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THE RACE: Auto Club 500

Winston Cup Race #10 of 36 for the 2003 Winston Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Sunday, April 27, 2003 in Fontana, CA

  • TV: Fox - 3:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: Fox - 2:30pm/et - with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Race Re-Air: April 30th at 8:00pm/et on Speed Channel, May 1st at 1:00am/et and 3:00pm/et on Speed Channel

  • Pay Per View/NASCAR In Demand:

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

  • Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes, Jeanne Zelasko

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • NASCAR on TV and Fox Sports

  • Purse/Race Awards: $5,030,261 (was $4,419,924 in 2002)

  • Entry List: or Entry List for the race from

  • 2002 Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson, 150.088mph, started 4th

  • Track Race Record: Jeff Gordon, June 1997, 155.012mph

  • Track/Race Length: 2.0 mile D-shaped oval, 250 laps, 500 miles

  • Pit Road Speed: 55mph


  • Practice: Friday, April 25th, 2:20 -4:20pm/et; and Saturday, April 26th, 11:15am - 12:00noon/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, April 26th, 2:10 - 2:55pm/et on TV-FX via tape at 3:00pm/et.


  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, April 25th, 1:20pm/et

  • Qualfying Order: and/or

  • First Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-36, Friday, April 25th at 6:00pm/et, TV-Speed Channel live, re-air on Saturday, April 26th at 12:00midnight/et, and live via MRN radio/internet (link below) and XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required)

  • NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Winston Cup qualifying via the web (NOTE: this is a paid subscription service).

  • Second-Round Qualifying: there is no longer a 2nd round of qualifying (since the 2001 season)

  • Track Qualifying Record: Ryan Newman, April 2002, 187.432mph

  • April 2002 Pole Sitter: #12-Ryan Newman, 187.432, finished 14th

    Track Specs:
    Superspeedway: 2.0-mile oval 75 feet wide with a 15 foot apron
    Banking: turns: 14 degrees; frontstretch 11 degrees; backstretch 3 degrees
    Front Stretch: 3,100feet
    Back Stretch: 2,500feet
    Pit Road: 2,200 feet long with 44 individual pit stalls
    Grandstand Seats: 92,000
    Approx: 1,800 Infield RV spaces

  • Track Homepage: California Speedway

  • Last Year: see my 2002 California Race Info page.

    PAST RACE/POLE WINNERS at California

    Pole Winners

    2002 Ryan Newman, #12 Ford, 187.432mph, finished 14th
    2001 Bobby Labonte, #18 Pontiac, 182.635mph, finished 22nd
    2000 Mike Skinner, #31 Chevy, 186.061mph, finished 7th
    1999 none, rained out
    1998 Jeff Gordon, #24 Chevy, 181.772mph, finished 4th
    1997 Joe Nemechek, #42 Chevy, 183.015mph, finished 18th
    (1997 Greg Sacks, #40 Chevy was the fastest but in 2nd round 183.753mph)

    Race Winners

    2002 Jimmie Johnson, #48 Chevy, 150.088mph, started 4th
    2001 Rusty Wallace, #2 Ford, 143.118mph, started 19th
    2000 Jeremy Mayfield, #12 Ford, 149.378mph, started 24th
    1999 Jeff Gordon, #24 Chevy, 150.276mph, started 5th
    1998 Mark Martin, #6 Ford, 140.220mph, started 3rd
    1997 Jeff Gordon, #24 Chevy, 155.012mph, started 3rd


    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires Required:...... Left.............. Right
    ... Winston Cup................ 1,220............. 1,220
    ... Busch Series............... 520............... 520

    Tire Numbers:.................. Left.............. Right
    ............................... D-6352............ D-6354

    Tire Circumference:............ Left.............. Right
    ............................... 87.3 in........... 88.6 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation: Left Front-30 psi. Right Front-48 psi
    ............................... Left Rear-30 psi.. Right Rear-45 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:. Left Front-23 psi. Right Front-42 psi
    ............................... Left Rear-23 psi.. Right Rear-39 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 48-52 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires Goodyear brought to California last season . . . both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series will compete on the same tires this weekend . . . in addition to California, this specific combination will also be run by Winston Cup, Busch and Truck Series teams at Michigan later this season . . . this right-side code (D-6352) will also be run in 2003 with a different left-side at Texas (D-6364), Charlotte (D-6372), Chicago (D-6356) and Kansas (D-6372) 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 . . . the air pressure in the inner liners must be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

    Goodyear Quote -- Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Tire Development: "At Fontana, tires will really only be a factor in relation to pit strategy. Tire wear is not a major concern for teams at this track, so teams have always had the ability to choose between four-tire, two-tire and even no-tire stops at different points of the races at Fontana. As it has many times in the past, pit strategy and fuel mileage should be two major keys to success this weekend."


  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $100,000 at California for leading the points and winning the race (Sterling Marlin last won the award, $20,000 at Darlington on March 17, 2002). The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if the driver is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finishers in the drivers point standings(4-13-2003)

  • MBNA Mid-Race Leader Bonus: is $5,000 at California. The MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award is $10,000 to the Winston Cup driver who leads the race at midway. If the driver wins the race they receive a $5,000 bonus. If the MBNA Mid-Race Leader fails to win the race the $5,000 bonus rolls into the next week (Jeff Gordon last won the bonus, $25,000 + $10,000 at Martinsville on Apr 13, 2003). No word on if a driver gets the award if the halfway is under yellow at the time or if the award is given out if the leader is not participating in the program and if it would go to the next place car at the time. The 2003 MBNA Mid-Race Leader Winners:
    Daytona: Michael Waltrip, $15,000*
    Rockingham: Rusty Wallace, $10,000
    Las Vegas: Dale Earnhardt Jr., $10,000
    Atlanta: Bobby Labonte, $25,000*
    Darlington: Mark Martin, $10,000
    Bristol: Jimmy Spencer, $10,000
    Texas: Matt Kenseth, $10,000
    Talladega: Matt Kenseth, $10,000 (Jimmie Johnson led at halfway, assume the team does not participate in the program)
    Martinsville: Jeff Gordon, $35,000
    (* won race and bonus)(4-13-2003)


Radio Coverage:
Motor Racing Network(MRN) and
XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio - Channel 144
including Internet coverage (NOTE: now a paid subsription thru

Satellite/Backhaul Listing's:
Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales - Racing Feed Locations

Scanner Frequencies:
are linked on my Scanner Freq/Equipment Links Page

Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Fontana, CA Area:
Bakersfield Californian
Daily Bulletin
Daily News
Long Beach Press-Telegram
Los Angeles Times
Orange County Register

Weather Forecast:
The Weather Channel
Weather Underground
Weather Point
National Weather Service

ARS Racing Outlet - California Review
ARS Racing Outlet - California Review another one
Laid Back Racing (lots of info)

any I know of are listed on my Driver Appearances/Chats page with info and links

TV Coverage/Info/News Pages:
Race Fan TV


news and links

  • Busch wins the Auto Club 500 at California. #97-Kurt Busch won at California Speedway, the first multiple winner of 2003. #18-Bobby Labonte ended up 2nd, fighting #2-Rusty Wallace, who ended up 3rd. #17-Matt Kenseth ended up 10th and holds on to the points lead. The Unoffical top ten finishers:

    #97-Kurt Busch (27 laps led)
    #18-Bobby Labonte (11 laps led)
    #2-Rusty Wallace (54 laps led first - first top 5 of 2003)
    #9-Bill Elliott (12 laps led - first top 5 of 2003)
    #42-Jamie McMurray (41 laps led)

    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    #15-Michael Waltrip
    #43-John Andretti (first top 10 of 2003)
    #17-Matt Kenseth (2 Laps led)
    #40-Sterling Marlin

    Laps Leaders Unofficial (9): #9-Bill Elliott (12); #20-Tony Stewart (100-most laps led); #32-Ricky Craven (1); #77-Dave Blaney (2); #42-Jamie McMurray (41); #97-Kurt Busch (27); #2-Rusty Wallace (54); #17-Matt Kenseth (2); #18-Bobby Labonte (11);
    Cars on the lead lap: 16 (of 43 starters)
    Off track/out of race (9): #37-Derrike Cope (out-?engine); #20-Tony Stewart (out-engine); #12-Ryan Newman (out-accident); #1-Steve Park (out-accident/handling); #88-Dale Jarrett (out-accident); #14-Larry Foyt (out-accident); #10-Johnny Benson (out-accident); #0-Jack Sprague (out-accident); #19-Jeremy Mayfield (out-accident);
    Cautions 8 for 34 laps
    Caution 8 - Laps 231-237: #88-Jarrett got loose and turned around, collecting #10-Benson, #14-Foyt, #19-Mayfield, #5-Labonte, #41-Mears, #31-Gordon, #77-Blaney and #45-Petty.
    Caution 7 - Laps 220-223: #01-Nadeau spun in turn 2, no contact, just lost it, hit nothing.
    Caution 6 - Laps 210-213: #32-Craven spun, then #01-Nadeau spun behind him, neither made contact with anything.
    Caution 5 - Laps 156-159: Debris, sheet metal, on the track.
    Caution 4 - Laps 130-134: #20-Stewart lost an engine, a connecting rod broke.
    Caution 3 - Laps 41-44: #16-Biffle lost it coming off turn 4 and spun, no contact with any other cars or walls.
    Caution 2 - Laps 8-10: #0-Sprague got high and into the gray area and hit the wall, messing up the front end.
    Caution 1 - Laps 2-4: #1-Park fell back a few spots, went high and went into #12-Newman, Park spun around a few times, Newman to the garage for repairs, Park stayed on the lead lap. Newman himself is working on the car.
    NOTES: On the final lap, #6-Martin and #48-Johnson got together on the front stretch, sending Johnson into the wall and Martin onto the infield, Johnson was able to drive off and finish 16th on the lead lap. On lap 205, #8-Earnhardt Jr's missed a lugnut and Earnhardt Jr had to come in a 2nd time and lost a lap. Cars are coming in for their 'final' green flag stops in the lap 203-207 range. #99-Burton had a flat caused by the debris that caused Caution 5. #2-Wallace ran out of gas and spent a long time on pit road on lap 90 green flag stop, took a while to get it restarted. #43-Andretti also ran out of fuel, but made it to his pits. Green flag stops occurred around laps 89-93 range. All cars came in to pit during caution 3 but #0-Sprague. many came in to pit during Caution 2.
    Race Re-Air: The race will be re-aired on Speed Channel, Wed, April 30, 8:00pm/et (enhanced) and Thurs, May 1st, at 1:00am/et and at 3:00pm/et.
    Results at:, MotorsportsOne,

  • To the Back - 7 drivers: six drivers will fall to the rear of the field before the start of the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway:
    #22-Ward Burton, who lost a engine in qualifying, Burton was to start 39th, using a provisional.
    #10-Johnny Benson (was to start 32nd) and #40-Sterling Marlin (was to start 30th) both are going to backup cars after Benson lost an engine and crashed and Marlin was involved.
    #37-Derrike Cope lost an engine during Happy Hour, but was supposed to started 43rd anyway.
    #30-Jeff Green [was to start 40th] and #01-Jerry Nadeau's [was to start 6th] teams changed engines after Happy Hour practice.
    See Jayski's California Qualifying Page for the revised starting lineup [unoffficial of course].(4-26-2003)
    NOW 7 Drivers: add #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr as the team changed engines Sunday morning, Jr was scheduled to start 8th.(4-27-2003)

  • NOTE: Drivers fall back by the row they are in and the drivers behind them move up in that row, not one-by-one. So a driver who was to start 6th and has to fall to the rear of the field due to a driver/car/engine change, goes to the rear of that row and the driver who was to start 8th, moves to so on. BUT in the results of the race, the driver is still credited with the original starting spot. See Jayski's California Qualifying Page for the revised starting lineup.

  • Happy Hour practice at California is over. #97-Kurt Busch with a speed of 180.905, followed by #2-Rusty Wallace at 180.095 and #12-Ryan Newman at 179.897. Pole sitter #1-Steve Park was 23rd fastest at 177.231. Slowest were #14-Larry Foyt at 170.233 and #49-Ken Schrader at 173.044.
    For speeds see

  • Saturday AM practice #18-Bobby Labonte was the fastest at 184.091mph, followed by #32-Ricky Craven at 132.978 and #12-Ryan Newman at 182.936. Pole sitter #1-Steve Park was 36th with a speed of 178.811. Slowest were #37-Derrike Cope at 176.138 and #14-Larry Foyt at 177.506.
    See speeds at

  • Ramblings - California: Steve Park did something Friday he hadn't done in a loooong time....take a Bud Pole Award. Park becomes the 8th qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout. Tony Stewart (3rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up on the pole at Atlanta last October....but, that field was set by points. The last time he qualified this high on time was at Watkins Glen last August when he started 3rd. Jack Sprague (12th) has his career-best starting spot for Sunday's event. His previous best was last race at Martinsville when he started 14th [Actually he started 12th in Atlanta Nov 1996 so this ties his career best].
    STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 8 Top-10 starts in a row. Bill Elliott has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races. Rusty Wallace has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.(StockCarFans.Com Winston Cup Newsletter)(4-26-2003)

  • Steve Park wins the pole at California: #1-Steve Park wins the pole for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway with a speed of 186.838, his 3rd pole of his career and first since Homestead in Nov 2000. Nice to see with all the rumors floating around. #9-Bill Elliott was the first to go out in qualifying and held the pole until Park went out 37th, Elliott hangs on to the outside pole, 2nd. #20-Tony Stewart starts 3rd, his best starting spot of 2003. Missing the race are #66-Hideo Fukuyama and #83-Kerry Earnhardt. See Jayski's California Qualifying Page for the results, lineup links, who takes provisionals and who missed the race, along with notes and other jayski oddities.
    Lineup/Qual Results Jayski's Auto Club Grid page and at:

  • Some Qualifying Notes: #29-Kevin Harvick had a very slow 1st lap and pulled off the track after the first lap, when he exited the car, Harvick said the car was so loose he couldn't drive it. #22-Ward Burton went out and pulled the car back in with an engine problem, a left engine head head gasket, NASCAR went out and inspected the track.(4-25-2003)

  • Pole Progression at California: (who had the pole first, who got it next and who ended up with it)
    #9-Bill Elliott, 1st out to qualify, 186.824, starts 2nd
    #1-Steve Park, 37th out, 186.838, on the pole

  • Rookie of the Year Candidates: how did they qualify?
    #0-Jack Sprague, 185.366, starts 12th
    #14-Larry Foyt, 181.520, starts 42nd provisional
    #16-Greg Biffle, 183.786, starts 29th
    #41-Casey Mears, 185.128, starts 17th
    #42-Jamie McMurray, 184.393, starts 25th
    #66-Hideo Fukuyama, 177.458, DNQ
    #74-Tony Raines, 183.421, starts 33rd.(4-25-2003)

  • Some Qualifying Notes: #29-Kevin Harvick had a very slow 1st lap and pulled off the track after the first lap, when he exited the car, Harvick said the car was so loose he couldn't drive it. #22-Ward Burton went out and pulled the car back in with an engine problem, a left engine head head gasket, NASCAR went out and inspected the track.(4-25-2003)

  • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
    Chevy - #1-Steve Park, 186.838 starts 1st
    Dodge - #9-Bill Elliott, 186.824, starts 2nd
    Ford - #38-Elliott Sadler, 186.393, starts 5th
    Pontiac - #01-Jerry Nadeau, 186.157, starts 6th
    Toyota - oops, not yet.......(4-25-2003)

  • Friday Practice at California Speedway is over. #12-Ryan Newman was the fastest at 186.591mph, followed by #1-Steve Park at 186.504 and #01-Jerry Nadeau at 186.157. Track record is 187.432mph, held by Newman last year. Slowest were #66-Fukuyama at 179.879 and #37-Derrike Cope at 180.637.
    For speeds, see - Friday Practice speeds.(4-25-2003)

  • Qualifying Orders links have beem posted, see above for them. 45 drivers/teams are listed. First scheduled out is #9-Bill Elliott, last and 45th scheduled out is #0-Jack Sprague. 43 cars make the field (why 43? see my Racing FAQ page for answer), two drivers must make the field per speed and are not high enough in the provisional ranking to make the race, #66-Hideo Fukuyama (47th in owners points) and #83-Kerry Earnhardt (51st in owners points).(4-25-2003)

  • 45 Drivers Entered: for the Auto Club 500, 42 full time drivers, plus #37-Derrike Cope, #66-Hideo Fukuyama and #83-Kerry Earnhardt. See above for the links.(4-21-2003)

  • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph

  • How to break a tie during qualifying?(same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers). For provisionals standings see the Jayski's Provisional Status page

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites: and


  • California Cup race sold out: California Speedway announced that all 92,000 reserved grandstand tickets for the Sunday, April 27th Auto Club 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race have been sold; however, tickets remain for Saturday's two races and two rounds of Winston Cup practice. In addition to the packed grandstands, the speedway's nearly 1,800 reserved infield RV sites are also sold out; however, infield wristbands for the weekend are still available at $45.(more at Califronia Speedway PR)(4-25-2003)

  • Auto Club 500 Pre-Race Ceremonies: A distinct patriotic feeling will consume the speedway on Sunday, April 27, when pre-race ceremonies hit high gear at 11:50 a.m. A large American flag will be presented by members of the 101st Airborne repelling from two California Army National Guard Blackhawks in the area of Turn 4. The Rev. Rick Bloom, pastor of the Pacific Christian Center in Santa Maria, Calif, will give the invocation. Pastor Bloom served in the United States Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet during the Vietnam War. The U.S. Air National Guard will provide the presentation of colors, and the 40th Infantry Division California Army National Guard will perform the National Anthem. The 310th Fighter Squadron will provide a flyover of three F-16s from Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Ariz. The command to start engines will be given by the Grand Marshal Tom McKernan, President and CEO of the Automobile Club of Southern California.
    Acclaimed action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger will wave the green flag. Pre-race ceremonies unfold at 10:45 a.m. with a parade lap of Historic NASCAR stock cars, followed by a parade lap featuring the new Daytona Prototype from the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. The Auto Club historic parade lap will follow, leading into the presentation of the Shav Glick Award. This year's award winner is four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears. NASCAR Winston Cup driver introductions and parade lap will start at 11:30 a.m. A special presentation will be made to Ricky Rudd and Bill Elliott, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of their first career NASCAR Winston Cup wins at Riverside International Raceway.
    AND 300 Pre-Race: Twelve-year-old Rachelle Dobin will sing the National Anthem. Rachelle electrified the crowd last year with her rendition prior to the Winston Cup race with Grammy Award winning artist Sheryl Crow looking on. Members of the World Champion Anaheim Angels will also take part in pre-race. Tim Griffin from MRO will deliver the invocation.(California Speedway PR)(4-24-2003)

  • Mayor of the Infield: Vincent Montano, a family man from Montclair, CA, was chosen as the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend Honorary Mayor of California Speedway's infield. Montano, who was introduced to "race weekend camping" by a friend during the inaugural race in 1997, has attended every NASCAR race at the superspeedway. "We enjoyed it so much I made sure to purchase an infield RV spot the following year," Montano said. "Not even the birth of my daughter (born early April of 1999) kept our family from attending our annual family tradition." His family, along with their three week old little girl, attended the race weekend that year and have "never missed a season." His neighborhood, located along the backstretch in row seven, shares breakfast and evening meals together while lunch is left to each family due to "racing, shopping in the midway and the children's activity schedules," he said. This marks the third straight year the speedway has had an Honorary Mayor of the Infield. With approximately 1,800 reserved RV sites, the speedway's infield becomes a small city, complete with pizza delivery, ice cream delivery, fire and police protection, as well as a grocery store. Honorary Mayor Montano will oversee this tight-knit community, making sure that everyone has fun and follows the infield rules. Montano's duties will begin with a parade through the infield on one of the speedway's American Racing Wheels Fire/Safety vehicles on Thursday night. As well, Montano will be attending pre-race ceremonies for Saturday's 300 and Sunday's Auto Club 500 and go back stage for Saturday night's infield musical performance by Neal McCoy. If all of this wasn't good enough he will also receive the flag and honorary key to the infield, as well as a variety of prizes from speedway sponsors like Auto Club, Miller, Pontiac, King Taco and Pepsi. The mayor's inauguration will take place on Thursday evening during the Miller Lite Oasis Grand Opening in the infield. The excitement, which includes music and a fun, festive atmosphere, begins at 6:00 p.m. and is open to infield RV guests. Tickets for this weekend's NASCAR races are still available by calling (800) 944-RACE (7223).(California Speedway PR)(4-23-2003)

  • California looking for help with lights and 15-18 nights races in 2004? California Speedway officials are looking for government help in paying the $6 million needed to install lights for a proposed prime-time Winston Cup race in the fall of 2004. According to one source, next season could have from 15 to 18 night races, most with a proposed 8:00pm/et starting time.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-15-2003)

  • California Looking at Lights: California Speedway, which hopes to be awarded a second NASCAR Winston Cup race next year, has begun a process that would allow it to light the track - a key requirement as the circuit tries to increase its popularity by televising races in prime time on the East Coast. The Fontana 2-mile oval's current conditional use permit with San Bernardino County does not provide for night racing, but track president Bill Miller said the process is under way to change that. "We have made contact with the county supervisors' office, and we have talked with the San Bernardino County Planning Commission," Miller said. "We are providing them additional information on what lighting the speedway would entail, so they can begin their studies on the impact that the addition of lights would have on the surrounding areas." A public hearing will be held, then the planning commission will vote.(Orange County Register)(3-5-2003)

  • California to get Rock's spring date? Rock to April, Calif to 2nd Rock date? One Cup schedule change in 2004 under very serious consideration is to move this second race of the season next year to Fontana, CA. Rockingham's Chris Browning, sensing that next year's tour will likely include only one date here, is pushing for an April date in exchange, hoping for better weather. If Browning gets that OK'd, then California's late April date could be moved to Rockingham's late October date.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-24-2003)

  • California Speedway gets new sponsor: The Automobile Club of Southern California today signed a multi-year agreement to be the title sponsor for the April NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at the Southern California-based superspeedway. The Auto Club 500 is scheduled for April 27, 2003, at California Speedway. Auto Club replaces NAPA as the title sponsor. The Automobile Club of Southern California will have a sponsorship presence at all of California Speedway's 2003 events. Individual tickets for the Auto Club 500 and all of California Speedway's 2003 events are on sale. For additional information and tickets log on to or call 1-800-944-RACE (7223)(California Speedway PR)(2-11-2003)

  • 2nd California Race for sure? Bill France is laying out a plan to make some major changes in the 2004 schedule, which it appears almost certain will include two Cup races at the International Speedway Corp.'s Fontana, Calif., track, and a second Cup date at either ISC's Kansas track or Phoenix. NASCAR sources are telling Kansas officials that that track would likely get the second date. Even though the Chicago track would appear to be the more logical choice - because it's the third biggest market in the country - Kansas is owned 100 percent by ISC, but Chicago is a joint venture between ISC and Indianapolis Speedway's Tony George.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-27-2003)

  • Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - California Speedway


  • Rudd, Elliott to be honored: On Sunday, Ricky Rudd and Bill Elliott will be presented with personalized belt buckles commemorating their first Winston Cup victory 20 years ago at Riverside International Raceway. California Speedway executive Les Richter was general manager at RIR at the time before joining NASCAR.(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(4-25-2003)

  • Fukuyama Plans California Run: Hideo Fukuyama says he will attempt to qualify Travis Carter's #66 Ford for Sunday’s Auto Club 500 Winston Cup race at California Speedway. The Japanese driver, who made his 2003 debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, made his most recent run in an ARCA event but tested at California Speedway on April 15-16. "The test results weren’t too bad, but I didn't run near as fast as the course record, so I’m still concerned over whether I can qualify at the California Speedway," Fukuyama says.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-24-2003)

  • Cope gets a sponsor for California UPDATE: Great Barrier Reef announces today their sponsorship of Derrike Cope a Winston Cup driver scheduled to race in the Auto Club 500 at the California Speedway April 27, 2003. Cope is a former Daytona 500 winner and a television analyst for Fox Sports News’ “NASCAR This Morning”. “Getting involved in the fastest growing sport in the United States fulfills a marketing objective of increasing our brand awareness”, stated Mike Hardy, Chief Operating Officer for Great Barrier Reef. “We believe that the demographics of NASCAR coincide closely with the demographics of our target customer base. We will use this relationship with Derrike to bring the excitement of NASCAR to our subscribers and the value of our service to an even wider population.” Hardy also stated “We at Great Barrier Reef are pleased to enter into this venture with Derrike Cope. We feel he represents the same values in which we strongly believe:. Hard work, value for you money and quality performance.” Great Barrier Reef, Inc. (GBR) provides Internet access services to subscribers across the United States. They offer unlimited Internet access for $9.95 per month, or just $110 per year. GBR is a 56k dialup service. GBR has grown rapidly to serve most major cities in the US. Dedicated to providing quality service to our customers, they offer FREE 24-hour support, unlimited access, V.92 high-speed dial-up connections, multiple email accounts, UseNet news feed and up to 10 MB of personal web space. For further information please visit the GBR website at Company PR)(4-22-2003)
    IMAGES added to the Paint Schemes Gallery.(4-23-2003)
    UPDATE: The United States Coast Guard is pleased to be associated with Derrike Cope and Quest Motor Racing for a select schedule of NASCAR events. The recruitment initiative possibilities that evolve from a NASCAR relationship are a valuable promotion. NASCAR has a tremendous following. The Coast Guard wants to present its' message to the many millions of loyal fans. Many people are not aware that the U.S Coast Guard was over in.the Mid-East.during recent hostilities as well as keeping the waterways safe here too. They will.appear.on the #37 Winston Cup car along with Great Barrier Reef Online."(4-24-2003)

  • Johnson to be inducted: Jimmie Johnson will be enshrined in California Speedway’s Walk of Fame at 10:00am/pt on Friday April, 25th. The ceremony, which will take place at Gate 12, is open to the public.(California Speedway PR)(4-18-2003)

  • See the 2003 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


  • Supercuts on the #74: looks like the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevy with Tony Raines driving has Supercuts as the sponsor on the car at California Speedway. #83-Kerry Earnhardt was to drive the #83 Supercuts Chevy, but failed to make the race. See an inage of the #74 car on my Paint Schemes Gallery,(4-27-2003)

  • Sadler colors at California: #38-Elliott Sadler will sport the Pedigee Brand colors this weekend at California Speedway. He will visit a plant that produces Pedigree Dog Food in Vernon, CA before heading to the track.(M&M's Motorsports)(4-24-2003)

  • Special #12 Paint Scheme: This weekend’s Auto Club 500 at California Speedway marks the first of five (5) 2003 races that Ryan Newman’s #12 Penske Racing South-ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid will feature the familiar Mobil 1 color scheme. Newman first ran these colors in last year’s California race where he won the pole in record fashion. In last year’s five races carrying Mobil 1 colors, Newman won three poles (two track qualifying records) and the points-paying race last September at New Hampshire. He also had two other top-five finishes. Newman will carry the Mobil 1 colors this season at California, Chicago, Pocono (July), New Hampshire (September) and Atlanta (October).(Tom Roberts PR)(4-23-2003)

  • Andretti and the #43 helping childhood literacy: John Andretti and the #43 Dodge, which normally carries the Cheerios and Betty Crocker colors, will have something different for Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup race at the two-mile California Speedway. The team will be driving home Cheerios commitment to childhood literacy, with the #43 Dodge carrying that message on the car for the only event in the Los Angeles area. For each of the 250 scheduled laps Andretti competes in the race, Cheerios and First Book, a national children's literacy organization, will donate 43 books per lap to children in need in the Fontana, Calif., and Los Angeles area. "As a father myself, I know the importance of reading and the critical role it plays in children wanting to learn," said Andretti. He and his wife Nancy have three children, two in elementary school. "Having their own book makes a big difference in a child wanting to read. This program is incredible and I am behind it 100 percent," he added. "We're going for the maximum." As many as 10,750 books would be donated by First Book and Cheerios if Andretti completes all 500 miles of the race. The books are slated to go to children participating in Boys and Girls Club of Fontana, Sivaland Head Start and The Agape House, also both in Fontana, and in LA's Best, an after-school program in Los Angeles. To kick off the weekend, Cheerios and California Speedway will host 400-500 children from the Fontana Unified School District Friday morning at the speedway. After being served breakfast, the children will be read to by Andretti, will receive a book of their own from Cheerios, and then have the opportunity to watch practice and qualifying. Just as Cheerios helps fuel kids for the day, reading gives them the power to succeed in life. With that in mind, Cheerios is making a significant commitment to childhood literacy through the Spoonfuls of Stories program. Andretti and Petty Enterprises are partnering in this effort for one race by encouraging children to read more, and by reaching out to help others. More info at and Company)(4-22-2003)

  • T3 Announcement: #42-Jamie McMurray and representatives from Havoline and Action Performance will hold a press conference on Saturday, April 26 at 9:30am/pt in the California Speedway media center to unveil McMurray's "T3: Rise of the Machines" car that will run July 5th in Daytona.(Jamie McMurray Site), see my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes page for an image.(4-21-2003)

  • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery, choose current news


  • Some California Speedway facts: Jeff Gordon Holds Many California Speedway Records: Four-time Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon holds numerous California Speedway records, including the best averaging finishing position, 5.8, in the six previous Winston Cup races here. He holds that distinction despite his worst finish in last year's event, 16th. It also marked the first time Gordon had not completed every mile of the 500-mile event. He holds the record with 2,998 miles completed. Other records for Gordon, who has won this event twice (1997 and 1999), include most laps led, 331, and most money won here, $737,745. Gordon was also the youngest winner here at 25-years-old when he won the Inaugural race in 1997.
    Miles/Races: Michael Waltrip has logged more miles than any other driver around California Speedway's two-mile oval. Waltrip has competed in 13 races in six years at the speedway, including Winston Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck. He has completed 4,600 miles, 2,792 in Winston Cup, 1,496 in the Busch Series and 312 in the Truck Series. Ken Schrader has competed in 13 races here as well. Schrader has run all six Cup races, along with five Winston West races and two Craftsman Truck Series events here.
    A NASCAR Sweep: Kevin Harvick, Mike Wallace and Ron Hornaday are the only drivers to compete in at least one of every NASCAR-sanctioned event at California Speedway. The trio has competed in Winston Cup, Busch Series, Craftsman Truck and Winston West at one time or another over the previous six years.(California Speedway PR)(4-24-2003)

  • Ramblings - Off Week: [Note: this is not from Jayski, see link at end of this blurb for questions/etc]. We'll start with everybody's hero, Mr. Lead Lap. After an off-year last season, ol' LL is getting back in form. He's had two Top-10's already this season (he had only three all of last year and none at this point), and has improved by 89 markers in the standings. He's currently 10th in the rundown and has been in the Top-10 the last 5 weeks. Last year at this time he resided in 14th place, and never got any higher than 12th in the points. He's improved his average finish from 17.9 thru the first nine races last season to 14.6 this year.
    When you compare this year's points vs last year after nine events, we see considerable changes. Sterling Marlin had a 109 point margin over Matt Kenseth last year, whereas it's Matt on top of Jr. by 51 markers this season. The best improvement goes to Kevin Harvick. At this point last year he was in 29th spot (of course he'd been parked for one event) while this year he's 6th. In the opposite direction, Bill Elliott has digressed 17 spots (from 12th last year to 29th this season). One thing that's really fallen off is the number of drivers. Last year at this point we had 54 drivers who'd scored points....this season that number is only 48.( Newsletter)(4-22-2003)

  • Contingency Plans for travel and TV in case of war: With the country on the verge of war, NASCAR teams and officials are considering contingency plans for travel to Fort Worth, Talladega and Los Angeles in the coming weeks. "I know that became a concern when we went to Dover last year, and I'm sure at some of these tracks there will be different restrictions that come up," Robbie Loomis, Jeff Gordon's crew chief, said. "It's a pretty stressful time on all the folks in the military and their families right now." Fox is expected to put Winston Cup races on its FX cable if or when war begins.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-14-2003)
    UPDATE: Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications, also an Army veteran, addressed the topic of war and racing on Friday. "I have always felt that one of Bill France's quotes was right on target on this subject," Hunter said. "I can remember people asking 'Bill, who are your fans?' And he would say, 'I'll tell you who our fans are. They are the kind of people that win wars for you.' And never has that been more true than today." Hunter said NASCAR has monitored the expected showdown with Iraq for the last several months and has worked through several scenarios which includes postponing an event if necessary. "I don't really want to speculate but certainly that would be an option and we've done it before," Hunter said. "Just to arbitrarily do that, no. It depends on the circumstances, and what is best under those circumstances, not only what is best for the racing community but what is best for the country."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-16-2003)

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