Nationwide Series -- Race No. 30 -- Copart 300
California Speedway (2.0-mile oval) – Fontana, Calif.
Fast Facts for October 9-11, 2009
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Nationwide: Left-side – 575; Right-side – 575
Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4132; Right-side -- D-4150
Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.3 in.; Right-side -- 88.6 in.
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 48 psi; Right Rear -- 45 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 22 psi; Left Rear -- 20 psi;
Right Front -- 45 psi; Right Rear -- 43 psi
Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires at California this weekend . . . this is the same tire combination that teams in these two series ran at California earlier this season and at Kansas last weekend . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at California . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Logano wins at California: #20-Joey Logano won the Copart 300 at Auto Club Speedway, holding off #32-Brian Vickers on a green-white-checker finish. It his fourth win of the season and he's the first back-to-back race winner this year. #60 Carl Edwards finished 3rd. The rest of the top 10: #33-Kevin Harvick, #88-Brad Keselowski, #15-Michael Annett, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #1-David Gilliland, #6-Daivd Ragan, and #27-Jason Keller. Point leader #18-Kyle Busch, suffering from the flu, got out of the car on lap 37 and was replaced by Denny Hamlin. Hamlin was leading the race with 10 to go when it was involved in an accident with #16-Greg Biffle. He finished in 31st and the points were credited to Busch, because he started the race. There were 10 cautions for 37 laps and 15 lead changes among 8 leaders.(10-10-2009)
Auto Club Speedway Race Fast Facts:
Joey Logano won the Copart 300, his sixth victory in 38 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his fifth victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2009. It is the first time Logano has won two consecutive series races.
This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in three races at Auto Club Speedway.
Brian Vickers (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his 10th top-10 finish in 2009.
Carl Edwards (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in ten races at Auto Club Speedway.
Michael Annett (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie. This is Annett's best career finish (seventh at Kentucky Speedway on June 10, 2009)
Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 155 points over Carl Edwards.
|1||1||20||Joey Logano||GameStop/Brutal Legend Toyota||152||190||5||$95,670||Running||3||20|
|2||5||32||Brian Vickers||Dollar General Stores Toyota||152||175||5||$63,950||Running||1||11|
|3||16||60||Carl Edwards||Valvoline Ford||152||170||5||$46,925||Running||1||11|
|4||10||33||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Tankless Chevy||152||160||$37,800||Running|
|5||7||88||Brad Keselowski||GoDaddy Chevy||152||160||5||$38,018||Running||4||27|
|6||24||15||Michael Annett #||Germain Racing Toyota||152||150||$42,643||Running|
|7||18||62||Brendan Gaughan #||5-hour Energy ES Chevy||152||146||$35,603||Running|
|8||6||1||David Gilliland||Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort Chevy||152||142||$35,213||Running|
|9||9||6||David Ragan||America's Tire Ford||152||138||$27,125||Running|
|10||13||27||Jason Keller||Cottonelle/Stater Bros. Ford||152||134||$33,593||Running|
|11||22||98||Paul Menard||Richmond/Menards Ford||152||130||$25,800||Running|
|12||21||0||Jeremy Clements||Saxon Group Chevy||152||127||$25,225||Running|
|13||8||81||Mike Bliss||MacDonald Motorsports Dodge||152||124||$31,718||Running|
|14||14||16||Greg Biffle||CitiFinancial Ford||152||126||5||$24,150||Running||2||15|
|15||25||01||Mike Wallace||sponsordavis.com Chevy||152||123||5||$33,943||Running||1||1|
|16||3||12||Justin Allgaier #||Verizon Wireless Dodge||152||115||$30,918||Running|
|17||23||09||John Wes Townley #||Zaxby's Ford||152||112||$30,043||Running|
|18||32||23||Kevin Conway||Extenze Chevy||152||109||$29,918||Running|
|19||11||11||Trevor Bayne||Ridemakerz Toyota||152||106||$29,768||Running|
|20||39||34||Tony Raines||Long John Silver's Chevy||152||108||5||$30,493||Running||1||1|
|21||40||40||Scott Wimmer||StopRepairBills.com Chevy||152||100||$29,518||Running|
|22||19||83||John Borneman III||Borneman Plastering/Twisted X Boots Ford||152||97||$22,925||Running|
|23||12||10||Brian Scott||AccuDoc Solutions Toyota||152||94||$29,643||Running|
|24||41||28||Kenny Wallace||U.S. Border Patrol Chevy||152||91||$29,118||Running|
|25||36||61||Matthew Carter||Specialty Racing Ford||152||88||$29,143||Running|
|26||29||29||Clint Bowyer||Holiday Inn Chevy||152||85||$23,400||Running|
|27||4||99||Scott Speed||Red Bull Toyota||152||82||$22,800||Running|
|28||42||24||Eric McClure||Hefty Ford||152||79||$28,568||Running|
|29||15||66||Steve Wallace||USfidelis Chevy||152||76||$28,443||Running|
|30||17||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips Toyota||149||73||$28,618||Running|
|31||2||18||Kyle Busch||Z-Line Designs Toyota||141||80||10||$22,770||Accident||3||66|
|32||38||26||Michael McDowell #||AT&T the Real Yellow Pages Dodge||124||67||$28,053||Accident|
|33||43||89||Morgan Shepherd||Lagina Plumbing/Eldora Speedway Chevy||101||64||$27,943||Engine|
|34||20||07||Danny O'Quinn Jr.||Dynamic Technology, Inc./Hampton Inn Chevy||44||61||$27,833||Transmission|
|35||34||49||Mark Green||GetMoreVacations.com Chevy||42||58||$27,728||Handling|
|36||28||96||Dennis Setzer||Fischer Honda Dodge||40||55||$21,225||Overheating|
|37||30||87||Joe Nemechek||NEMCO Motorsports Chevy||31||52||$27,658||Transmission|
|38||37||41||Kevin Hamlin||ThirstBuster/Fuel Doctor Chevy||9||49||$21,135||Rear End|
|39||27||73||Derrike Cope||Derrike Cope Inc. Dodge||7||46||$21,095||Vibration|
|40||31||78||Kevin Lepage||CKM Dodge||6||43||$21,065||Driveshaft|
|41||35||91||Terry Cook #||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||5||40||$21,030||Rear End|
|42||33||90||Johnny Chapman||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||4||37||$20,990||Transmission|
|43||26||47||Chase Miller||ConstructionJobs.com Toyota||3||34||$27,400||Brakes|
|5.||Justin Allgaier #||25||3505||-1304||30|
|9.||Brendan Gaughan #||25||3285||-1524||30|
|10.||Michael McDowell #||10||3091||-1718||30|
|11.||Michael Annett #||20||3054||-1755||30|
|19.||Scott Lagasse Jr.||5||2194||-2615||21|
|20.||Danny O'quinn Jr.||0||2141||-2668||27|
|27.||John Wes Townley #||5||1573||-3236||21|
|41.||Robert Richardson Jr.||0||1096||-3713||13|
|46.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||10||901||-3908||7|
|50.||Bobby Hamilton Jr.||0||846||-3963||9|
|55.||Terry Cook #||0||704||-4105||17|
|61.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||10||634||-4175||6|
|62.||D J Kennington||0||625||-4184||7|
|70.||John Borneman III||0||458||-4351||5|
|81.||Ron Hornaday Jr.||5||293||-4516||2|
|83.||Martin Truex Jr.||0||265||-4544||2|
|86.||J C Stout||0||239||-4570||5|
|92.||J R Fitzpatrick||0||191||-4618||2|
|104.||Jean Francois Dumoulin||0||146||-4663||1|
|112.||Victor Gonzalez Jr.||0||121||-4688||1|
|119.||J J Yeley||0||100||-4709||1|
|147.||Jennifer Jo Cobb||0||0||-4809||0|
|3||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||88||4,582|
|22||Curtis Key Sr.||40||2,771|
|37||Mary Louise Miller||70||1,563|
|48||John Borneman Jr.||83||458|
Logano on pole at Dover: #20-Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole for the Copart 300 at Auto Club Speedway with a speed of 181.164 mph. It is his 4th Nationwide pole of the season. #18-Kyle Busch will start second. The rest of the top 10: #12-Justin Allgaier, #99-Scott Speed, #32-Brian Vickers, #1-David Gilliland, #88-Brad keselowski, #81-Mike Bliss, #6-David Ragan and #33-Kevin Harvick. Did Not Qualify: #31-Stanton Barrett, #44-Jarit Johnson, and #05-Casey Mears.(10-10-2009)
|1||20||Joey Logano||GameStop/Brutal Legend Toyota||39.743||181.164|
|2||18||Kyle Busch||Z-Line Designs Toyota||39.817||180.827|
|3||12||Justin Allgaier #||Verizon Wireless Dodge||40.157||179.296|
|4||99||Scott Speed||Red Bull Toyota||40.213||179.047|
|5||32||Brian Vickers||Dollar General Stores Toyota||40.281||178.744|
|6||1||David Gilliland||Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort||40.346||178.456|
|7||88||Brad Keselowski||GoDaddy Chevy||40.348||178.448|
|8||81||Mike Bliss||MacDonald Motorsports Dodge||40.357||178.408|
|9||6||David Ragan||America's Tire Ford||40.474||177.892|
|10||33||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Tankless Chevy||40.478||177.874|
|11||11||Trevor Bayne||Ridemakerz Toyota||40.478||177.874|
|12||10||Brian Scott||AccuDoc Solutions Toyota||40.505||177.756|
|13||27||Jason Keller||Cottonelle/Stater Bros. Ford||40.506||177.751|
|14||16||Greg Biffle||CitiFinancial Ford||40.516||177.708|
|15||66||Steve Wallace||USfidelis Chevy||40.526||177.664|
|16||60||Carl Edwards||Valvoline Ford||40.549||177.563|
|17||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips Toyota||40.776||176.574|
|18||62||Brendan Gaughan #||5-hour Energy ES Chevy||40.782||176.548|
|19||83||John Borneman III||Borneman Plastering/Twisted X Boots Ford||40.783||176.544|
|20||07||Danny O'Quinn Jr.||Dynamic Tech/Hampton Inn Chevy||40.847||176.268|
|21||0||Jeremy Clements||Saxon Group Chevy||40.873||176.155|
|22||98||Paul Menard||Richmond/Menards Ford||40.899||176.043|
|23||09||John Wes Townley #||Zaxby's Ford||40.900||176.039|
|24||15||Michael Annett #||Germain Racing Toyota||40.950||175.824|
|25||01||Mike Wallace||sponsordavis.com Chevy||40.950||175.824|
|26||47||Chase Miller||ConstructionJobs.com Toyota||40.954||175.807|
|27||73||Derrike Cope||Derrike Cope Inc. Dodge||40.959||175.786|
|28||96||Dennis Setzer||Fischer Honda Dodge||40.965||175.760|
|29||29||Clint Bowyer||Holiday Inn Chevy||40.975||175.717|
|30||87||Joe Nemechek||NEMCO Motorsports Chevy||41.039||175.443|
|31||78||Kevin Lepage||CKM Dodge||41.070||175.310|
|32||23||Kevin Conway||Extenze Chevy||41.108||175.148|
|33||90||Johnny Chapman||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||41.172||174.876|
|34||49||Mark Green||GetMoreVacations.com Chevy||41.218||174.681|
|35||91||Terry Cook #||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||41.261||174.499|
|36||61||Matthew Carter||Specialty Racing Ford||41.369||174.043|
|37||41||Kevin Hamlin||ThirstBuster/Fuel Doctor Chevy||41.389||173.959|
|38||26||Michael McDowell #||AT&T the Real Yellow Pages Dodge||41.392||173.947|
|39||34||Tony Raines||Long John Silver's Chevy||41.447||173.716|
|40||40||Scott Wimmer||StopRepairBills.com Chevy||41.472||173.611|
|41||28||Kenny Wallace||U.S. Border Patrol Chevy||Owner Points|
|42||24||Eric McClure||Hefty Ford||Owner Points|
|43||89||Morgan Shepherd||Lagina Plumbing/Eldora Speedway Chevy||41.418||173.837|
|1||16||Greg Biffle||CitiFinancial Ford||41.023||175.511||39|
|2||1||David Gilliland||Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort Chevy||41.058||175.362||29|
|3||60||Carl Edwards||Valvoline Ford||41.098||175.191||35|
|4||32||Brian Vickers||Dollar General Stores Toyota||41.170||174.885||39|
|5||66||Steve Wallace||USfidelis Chevy||41.185||174.821||36|
|6||33||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Tankless Chevy||41.187||174.812||22|
|7||18||K. Busch/D. Hamlin||Z-Line Designs Toyota||41.188||174.808||40|
|8||12||Justin Allgaier #||Verizon Wireless Dodge||41.259||174.507||37|
|9||6||David Ragan||America's Tire Ford||41.265||174.482||32|
|10||99||Scott Speed||Red Bull Toyota||41.289||174.381||36|
|11||20||Joey Logano||GameStop/Brutal Legend Toyota||41.504||173.477||32|
|12||11||Trevor Bayne||Ridemakerz Toyota||41.555||173.264||56|
|13||98||Paul Menard||Richmond/Menards Ford||41.582||173.152||39|
|14||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips Toyota||41.661||172.824||31|
|15||29||Clint Bowyer||Holiday Inn Chevy||41.675||172.765||33|
|16||88||Brad Keselowski||GoDaddy Chevy||41.693||172.691||36|
|17||87||Joe Nemechek||NEMCO Motorsports Chevy||41.711||172.616||1|
|18||09||John Wes Townley #||Zaxby's Ford||41.730||172.538||40|
|19||10||Brian Scott||AccuDoc Solutions Toyota||41.832||172.117||47|
|20||62||Brendan Gaughan #||5-hour Energy ES Chevy||41.836||172.101||39|
|21||81||Mike Bliss||MacDonald Motorsports Dodge||41.915||171.776||32|
|22||89||Morgan Shepherd||Lagina Plumbing/Eldora Speedway Chevy||41.921||171.752||16|
|23||15||Michael Annett #||Germain Racing Toyota||41.923||171.743||30|
|24||90||Johnny Chapman||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||41.952||171.625||9|
|25||23||Kevin Conway||Extenze Chevy||41.959||171.596||29|
|26||01||Mike Wallace||sponsordavis.com Chevy||42.006||171.404||34|
|27||27||Jason Keller||Cottonelle/Stater Bros. Ford||42.033||171.294||34|
|28||96||Dennis Setzer||Fischer Honda Dodge||42.040||171.265||14|
|29||0||Jeremy Clements||Saxon Group Chevy||42.054||171.208||22|
|30||07||Danny O'Quinn Jr.||Dynamic Technology /Hampton Inn Chevy||42.109||170.985||30|
|31||49||Mark Green||GetMoreVacations.com Chevy||42.248||170.422||8|
|32||91||Terry Cook #||MSRP Motorsports Chevy||42.248||170.422||15|
|33||44||Jarit Johnson||Dynamic Tech/Hampton Inn Chevy||42.250||170.414||31|
|34||34||Tony Raines||Long John Silver's Chevy||42.251||170.410||34|
|35||26||Michael McDowell #||AT&T the Real Yellow Pages Dodge||42.273||170.321||10|
|36||73||Derrike Cope||Derrike Cope Inc. Dodge||42.343||170.040||15|
|37||61||Matthew Carter||Specialty Racing Ford||42.343||170.040||26|
|38||28||Kenny Wallace||U.S. Border Patrol Chevy||42.347||170.024||19|
|39||41||Kevin Hamlin||ThirstBuster/Fuel Doctor Chevy||42.413||169.759||5|
|40||78||Kevin Lepage||CKM Dodge||42.491||169.448||7|
|41||31||Stanton Barrett||ThirstBuster/Fuel Doctor Chevy||42.542||169.245||10|
|42||40||Scott Wimmer||StopRepairBills.com Chevy||42.543||169.241||25|
|43||83||John Borneman III||Borneman Plastering/Twisted X Boots Ford||42.647||168.828||16|
|44||05||Casey Atwood||CertainTeed/31-W Insulation Chevy||42.689||168.662||17|
|45||47||Chase Miller||ConstructionJobs.com Toyota||43.079||167.135||10|
|46||24||Eric McClure||Hefty Ford||43.138||166.906||33|
Entry List: There are 49 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Copart 300 at California Speedway. Some notes:
Jeremy Clement is back in the #0;
Brad Coleman is again listed in the #1 but that's assumed to be an error;
Danny O'Quinn will be in the #07, with Jarit Johnson in the #44;
The #52 is TBA;
Sean Murphy returns to the #81;
Michael McDowell is entered in the #96;
Mike Bliss is not on the prelimiary list.(10-5-2009)
UPDATE: Confirmed that Brad Coleman will not be in the #1.(10-5-2009)
UPDATE 2: David Gilliland will be back in the #1 this weekend.(10-6-2009)
UPDATE 3: The #92 team with Dennis Setzer has withdrawn and Mike Bliss will be in the #81 for MacDonald Motorsports. Chase Austin has also been added in the #58 for Xxxtreme Motorsports.(10-7-2009)
UPDATE 4: Andy Ponstein and the #02 team have withdrawn.(10-7-2009)
UPDATE 5: The #52 Jimmy Means team and the #58-Chase Austin team have both withdrawn. The entry list is now 46 cars.(10-8-2009)
UPDATE 6: Michael McDowell has moved to the #26 car and is now locked into the race. Dennis Sezter will be in the #96.(10-9-2009)
|1||0||Jeremy Clements||sponsordavis.com||09 Chevy||Johnny Davis|
|2||1||David Gilliland||Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resort||09 Chevy||James Finch|
|3||01||Mike Wallace||sponsordaivs.com||09 Chevy||Lori Morgan|
|4||05||Casey Atwood||31W Insulation||07 Chevy||Wayne Day|
|5||6||David Ragan||Discount Tire||09 Ford||Jack Roush|
|6||07||Danny O'Quinn Jr||Dynamic Technology, Inc||09 Chevy||Armando Fitz|
|7||09||John Wes Townley||Zaxby's||09 Ford||Jay Robinson|
|8||10||Brian Scott||AccuDoc Solutions||09 Toyota||Todd Braun|
|9||11||Trevor Bayne||Ridemakerz||09 Toyota||Bryan Mullet|
|10||12||Justin Allgaier||Verizon Wireless||09 Dodge||Tad Geschickter|
|11||15||Michael Annett||Germain Racing||09 Toyota||Bob Germain|
|12||16||Greg Biffle||CitiFinancial||09 Ford||Jack Roush|
|13||18||Kyle Busch||Z-LINE||09 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|14||20||Joey Logano||GameStop||09 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|15||23||Kevin Conway||Extenze||08 Chevy||Johnny Davis|
|16||24||Eric McClure||Hefty||09 Ford||Ed Rensi|
|17||26||Brian Keselowski||AT&T The Real Yellow Pages||09 Dodge||Dusty Whitney|
|18||27||Jason Keller||Cottonelle-Stater Bros.||09 Ford||Mike Curb|
|19||28||Kenny Wallace||US Border Patrol||09 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|20||29||Clint Bowyer||HOLIDAY INN||09 Chevy||Richard Childress|
|21||31||Stanton Barrett||Circle K-Thurstbuster||09 Chevy||Stanton Barrett|
|22||32||Brian Vickers||Dollar General Stores||08 Toyota||Todd Braun|
|23||33||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Tankless||09 Chevy||Delana Harvick|
|24||34||Tony Raines||Long John Silver's||09 Chevy||Bob Jenkins|
|25||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips-Comcast||08 Toyota||Ralph Braun|
|26||40||Scott Wimmer||TBA||09 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|27||41||Kevin Hamlin||Circle K-Thurstbuster||09 Chevy||Rick Ware|
|28||44||Jarit Johnson||Dynamic Technology, Inc||09 Chevy||Peter Szekeres|
|29||47||Chase Miller||ConstructionJobs.com||09 Toyota||Jodi Geschickter|
|30||49||Mark Green||Get More Vacations.Com||09 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|31||60||Carl Edwards||Valvoline||09 Ford||Jack Roush|
|32||61||Matthew Carter||Specialty Racing||09 Ford||Charlie Shoffner|
|33||62||Brendan Gaughan||5 Hour Energy ES||09 Chevy||Rusty Wallace|
|34||66||Steve Wallace||US Fidelis||09 Chevy||Rusty Wallace|
|35||73||Derrike Cope||Derrike Cope Inc||08 Dodge||Derrike Cope|
|36||78||Kevin Lepage||CKM||08 Dodge||Darren Cope|
|37||81||Mike Bliss||MacDonald Racing||09 Dodge||Pat MacDonald|
|38||83||John Borneman III||Borneman Plastering-Twisted X Boots||09 Ford||John Borneman Jr|
|39||87||Joe Nemechek||NEMCO Motorsports||08 Chevy||Andrea Nemechek|
|40||88||Brad Keselowski||Go Daddy||09 Chevy||Dale Earnhardt Jr|
|41||89||Morgan Shepherd||Lagina Plumbing-Eldora Speedway||09 Chevy||Cindy Shepherd|
|42||90||Johnny Chapman||MSRP Motorsports||08 Chevy||Marcia Parsons|
|43||91||Terry Cook||MSRP Motorsports||08 Chevy||Randy Humphrey|
|44||96||Michael McDowell||AT&T the Real Yellow Pages||09 Dodge||Kay Keselowski|
|45||98||Paul Menard||Richmond/Menards||09 Ford||Max Jones|
|46||99||Scott Speed||Red Bull||09 Toyota||Michael Waltrip|
Dream Season Began For Busch In California
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 6, 2009) - Following the most recent visit by NASCAR’s three national series to Auto Club Speedway in February, we should have seen this coming.
After all, Kyle Busch (#18 Z-Line Designs Toyota) did something that had never been done before by a national series driver when he won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series races on the same day.
Since Feb. 21, Busch has used that ‘two-fer’ as the springboard in his march toward his first NASCAR national series championship.
Upon his return this weekend to Auto Club, Busch — who is going for his third consecutive series win at the track as the winner of last year’s race in addition to his victory in February — has put his stamp on the 2009 season.
With six races left, Busch rides a 245-points standings lead over second-place Carl Edwards (#60 Valvoline Ford). His six wins, 21 top fives, 25 top 10s and new season-record 2,226 laps led are all series bests.
He’s still chasing two season marks: most wins (10, originally held by two-time series champion Sam Ard, which he matched last year) and most top fives (25 by Jeff Green during his 2000 championship season). He’s also equaled one that he’s not at all enamored with: two-time series champion Jack Ingram’s 1983 mark of 10 second-place finishes.
He doesn’t think he’ll get past the win mark this year, but that runner-up equalizer? To infinity and beyond, as they say.
“I’m looking for wins,” Busch said. “I’d love to break the win record, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen this year. I’m running out of races.”
As far as the runner-up numbers stacking up? “It ain’t the first time and it certainly ain’t going to be the last time,” he said after the Ingram equalizer at Kansas Speedway.
And for the record, Busch has finished second at Auto Club Speedway twice.
Top-Five Advantage: Now In Allgaier’s Court
The NASCAR Nationwide Series has its own take on the Abbot & Costello comedy set, ‘Who’s on first?’ We’ll call it ‘Who’s in fifth?’ But there’s nothing funny about it.
This is all business between the drivers who are digging for the coveted #5 position in the final series standings — Justin Allgaier (#12 Verizon Wireless Dodge) and Steve Wallace (#66 USFidelis Chevy).
Allgaier, in fifth, has the advantage heading to California; he’s 13 points ahead of Wallace, who’s sixth. The two drivers, ages 23 and 22, respectively, have traded those positions over the last three races.
Drivers who finish in the top 10 in the standings will be honored at the season-ending NASCAR Nationwide Series Awards Banquet on Nov. 23 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Those who finish in the top five will be recognized on stage.
There are a couple other interesting races inside the top 10 as the series’ 28th season winds down. Brad Keselowski (#88 GoDaddy.com Chevy) hasn’t given up on catching Carl Edwards for second. Keselowski, in third, is 62 points behind Edwards. But Auto Club Speedway isn’t the best of tracks for Keselowski — in six starts there, his average finish is 32.7.
Mike Bliss (#81 MacDonald Motorsports Dodge) isn’t only keeping his top-10 hopes alive, he’s applying major pressure to Jason Keller (#27 Cottonelle/Stater Bros. Ford). Bliss is eighth and trails seventh-place Keller by just 29 points.
Auto Club Speedway Is Home To Restless Natives Leffler, Harvick
Maybe it’s the perfect time for a little California redemption for Jason Leffler (#38 Great Clips-Comcast Toyota).
Leffler, a native of Long Beach, has had so-so results at his home-state track. In this race last year, he was 26th, representing his worst finish in the six fall races he’s run there.
But better results may be in the offing. Leffler was 11th at Auto Club Speedway back in February, his best finish since 2005 when he was seventh, his top overall finish at the 2-mile track.
And although he’s had a solid season — he’s been ranked fourth in the series standings since placing 13th at the April race at Texas Motor Speedway — he’d fallen on hard times lately.
His 10th-place finish at Kansas last Saturday was his first top 10 since he was fifth at Gateway International Raceway in mid-July.
The season has been more consistent for Leffler’s fellow Californian, Kevin Harvick (#33 Rheem Tankless Chevy). The two-time series champion out of Bakersfield has averaged a top-10 finish each time out this year (9.3), and has a stellar record at Auto Club Speedway in series competition — a pole, seven top fives and 11 top-10 finishes in 13 races.
But his resume there lacks one item — a victory. Auto Club is one of only six active series tracks at which Harvick has yet to win in NASCAR national series competition. Representing the NASCAR Nationwide Series as its 2001 champion, he did win the IROC race — and the points title — at the track in 2002.
He was 11th in this race last year and finished second behind Kyle Busch in February.
He’s also one of the hottest drivers in the series, having registered his sixth consecutive top-five finish in his last six starts in his own KHI equipment.
Interesting “Chapters” Follow Golden State Trio Home
Brett Sumpter, 23, the mechanic/rear tire carrier for RAB Racing’s #09 Zaxby’s Ford, was born and raised in Monterey but currently resides in Mooresville, N.C.
His hobbies include mountain biking, snowboarding and on Oct. 4, he competed in his first triathlon, finishing fourth in his age group and 85th overall among more than 700 competitors.
Jerry Baxter, crew chief for the #99 Red Bull Toyota, hails from San Diego. The 52-year-old veteran mechanic began his career as a driver, racing throughout California from 1976-79 in Late Models against the likes of Ernie Irvan, Rusty Wallace and Dick Trickle.
Baxter joined Michael Waltrip Racing in 2000 and became crew chief of the #99 entry in 2006. He called the shots for David Reutimann’s first series victory in 2007 at Memphis Motorsports Park along with his poles at Texas and Chicagoland Speedway. Driver Stanton Barrett (#31 Circle K-Thirstbuster Chevy) is also headed back home. The native of Bishop will carry an associate sponsorship from Bantam Books’ ‘A Family Affair,’ a newly-released novel by Caprice Crane. Crane, the daughter of actress Tina Louise (who played Ginger on ‘Gilligan’s Island’) also is a TV writer for the re-released drama ‘Melrose Place.’ Shaun Sipos, a star of that show, will be a guest of Barrett at the race; Barrett also is known for his Hollywood ties due to his exploits as a stuntman.
“Recently it feels like my life reads like a novel,” Barrett said in reference to Crane’s book. “I raced in Japan a few weeks ago in IndyCar and now I’m back with the Nationwide car preparing for California.
“Right now it seems like every day is something new — a new page.”
IN THE LOOP
Auto Club Offers One Last 2009 NNS Run For Former Champ Biffle
As Greg Biffle (#16 CitiFinancial Ford) prepares to run his final NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the season, he hopes to have better luck at Auto Club Speedway than he had in the last few races there.
In three of his last four Auto Club races, Biffle, the 2002 series champion, has finished outside the top 20. But, the statistics show that he ran much stronger than his finishes would suggest.
In September of 2006, Biffle finished 23rd, but had strong statistics. His Driver Rating that race was 105.2, which ranked sixth in that event.
That same race a year later, Biffle finished 32nd. His Driver Rating was 88.1, which ranked 12th.
Then, earlier this season, Biffle finished 34th, but had a Driver Rating of 90.7, which ranked tied for 10th in the event.
Overall, his statistics just do not jibe with his results. In the last seven Auto Club Speedway races (which includes a victory in 2006), Biffle has an average finish of 19.6. But his in-race numbers are much stronger. He has a Driver Rating of 103.4, an Average Running Position of 11.8, 68 Fastest Laps Run and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 76.9%. That last number is especially telling. Over the last seven races, Biffle has run among the top 15 in over 75% of the laps. But he has finished in the top 15 in only 43% of the races.
Biffle’s looking to accomplish a feat that has happened four times before at Auto Club Speedway – perfection. A race winner has scored a perfect Driver Rating 14 times in the NASCAR Nationwide Series since the inception of the Loop Data statistic in 2005, four of them in Fontana. The first ever scored in the series was there, by Mark Martin in February of 2005. In that race, Martin had an Average Running Position of 1.7. Tony Stewart nabbed the second Auto Club perfect rating of 150.0, in 2008.
Kyle Busch owns the other two 150s, which are part of his series-high six perfect Driver Ratings. Busch was statistically perfect in his Auto Club Speedway wins in August of 2008 and February of this season.
NNS Etc: Auto Club Speedway Edition
Robbie Allison (Oakland), #38 mechanic
Mikey Drake (Spring Valley), #32 front tire carrier
David Gilliland (Riverside), #1 driver
Daniel Mondragon (Monterey), #32 front tire changer
Scott Myers (Modesto), #11 shock specialist
Brad Rothlin (Fortune), #18 gas man
Driver Team Points
1. Justin Allgaier Penske 223
2. Brendan Gaughan RWR 201
3. Michael McDowell K-A 188
4. Michael Annett Germain 173
5. Scott Lagasse Jr. N/A 154
6. Erik Darnell RFR 143
7. John Wes Townley RAB 120
‘JWT’ has put together the best consecutive finishes of his brief NNS career. He was 18th at Dover International Speedway and tied his best finish with a 16th-place result last week at Kansas. He was 22nd in his series debut at Auto Club in February.
8. Ken Butler III R3 82
2009 Manufacturers' Championship Standings
Following Race 29 of 35 at Kansas Speedway
Up Next: Series “Homecoming” At Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Fall is in the air and that means homecoming festivities are taking place across the country.
Most homecomings are associated with high school and college football, but in NASCAR, the truest of homecomings takes place for the majority of drivers and teams at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, where most have their home bases.
A win in Charlotte is a big one, and no driver has collected more than Mark Martin, the series’ all-time leader in wins (48) and poles (30), who has six victories at the 1.5-mile track.
However, Martin’s record could be in jeopardy. Kyle Busch has four wins at LMS, including this race last year from the pole. Busch looked like he’d have three in a row in the bag in this year’s May race. He led the most laps but lost out to Mike Bliss, who took advantage of a late caution and the impending rain that shortened that event to 170 laps.
Matt Kenseth leads all drivers with four poles at LMS.
The Race: Copart 300
The Place: Auto Club Speedway (2-mile oval)
The Date: Saturday, Oct. 10
The Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
The Distance: 300 miles / 150 laps
TV: ESPN2, 4 p.m. ET
Radio: SIRIUS NASCAR Radio / MRN
2008 Winner: Kyle Busch
2008 Polesitter: Kyle Busch
Event Schedule (all times CT): Friday – Practice, 1:05-3:25 p.m.; Saturday – Qualifying, 9 a.m.
1 Kyle Busch 4,729
2 Carl Edwards 4,484
3 Brad Keselowski 4,422
4 Jason Leffler 3,879
5 Justin Allgaier 3,390
6 Steve Wallace 3,377
7 Jason Keller 3,249
8 Mike Bliss 3,322
9 Brendan Gaughan 3,139
10 Michael McDowell 3,024