Ameriquest, whose signs have become familiar at ballparks across the nation, is venturing into NASCAR for the first time. Its previous involvement with motor sports was as an associate sponsor for drag racing entries owned by Don “The Snake” Prudhomme. In addition to Busch regulars – the 150-lap race starts at 5 p.m. – the race will include Nextel Cup drivers Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth. Adrian Fernandez, a two-time open-wheel winner at the track, will make his stock car oval racing debut. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 It is big for both sides. For the Orange-based mortgage lender, it’s an opportunity to tap into the most loyal fan base in the country. For the racing industry, and the Fontana track specifically, it’s another new major sponsor. “NASCAR racing is a national phenomenon appealing to a broad range of fans across America,” said Brian Woods, Ameriquest chief marketing officer. “The Ameriquest 300 offers us a great platform to strategically communicate our brand, our services and our positioning to NASCAR fans.” For the track, it means all three races will have new sponsors this year. The Sunday evening Nextel Cup race will carry the Sony HD 500 tag, and the Grand National West race on Friday night will be called – deep breath – the Relocate Here 200 presented by San Bernardino County. … Dale Earnhardt might be more popular now than ever. Las Vegas Motor Speedway general manager Chris Powell helped unveil a $200,000 wax likeness of the late seven-time NASCAR champion at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. Earnhardt is depicted standing in victory lane, complete with sunglasses. Visitors to the venue will be able to stand next to the figure and be photographed. Either before or after the glamour shot with Elvis. … You have to give the front office at Perris Auto Speedway high marks for creativity, but maybe not political correctness, in its effort to attract Saturday night fans. This week, any adult customer wearing a skirt will be admitted for $5 and be able to buy $1 hot dogs and $2 beer. Not just women, but any man who wants to participate in “Hot August Skirt Night.” … Jeremy Mayfield is fifth in the NASCAR Nextel Cup point standings, but seemingly off everyone’s radar screen. His victory Sunday at Michigan International Speedway helped elevate his profile. A former winner at Fontana, Mayfield might be the most underestimated driver in NASCAR. “I feel that way, but the good thing about it is that it’s something that doesn’t bother me,” Mayfield said this week. “I can go with the flow with a lot of things. As far as on the race track, car for car, driver for driver, I feel like I’m as good as any driver out there driving a race car, and that’s the way I should feel. “The problem I’ve got with it is people want to throw off on just me or say I’m not focused or I don’t drive like I used to drive. That’s not right. That’s what irritates me more than anything. We’re gaining respect. “I’m as much focused now as I’ve ever been, and I feel like I’m a better driver than I’ve ever been. Yet, nobody seems to realize that.” Louis Brewster covers motor racing. His notebook appears on Thursday. He can be reached at (909) 386-3935 or [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Clearing out a very crowded notebook for the return of NASCAR to Southern California in a week. Just how important is the Southern California market for Corporate America? Enough for one of the country’s largest mortgage lenders to sponsor a NASCAR Busch Series race Sept. 3 at California Speedway.