for the Formula Renault 3.5 opener in Spain this weekend.

  6. Report: Indian government recognizes national motorsport federation, aiding F1 hopes

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of India - Race Getty Images

    The Indian Grand Prix was last held in 2013 at the Buddh International Circuit.

  7. WEC: Rene Rast looking forward to LMP1 debut with Audi

    Apr 24, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT

    Blancpain GT Sprint Series - Brands Hatch Getty Images

    Audi and Porsche will field three cars for the next two races of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

  8. Horner: Newey still highly influential at Red Bull

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Qualifying Getty Images

    Red Bull has made a slow start to the 2015 season due to a variety of problems with the RB11 car.

  9. Maldonado upbeat ahead of F1’s European leg

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ESP-TEST Getty Images

    Venezuelan driver currently bottom of the table after just one finish in four races.

  10. Preview: Barber marks end of IndyCar’s first quarter of 2015 (VIDEO)

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:05 AM EDT

    Barber Getty Images

    To reference the Smashing Pumpkins, Barber is the beginning of the end of the beginning for IndyCar 2015.

  11. Mazda Road to Indy: Andretti down to one driver in Indy Lights

    Apr 23, 2015, 7:50 PM EDT

    ShelbyBlackstock

    Andretti Autosport’s Mazda Road to Indy program goes to Barber Motorsports Park with one less Indy Lights entry.

  12. Graham Rahal hopes to build on consistent 2015 at Barber

    Apr 23, 2015, 6:38 PM EDT

    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Getty Images

    Graham Rahal aims to continue consistent success of one-car team at Barber Motorsports Park.

  13. Ryan Hunter-Reay looks to right 2015 season by completing winning trilogy at Barber Motorsports Park

    Apr 23, 2015, 5:05 PM EDT

    Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Getty Images

    Ryan Hunter-Reay looks to turn season around at track he’s won last two races at.

  14. Formula E set for a full house at Monaco as tickets sell out

    Apr 23, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Nelson Piquet Jr. AP

    For a series that is in its inaugural year, Formula E is having little trouble in getting fans through the gate as it prepares to hit European shores for the first time.

  15. As GP2 turns 10 years old, where is the Class of ’05 now?

    Apr 23, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    © GP2 Series © GP2 Series

    Luke Smith takes a look at the humble beginnings of what has turned into F1’s most prolific supplier of drivers, and takes a look at where the 2005 grid is now.

  16. GP3: Pal Varhaug quickest in final pre-season test

    Apr 23, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    © GP3 Series © GP3 Series

    The new GP3 season kicks off in support of the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

  17. Steve Torrence NHRA Team aligns with Chris Kyle Frog Foundation

    Apr 23, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT

    NHRA team joins forces with non-profit dedicated to Chris Kyle

  18. Lotus to conduct filming day at Brands Hatch next week

    Apr 23, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Qualifying Getty Images

    F1 to return to the former host of the British and European Grands Prix for one day only.

  19. Bottas confident Williams can cut gap to Mercedes and Ferrari

    Apr 23, 2015, 12:20 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain Getty Images

    Finnish driver believes that Williams’ upgrade package for the Spanish Grand Prix will draw it closer to Mercedes and Ferrari at the front.

  20. Vettel becomes patron of new German F4 championship

    Apr 23, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Australian F1 Grand Prix Getty Images

    Vettel pays homage to where it all started for him at the bottom of the single seater ladder in Germany.