THE RACE: Auto Club 500
Nextel Cup Race #10 of 36 for the 2004 Nextel Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race
- Race: Sunday, May 2, 2004 in Fontana, CA
- TV: FOX - 3:00pm/et, green flag ~3:20pm/et
- Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel
Wednesday, May 5 [Fast Forward] at 4:00pm/et;
Thursday, May 6 [Full Race] at 3:00pm/et;
Friday, May 7 [Fast Forward] at 12:00am/et
- 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: $5,780,656 (was $5,030,261 in 2003)
- Practice: Friday, April 30, 1:50 - 3:50pm/et; Saturday, May 1, 11:15 - 12:00pm/et.
- Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, May 1, 2:10 - 2:55pm/et on TV-FX tape delay at 3:00pm/et.
- Qualifying Draw: Friday, April 30, 1:00pm/et
- Qualfying Order: or
Qualifying order - NASCAR.com
- Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-38, Friday, April 30 at 6:10pm/et, TV-Speed Channel and live via MRN Radio, XM Satellite Radio and via NASCAR.com's Racecast (paid). Re-aired on Speed Channel at 9:30pm.
- NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Nextel Cup qualifying via the web (NOTE: this is a paid subscription service).
- Track Specs:
Track/Race Length: 2.0 mile D-shaped oval, 250 laps, 500 miles
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
Pit Road Speed: 55mph
Grandstand Seats: 92,000
Approx: 1,800 Infield RV spaces
- Track Homepage: California Speedway
- Last Year: see my 2003 California Race Info page.
PAST RACE/POLE WINNERS at California
2003 Steve Park, #1 Chevy, 186.838mph, finished 40th
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)
2003 Kurt Busch, #97-Ford, 140.111mph, started 16th
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
GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires Required:
Nextel Cup: Left - 1,345, Right - 1,345;
Busch Series: Left - 530, Right - 530
Tire Codes: Left - D-6810; Right - D-6812
Tire Circumference: Left - 87.4 in.; Right - 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 - 23 psi; Left Rear - 23 psi;
Right Front - 44 psi; Right Rear - 41 psi
Estimated Pit Window: Every 48-52 laps, based on fuel mileage.
Notes: This is the first time Goodyear will bring this particular combination of left- and right-side tires to California . . . the previous combination was run at the last two races at the two-mile speedway . . . both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series will compete on the same tire codes this weekend . . . this is the first of 10 races at which Nextel Cup teams will use this tire set-up in 2004 . . . in addition to California, this combination will be run by Nextel Cup, Busch and Truck Series teams at Charlotte, Dover, Michigan, Chicago, Kansas and Kentucky this season . . . 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 Racing: "This is a brand new tire set-up that we're bringing to California this week. It follows along with some of the changes we've made for the 2004 tire lineup, with a more compliant sidewall construction and softer tread compounds on both the left- and right-sides of the car. While this is the debut for these tire codes, Nextel Cup teams will run them at six tracks, making this the most popular combination we will run this season."
RACE BONUS INFO
- The NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus is $70,000 at California Speedway for leading the points and winning the race (Matt Kenseth last won the award, $30,000 at Las Vegas on March 7, 2004). 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(4-25-2004)
- MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award: The MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award is worth $10,000 to any eligible NASCAR Nextel Cup driver who leads a race at the halfway mark. An additional $5,000 is earned if that driver also wins the race. If the race-win bonus is not earned, the $5,000 rolls into the next week’s award. Tony Stewart claimed the biggest MBNA Mid-Race Leader payout when he took home $85,000 ($10,000 for the award, $75,000 for the race-win bonus) by winning last year’s UAW-GM Quality 500 after leading the race at the halfway point.
Bonus for leading at halfway and winning at California is: $35,000
Winners for 2004 so far:
Daytona: Tony Stewart, $10,000
Rockingham: Matt Kenseth, $20,000*
Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth, $15,000*
Atlanta: Tony Stewart, $10,000
Darlington: Jamie McMurray, $10,000
Bristol: Sterling Marlin, $10,000
Texas: Kasey Kahne, $10,000
Martinsville: Jeff Gordon, $10,000
Talladega: Kevin Harvick, $10,000
(* won race and bonus)(4-25-2004)
WEATHER, TV/RADIO COVERAGE
LOCAL NEWS, TRACK/FAN INFO
IN-CAR AUDIO SITES
QUALIFYING, PRACTICE and RESULTS
news and links
- Fans Succumb to heat at California: ...Nearly 1,000 people were treated by on-site medical facilities, almost all for heat-related issues. The speedway has eight permanent first-aid buildings and the infield care center. There were 92,000 fans in the grandstands, and about 20,000 in the infield. The reported temperature at the speedway Sunday was 98.6 degrees with a track temperature of 139.7. Speedway spokesman Dennis Bickmeier said the speedway used 18 misting machines, six behind the terrace suites in the garage area, and 12 spread behind the grandstands and midway. The public address system advised fans to hydrate themselves. Bottled water sold for $3, but the track has more than 25 drinking fountains. Concessionaires were still doing inventory on Monday, but Bickmeier said more than 70,000 bottles of soda and lemonade were consumed, and at least 80,000 bottles of water.(Los Angeles Times)(5-5-2004)
- Idiot Fan Alert: #24-Jeff Gordon said his car was hit by a bottle after the race, a week after fans littered the track at Talladega Superspeedway with cans and containers at the end of that race. "Hopefully the tracks can start taking some action, maybe putting some signs up that saying that maybe legal action will be taken if anything is thrown over that fence," Gordon said. "I think it's a good idea to take some action and be proactive instead of reactive after it happens."(Roanoke Times)(5-3-2004)
- California Cup Illegal Parts: #25-Brian Vickers, NASCAR confiscated a 1x2 inch piece of cardboard used to change the height of the fuel cell rack. #45-Kyle Petty, NASCAR confiscated four foot long thin strips used to change the height of the fuel cell rack.(Insider Racing News)(5-3-2004)
- Jeff Gordon wins at California: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, in a fuel mileage race. #48-Jimmie Johnson ended up 2nd. #18-Bobby Labonte was running 2nd and ran out of gas with a 1/2 lap to go. #24-Jeff Gordon made it back-to-back Nextel Cup victories Sunday, parlaying fast pit stops and a strong car into a win in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. #18-Bobby Labonte had moved up to second in the late stages of the race and had closed to within a second of Gordon with two laps to go. On the final lap, however, Labonte ran out of fuel and sputtered home in fifth. Gordon, meanwhile, had just enough gas to complete a victory lap and a celebratory pass through the infield grass. His crew pushed the #24 to victory lane. #48-Jimmie Johnson made it to the end and grabbed second on the final lap. That, combined with a lackluster 19th-place run by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., moved Johnson to within 25 points of the lead in the Nextel Cup standings. Gordon remains third in the standings. #12-Ryan Newman and #17-Matt Kenseth also passed Labonte on the final lap. #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Jeremy Mayfield and #0-Ward Burton were among the others that ran out in the waning moments of the 500-mile event.(full story at )
For Results see
Jayski's California Race Results/Awards Standings Page
- Top Five Drivers Points after California:
#8-Earnhardt Jr., 1453
#48-Johnson, 1428, -25
#24-Gordon, 1426, -27
#17-Kenseth, 1357, -96
#97-Busch, 1316, -137
#29-Harvick, 1316, -137
For drivers points see:
Jayski's Driver/Owners Points after California page
So...what happened to the drivers at California
from watching/listening to race, PR's and columns/articles
Finish Pos, Car#, Driver, Some Notes
- #24 Jeff Gordon, kept in the hunt until the end, and got infront just before the yellow flew
- #8 Dale Earnhardt Jr., led the most laps, bad restart, missed winning by a car length
- #29 Kevin Harvick, tapped Kenseth to cause spin, otherwise up front all day
- #48 Jimmie Johnson, tangled with #42, cut tire, caution saved him, tapped #20 who spun and saved
- #31 Robby Gordon, crew and pit stops kept him up front all day
- #6 Mark Martin, steady run, hates restrictor plate racing
- #99 Jeff Burton, steady all day with new sponsor, not too happy with Stewart
- #41 Casey Mears, nose got beat up from a few pit road incidents, but held on
- #42 Jamie McMurray, tangled with the #41, hit by the #29 and #20, 1st restictor plate top-10
- #18 Bobby Labonte, was quiet most of the day, then grabbed the 10th at the end
- #12 Ryan Newman, said he didn't have anyone pushing him to get to the front
- #15 Michael Waltrip, got tapped by the #24, swerved into the #33 and recovered
- #77 Brendan Gaughan, best career finish, top finishing Raybestos Rookie
- #30 Johnny Sauter, had some pitroad trouble with the #41, otherwise stayed out of trouble
- #16 Greg Biffle, hot engine, crew removed tape, added water
- #88 Dale Jarrett, not happy with the beating and banging, hung in there
- #21 Ricky Rudd, lost a lap when a tire went down, got a lucky dog pass, clipped the #25 who spun
- #22 Scott Wimmer, got moved to outside lane and fell back after final restart
- #43 Jeff Green, stayed out of trouble, couldn't run low on the track
- #4 Jimmy Spencer, overheating problems, couldn't run in the draft very long
- #19 Jeremy Mayfield, handling problems early in the race, crew made repairs
- #20 Tony Stewart, caused the 'big one' by tapping Busch, got spun by the #48, ran into the #5 on the cool down lap
- #49 Ken Schrader, just squirted past the 'big one'
- #45 Kyle Petty, early vibration, then got caught up traffic
- #5 Terry Labonte, lost a tire which caused a caution, got nailed by #20 on cool down lap
- #04 Eric McClure, nice run for his debut, even led a lap
- #25 Brian Vickers, got loose in middle of 3-wide, got clipped by the #21
- #38 Elliott Sadler, got into the back of the #17, nose damage, engine ran hot, changed water, lost laps
- #09 Johnny Benson, pit road incident with the #23, lost a tire and lap, front suspension problem
- #9 Kasey Kahne, part of the 'big one', came back to make up some points
- #40 Sterling Marlin, lost a tire, then the screen in front of the radiator came loose, something went through the radiator and overheated engine
- #01 Joe Nemechek, water temp spiked, lost an engine, was running in the top five
- #2 Rusty Wallace, part of the 'big one', came back to make up some points
- #10 Scott Riggs, part of the 'big one', came back to make up some points
- #33 Kerry Earnhardt, innocent victim of #24-Gordon and #15-Waltrip tangle, got spun while running up front
- #97 Kurt Busch, the main victim in the 'big one', wasn't too happy about it
- #00 Kenny Wallace, part of the 'big one', tested the new SAFER which passed
- #50 Derrike Cope, part of the 'big one'
- #23 Dave Blaney, part of the 'big one'
- #0 Ward Burton, ran hot all day, then the engine exploded a third thru the race
- #89 Morgan Shepherd, transmission gave out
- #17 Matt Kenseth, spun around, could had damaged the engine, which blew a few laps later
- #32 Ricky Craven, didn't even break a sweat when the engine went
- StockCarFans.com - Rumblings - California: #24-Jeff Gordon went back-to-back today....and did it with all of about a gallon of gas to spare. In what turned into a "fuelish" event (don't they so often do both here and at Michigan), Jeff Gordon won today's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway by 12.871 seconds....but it was actually much closer than that. #18-Bobby Labonte got to within a couple seconds late, but ran out of gas on the final lap. For Gordon, this was his 3rd win at Fontana (he won the inaugural event in 1997 and again in 1999) and his second win of 2004. This was win #66 for his career, and the 120th for Hendrick Motorsports (made even sweeter since they ran 1/2). The victory was worth $318,628 for Gordon from the over $5.7M in posted awards. Ah, Rusty!!! In a sport rapidly becoming colorless, it's like a breath of fresh air to hear a driver say what _he_ thinks instead of what he's been told to say. Hot? You think today was hot? How quickly we forget those July races in Talladega....
#77-Brendan Gaughan (6th) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was last week at Talladega when he was 13th.
#5-Terry Labonte (7th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Martinsville last October.
Labonte & Gaughan's Top-10 finishes give us 28 drivers to score a Top-10 this season.....last year's number was 42.
#0-Ward Burton (10th) had his best finish since he was 9th at Rockingham in February.
#98-Todd Bodine (34th) had his best finish since he was 11th at Homestead last November (only 5 races).
STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 5 Top-10's in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
The Rookie Report: For the second week in a row Brendan Gaughan (6th) is the top-finishing first year driver. He was followed by: Kasey Kahne (13th), Johnny Sauter (21st), Scott Riggs (25th), Brian Vickers (29th) and Scott Wimmer (30th).
This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the week is a tie....and it stays in the family! Bobby Labonte (+22) and brother Terry Labonte (+22) grab the title, followed by Matt Kenseth (+21). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Jeff Green (-34), followed by Joe Nemechek (-26), Rusty Wallace (-26), Brian Vickers (-23), and Scott Riggs (-21).
Brendan Gaughan led once today for one lap....the first time he's led in his Nextel Cup career. Ken Schrader led one lap today....it's the
first time he's led since he led twice for 46 laps at the Daytona 500 of 2002! We've had 38 different leaders this season....last year's
number was 48.
Dale Earnhardt Jr maintains the points lead, but his margin is down to 25 over Jimmie Johnson with Jeff Gordon just another two points back. Brendan Gaughan (27th to 22nd) made the best move forward today, while Scott Wimmer (21st to 25th) fell the most positions.(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(5-2-2004)
- NOTES and FACTS: Jeff Gordon won the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, scoring his 66th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 375th career start. His last victory came at Talladega just one race ago. Gordon, who won last week at Talladega, posted back-to-back victories for the 19th time in his career. This includes one streak of three races and one of four. The most recent driver to post back-to-back victories was Matt Kenseth who did so earlier this season when he won at Rockingham and Las Vegas.
This is Gordon's sixth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in the state of California.Gordon also has three victories at Infineon Raceway
Eighteen drivers are within 400 points of current point leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. as we continue to monitor the countdown to the Chase for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship. The 15 leaders in the 2004 Auto Club 500 ties the record at California Speedway set in 2000. Kevin Harvick (ninth) extended his streak of running at the finish in 49 straight races, a streak that began at Rockingham in November 2002.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-2-2004)
- The Auto Club 500 at California Speedway:
The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions and some notes
after 250 of 250 laps:
#12 Ryan Newman
#17 Matt Kenseth
#18 Bobby Labonte
- Cars on the lead lap: 11 (of 43 starters)
Off track/out of race (8):
- Laps Leaders Unofficial (15 with 23 lead changes):
#4-Spencer (3)(during 1st caution);
#89-Shepherd (1)(during 1st caution);
#98-Bodine (1)(during 1st caution);
#24-Gordon (81-most led);
#17-Kenseth (11)(after pit stops, 2nd caution);
#16-Biffle (28)(passes Gordon - lap 66);
#25-Vickers (1)(after 4th caution pitstops);
#48-Johnson (37)(passes Kahne, lap 105);
#19-Mayfield (1-credit leading halfway)(during 5th caution);
#49-Schrader (1)(during 5th caution);
#77-Gaughan (1)(during lap 200 green flag stops);
#12-Newman (2)(during lap 200 green flag stops);
#29-Harvick (3)(during lap 200 green flag stops);
Cautions: 6 for 39 laps
Caution 6 - Laps 149 - 158: #43-Green lost an engine, oil on the track. The caution was extended as there is a lot of speed dry on the track and NASCAR is having the track blown off as it is slick and very hot.
Caution 5 - Laps 141 - 145: Debris on the 3rd turn.
Caution 4 - Laps 92 - 97: Debris in turn 3 off #97-Busch.
Caution 3 - Laps 58 - 62: #97-Busch slid up the track in the front stretch, after getting into the speed-dry and came down the track and clipped #2-Wallace who has a lot of front end damage. #15-Waltrip picked up some debris.
Caution 2 - Laps 51 - 55: #98-Bodine lost an engine and got oil on the track, causing #9-Kahne to slide a bit and lost the lead to #24-Gordon.
Caution 1 - Laps 23 - 30: #94-Barrett got loose, slid, then shot op the track and hit wall [SAFER] head on and hard, but got out of the car under his own power. Did some damage to the SAFER wall that had to be repaired.
- Who got a lap back on each caution at California - The Lucky Dog Pack: (and their finish)
(FOX calls it 'the Free Pass Car', NBC calls it the Lucky Dog - which I prefer)
Caution 6: #38-Sadler, 22nd [1 lap down]
Caution 5: none, no one a lap down [that are on the track]
Caution 4: #0-Burton, 10th
Caution 3: none, no one a lap down [that are on the track]
Caution 2: none, no one a lap down [that are on the track]
Caution 1: none, no one a lap down [that are on the track]
See past races, rules, news and who has used the most Lucky Dog passes on my
Lucky Dog page.
RACE/PIT NOTES: (as noted heard on TV or Radio)
---- #18-Labonte ran out of gas while running 2nd with a 1/2 lap to go, #19-Mayfield ran out of gas on the last lap.
---- on lap 203, #88-Jarrett slid up the track in turn 2 and hit #29-Harvick and the wall, both drove on.
---- the leaders came in for last scheduled green flag pit stops around the 199-202 lap range.
---- on lap 170, #77-Gaughan is reporting the water temp is 250+, he has something stuck on his grill.
---- #2-Wallace has gone back to the garage. During the 6th caution, #10-Riggs is in the pits with the hood up, had some sort of clutch problem.
---- #22-Wimmer is in and out of pitroad, having some sort of engine problems, and possible vapor lock.
---- #16-Biffle is back on the track around lap 140, after the team made repairs to the transmission.
---- just before the 5th caution, #89-Shepherd pitted and sped off pit road and had to come back in to serve a stop-and-go penalty and missed out on the Lucky Dog pass.
---- as of lap 100. #2-Wallace is back on the track in his repaired car.
---- on the 4th caution restart, #16-Biffle didn't get restarted and was way off the pace and fell back, then took the car to the garage, has no power.
---- during the 4th caution, #43-Green pitted a few times, the crew was under the hood, having carburetor problems.
---- on lap 89, #97-Busch wacked the wall, but drove on and no caution was thrown.
---- around lap 85, #24-Gordon thinks he may have a right rear tire going down.
---- around lap 80, #16-Biffle lost his ignition while leading, but switched to the other ignition box and drove off without losing the lead.
---- #98-Bodine is back on the track after the team made repairs, so he didn't lose an engine as was reported.
---- on lap 68, #4-Spencer made an unscheduled pit stop, some sort of pass-thru penalty from something that happened on his last pit stop.
---- after the 3rd caution, on the re-start, #0-Burton spun thru the frontstetch grass, no caution was thrown and Burton was able to drive away and stay on the lead lap.
---- during the 3rd caution, #15-Waltrip brought his car in with a hole in the radiator, possibly from debris from the #97 / #2 wreck. #31-Gordon may have also picked up some damage from the wreck.
---- #50-Cope came in to pit a 2nd time during the 2nd caution.
---- Stanton Barrett is being transferred to a local hospital for further evaulation after his wreck on lap 23.
---- all the cars came in to put during the second caution.
---- on lap 42, #45-Petty is off the track.
---- during the first caution, #20-Stewart made many stops to fix the damage to the front end whrn he got together with the #24 and #2.
---- all the cars came in to put during the first caution, except #4-Spencer, #98-Bodine, #89-Shepherd.
---- on lap 22, #02-Sadler creeped into the pits but came out after the 1st caution.
---- on lap 6, #20-Stewart came up the track and go into #24-Gordon, both drove on.
---- on lap 5, #2-Wallace came down on #20-Stewart, did some damage to the #20 right front.
---- #31-Gordon is fighting a bout of food poisioning.
---- to the back, #41-Casey Mears. back-up car during Saturday's first practice, was to start 13th and #22-Wimmer who changed 2 engines before the race, he was to start 39th.
- To the Back: #41-Casey Mears wrecked in the first Saturday practice and will have to go to a backup car, so he will have to fall to the rear of teh field before the drop of the green flag at the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Mears had been 6th quickest in practice and was to start 13th.
#22-Scott Wimmer's team changed engines after Happy Hour and had to fall to the rear of the fieid, he was to start 39th.(5-1-2004)
- Happy Hour practice for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is over. The fastest were:
Slowest were: #72-Shelmerdine 157.253 and #02-Sadler 168.575.
Most laps run: #99-Burton 40, #6-Martin 38
For speeds, see or NASCAR.com.(5-1-2004)
- The First Saturday Practice for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is over. The fastest were:
#48-Johnson, Chevrolet, 182.709
#8-Earnhardt Jr., 182.394
Slowest were #4-Jimmy Spencer, 175.490 and #50-Cope, 176.061.
Not practicing were #02-Sadler, #98-Bodine, #72-Shelmerdin and #94-Barrett.
Running the most laps were #12-Newman with 27, #15-Waltrip and #31-Gordon with 25.
For speeds, see or NASCAR.com.(5-1-2004)
- StockCarFans.com - Ramblings - California: It was a parade of the young today, and the fastest of the freshman was
once again Kasey Kahne. Kahne sped around California Speedway in 38.515 seconds (186.940 mph) to take the Bud Pole for Sunday's Auto Club 500. This was his third top-spot of the year, tying him with Ryan Newman for most poles this young season. All in all, we had four rookies in the Top-6....could make for a very interesting elevator on Sunday.
Kahne will be joined in the Uecker seats by Front Row Joe Nemechek....and we can call him that for the first time since he was outside the front row at Richmond last May!
Jeff Green (3rd) has his best starting spot since he had the pole (in the #30 car then) at the Daytona 500 in February of 2003.
Scott Riggs (4th) has his career-best starting spot for Sunday's event. His previous best was 5th last week at Talladega.
Brendan Gaughan (5th) has his career-best starting spot as well. His previous best was 7th at Bristol last month.
Sterling Marlin (8th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Daytona in February.
Jimmy Spencer (22nd) has his best starting spot since he started 16th at Homestead last November (only 5 races).
STREAKIN....Dale Earnhardt Jr has 4 Top-10 starts in a row.(StockCarFans.Com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(4-30-2004)
- Kahne wins pole at California: #9-Kasey Kahne won the Budweiser Pole for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway with a speed of 186.940mph, Kahne's 3rd pole of 2004 and of his short 10 race career. #01-Joe Nemechek lived up to his nickname, 'Front-row Joe' and starts on the outside pole [2nd] with 186.737. The rest of the top five are #43-Jeff Green [nice to see], #10-Scott Riggs [backs up last weeks qualifying effort] and #77.Brendan Gaughan. So that is three rookies in the top five. #25-Vickers is 6th. Since only 43 drivers attempted to make the race, all made the field. The provisionals went to #22-Wimmer [owners points], #02-Sadler [owners points], #98-Bodine [owners points], #72-Shelmerdine [race attempts] and #94-Barrett [race attempts]. Nice run by #89-Morgan Shepherd who made the field via speed. So what's up with the Ford's? The highest qualifying Ford was #38-Sadler who will start 14th and said he had an engine miss. Supposedly this was the race the new Ford engine heads were to debut, not sure if they are or not,m have not heard....yet.
Qualifying Results/Lineups at:
Jayski's Qualifying Page
- Friday Practice for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is over. The fastest were:
#8-Earnhardt Jr. 184.781
Slowest are #72-Shelmerdine at 168.947 and #94-Barrett at 171.944. #98-Bodine is being shown as running 2 laps with a very slow speed [5mph], maybe an engine problem? Since only 43 cars are making attempts, all will make the race and not 'should' be charged a provisionals that has to use one.
#48-Johnson, who was 29th fastest in practice, wrecked and will have to go to a backup car to qualify and race in.
Most laps run were 32 by #40-Marlin, next driver wasn't even close, #45-Petty with 19.
See speeds at:
- Qualifying Order links are posted for the Auto Club 50 at California Speedway. 43 drivers/cars are listed, first driver scheduled out is #77-Brendan Gaughan, last driver scheduled out to qualify is #49-Ken Schrader. See links above.(4-30-2004)
- Entry List Links:
Jayski's Auto Club 500 Entry List, 43 cars entered
- No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A/Lucky Dog
- Jayski's - 2004 Nextel Cup Race Results Page
- Jayski's - 2004 Nextel Cup Practice Leader and Links
- 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).
- Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites:
SOME RECORDS, NOTES, RULES and NEWS
- Track Qualifying Record: Ryan Newman, April 2002, 187.432mph
- Track Race Record: Jeff Gordon, June 1997, 155.012mph
- April 2003 Pole Sitter: #1-Steve Park, 186.838, finished 40th
- 2003 Race Winner: Kurt Busch, 140.111mph, started 16th
- Slowest Race Record: Kurt Busch, 140.111mph, 4/27/2003
- Most Wins: 2 - Jeff Gordon
- Most Poles: 1 - six different drivers
- Most Top 5s: 4 - Jeff Gordon
- Most Top 10s: 4 - Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Jeremy Mayfield, Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace
- Oldest Winner: Rusty Wallace, 44 years, 8 months, 15 days, 4/29/2001
- Youngest Winner: Kurt Busch, 24 years, 8 months, 23 days, 4/27/2003
- Most Laps Led by a Leader: Mark Martin, 5/3/1998, 165 laps
- Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: 26 - Jeremy Mayfield, 4/30/2000
- Most Lead Changes: 28 - 5/2/1999
- Fewest Lead Changes: 15 - 4/30/2000
- Most Cautions: 8 - 4/27/2003
- Most Caution Laps: 35, 5/3/1998
- Fewest Cautions: 4 - 6/22/1997
- Fewest Caution Laps: 22- two times, most recent 4/30/2000
- Most Running at the Finish: 40 - 4/29/2001
- Fewest Running at the Finish: 32 - 6/22/1997
- Most Wins by Manufacturer: 4 - Ford
- Worst Starting Spot to Win: Jeremy Mayfield, 4/30/2000, started 24th
- Races won from starting pos 1: 0 [of 7] 0.0%
- Races won from starting pos 2: 0
- Races won from starting pos 3: 2
- Races won from starting pos 4: 1
- Races won from starting pos 5: 1
- Races won from starting pos 16: 1
- Races won from starting pos 19: 1
- Races won from starting pos 24: 1
- Races won from the top 5: 4 of 7
- Races won from the top 10: 4 of 7
- CALIFORNIA NEWS & NOTES:
Charting the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: Dale Earnhardt Jr. still front-runner … Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet) finished second last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, retaining the lead in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10. … Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick had the biggest jumps this week, each moving four positions, to third and sixth, respectively. … The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 takes on added importance this season. After 26 races of the 36-race season, the top 10 drivers in points – plus anyone within 400 points of the points leader – qualify for the “Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup” that will determine the series champion.
On the NASCAR bubble … The new format for determining the series champion has created a “NASCAR bubble” between the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 and those on the outside looking in. This week, the drivers ranking 11th-15th are all within 105 points of 10th-place Bobby Labonte (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet). Eleventh-place Jamie McMurray (No. 42 Texaco-Havoline Dodge) is 28 points behind; 12th-place Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) is 30 behind; 13th-place Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) is 36 behind; 14th-place Sterling Marlin (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge) is 80 behind; and 15th-place Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford) is 105 back.
Chevrolet, Ford deadlocked in manufacturers’ points … Post-Talladega, Chevrolet and Ford are in a dead-heat, in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Manufacturers’ Championship points, with 58 points and four victories apiece. Dodge is third with 55 points and one victory.
Stewart doubling up at California, driving in NASCAR Busch Series race … Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, also will drive the No. 29 Employer Support of Guard and Reserve Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in Saturday’s Stater Bros. 300 presented by Gatorade NASCAR Busch Series race at California Speedway. … This will mark Stewart’s first NASCAR Busch Series start of 2004. Stewart's most recent start in America’s No. 2 motorsports series came last August at Michigan International Speedway when he drove the No. 8 Chevrolet for the Chance 2 Motorsports team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stewart led twice for 85 laps.
Stewart’s foundation sets benefit concert … Tony Stewart announced earlier this week that his charitable foundation – the Tony Stewart Foundation – will hold a benefit concert Oct. 6 at the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center in Paducah, Ky. The “Tony Stewart Foundation Benefit Concert presented by Bass Pro Shops and Hultman Inc.” will feature Arista Recording artist Diamond Rio and Capitol Recording artist Trace Adkins, along with guest appearances by NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Petty. Stewart said all money raised will go to charity. A portion will benefit local charities in the Paducah area, with the rest benefiting Kyle and Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C.
SAFER walls going up at Texas … Texas Motor Speedway announced Tuesday that it has scheduled installation of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers to begin the week of May 10. The project is scheduled to take two to three weeks.
Warning: Milestone ahead … The MBNA America 400, set for June 6 at Dover International Speedway, will be the 1,000th premier-series race in the modern era (since 1972).
Opening Day” at The Glen aids Victory Junction Gang Camp … The Victory Junction Gang Camp, a Proud Charity of NASCAR, will once again receive a portion of the proceeds from Watkins Glen International’s “Opening Day,” which is scheduled this year for Sunday. The annual event provides race fans and car enthusiasts with the opportunity to drive the same historic track where the likes of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers Jeff Gordon (four wins), Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford – three) and Kyle Petty (No. 45 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge – one) have claimed victories. “Opening Day” signals the start of the 2004 racing season at The Glen. Victory Junction Gang Camp, founded by Petty and his wife Pattie in honor of their late son Adam, is scheduled for completion in June and will provide camp sessions year-round for children ages 7-15 with life-threatening illnesses. The venue will be located on 72 acres in the heart of the North Carolina foothills in Randleman, N.C., the hometown of the Petty family. When complete, Victory Junction will have more than 36 buildings, including a dining hall, gym, pool, theater, therapeutic equestrian center, arts and crafts center, race shop and cabins. Most importantly, the camp will offer a sophisticated medical facility staffed by a team of professionals capable of administering to the needs of these children, up to and including the administering of chemotherapy.
Tire test at Richmond … NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers Kevin Harvick, reigning series champion Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford) and Ryan Newman (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) participated in a two-day Goodyear tire test session this week at Richmond International Raceway. RIR embarked on another multi-million dollar capital improvement campaign during the off-season that included the installation of a new sub-surface, under drain system and track repaving project. The tests will be the first of the season at Richmond, site of the Chevy American Revolution 400 on May 15 as well as the all-important 26th race of the year on Sept. 11, where those drivers who are in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Top 10 and also within 400 points of the leader qualify for the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
NASCAR TV Offers full slate … This week on NASCAR TV on SPEED Channel:
• Friday – NASCAR Live (3 p.m. ET) with host Steve Byrnes and guest.
• Friday – NASCAR Busch Series qualifying live from California Speedway at 4 p.m. ET; NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying live from California Speedway at 6 p.m. ET.
• Friday – Trackside (8:30 p.m. ET) live from SPEED Channel’s new 53-foot traveling stage truck, at California Speedway. Co-hosts Steve Byrnes, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond will welcome Brian Vickers, Austin Cameron, Eric Norris and others.
• Saturday – From the stage truck at California Speedway, Pit Bull (6:30 p.m. ET) features commentary from NASCAR beat writers David Poole (Charlotte Observer), Ben Blake (Racer Magazine), Marty Smith (NASCAR.com) and Mike Mulhern (Winston-Salem Journal). Pit Bull is hosted by Steve Byrnes.
• Sunday – SPEEDNews NASCAR Edition (7 p.m. and midnight ET) co-hosted by Bob Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Connie LeGrand. Bob Dillner, Robin Miller, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond are regular contributors.
• Sunday – NASCAR Victory Lane (8 p.m. ET). Host John Roberts is joined by NASCAR drivers Kenny Wallace and Chad Little, offering post-race coverage from California.
• Monday – Inside NEXTEL Cup (7 p.m. ET) with Allen Bestwick, Michael Waltrip, Johnny Benson and Ken Schrader reviewing the weekend’s action.
• Monday – SPEED Channel’s reality series NBS 24/7 (8 p.m. ET). The weekly show follows the NASCAR Busch Series race teams from FitzBradshaw Racing (Casey Atwood, Tim Fedewa, Randy LaJoie), Akins Motorsports (Kahne) and Braun Racing (David Stremme).
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Jeff Gordon has finished 11th or better in six of the seven NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races held at California Speedway. He has two victories, the first coming in the track’s debuting premier-series event. Gordon has led 329 laps at California Speedway, more than any other driver.
Rusty Wallace leads drivers who have competed in all seven California Speedway races, with a 10.428 average start.
Defending race champion Kurt Busch (No. 97 IRWIN Ford) has run only three of the seven California Speedway races, but he has a 5.33 average finish.
“My feelings on NASCAR’s realignment are no secret, and California Speedway is a great example of the positives expansion will bring to the sport. … The larger markets are better for television and for our sponsors.” – Ken Schrader (No. 49 Schwan’s Home Service Dodge).
“We had a shot to win at Texas and Martinsville. Unfortunately, things didn't go our way and we just made the most of it. Instead of getting down, I think it fired this team up." – Jeff Gordon, on winning for the first time this season last Sunday at Talladega.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The state of California has always played an important part in the history and growth of NASCAR. It may seem hard to believe, but this week’s Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is the 110th event staged in the Golden State for NASCAR’s premier series. Early star Marshall Teague won the first California race, wheeling his low-slung Hudson Hornet to victory on the half-mile dirt surface of Carrell Speedway in Gardena, way back on April 8, 1951. Three very successful races were held at that track during the ‘51 season and soon, other California speedways were holding events.
Oakland Stadium, Bay Meadows horse track in San Mateo, Merced Speedway, San Jose’s Santa Clara Fairgrounds, Redwood Speedway in Eureka and Ascot Stadium were among tracks which were a part of NASCAR’s schedule in the 1950s. Sacramento boasted two NASCAR-sanctioned speedways; the California State Fairgrounds and Capital Speedway.
Marchbanks Speedway, a 1.4-mile track in Hanford, was the scene of Fireball Roberts’ historic victory on March 12, 1961. Roberts dominated the race, leading every lap. It was the first time a driver led wire-to-wire in a NASCAR superspeedway event.
Road courses have played a big part in California’s NASCAR racing past. One of the more unusual tracks was the Willow Springs facility in Lancaster. It was 2.5-mile dirt road course in the 1950s. The famed Riverside Raceway held its first NASCAR race in 1958 and held 48 premier-series events, the most of any California track, through 1988. Bobby Allison led in victories there with six. Infineon Raceway in Sonoma has been on the schedule since 1989.
The “megatrack” at Ontario opened in 1971 with A.J. Foyt taking the inaugural race. The speedway closed shortly after Benny Parsons’ win in 1980. Today’s California Speedway is one of the most beautiful and competitive tracks in motorsports.
What: Auto Club 500 (Race No. 10 of the 36-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season.)
Where: California Speedway; Fontana, Calif.
When: Sunday, May 2, 3 p.m. (ET).
TV: FOX, 3 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
Posted awards: $5,785,656
Race length: 500 miles/250 laps.
Track layout: 2-mile oval.
2003 winner: Kurt Busch.
2003 polesitter: Steve Park.
- Get rid of your Gray, help out: Just for Men Haircolor, one of Michael Waltrip's sponsors, will be conducting a charitable fund-raiser at California Speedway. For every man who has his gray hair colored (for free) at the Just for Men location on the speedway midway (behind the main grandstand), the company will donate $20 to Give Kids The World, a non-profit program for children with life-threatening illnesses. The hours are 9:00am - 3:00pm on Friday, 8:00am - 1:00pm on Saturday and 8:00am - 12:00noon on Sunday.(4-27-2004)
- Nice Gesture: Stater Bros. Markets is proudly donating a total of 1000 tickets to military personnel for the upcoming NASCAR races at the California Speedway in Fontana, California. This donation includes tickets for the "Stater Bros. 300" NASCAR Race on Saturday, May 1, 2004 as well as the "Auto Club 500" NASCAR Race on Sunday May 2, 2004. Stater Bros. is the "Official Grocery Store" of the California Speedway for 2004. Stater Bros. is also the title sponsor of the NASCAR Busch Series event "The Stater Bros. 300" at the California Speedway on Saturday, May 1, 2004.(PRNewswire)(4-27-2004)
- California Tix Sales Light? UPDATE Look for a sellout...again: Ticket sales for the May 2 California 500 are reportedly way down, because fans are buying tickets to the new Labor Day weekend race instead. Nextel team owners report their sponsors are being offered blocks of tickets to try to fill the stands.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-18-2004)
UPDATE: California Speedway president Bill Miller did not waver from his task last week when published reports indicated ticket sales for next Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Auto Club 500 were “soft.” “We do have tickets, but the availability is limited,” said Miller. “We don’t have corporate blocks but we’re not down to selling ones or twos. The nature of this market is to gravitate toward the event.” Late buyers may stumble onto premium seats. Miller indicated some of the Speedway’s best seats will become available this week after being released by the ticket office. With the Auto Club 500 seven days away, less than 8,000 tickets remain for the race. Miller is confident the “sold out” shingle will be displayed by week’s end, signaling more than 110,000 in attendance. That would mean all 92,000 grandstand tickets and the 5,000 or so sky box or terrace suite seats sold. The infield has been sold out for months, although $45 wristbands will be available Sunday morning. That’s contrary to what was written last week, specifically the Winston-Salem Journal reporting a week ago ticket sales were soft and revised it to “poor” on Friday. The story attributed the situation to the fact fans were more interested in buying tickets to the inaugural Sept. 5 Pop Secret 500. In reality, individual ticket sales for Fontana’s second Nextel Cup race do not go on sale until Saturday. As a matter of fact, sales have ensured that Saturday’s NASCAR West and Busch Series races will probably be the best attended in the Speedway’s eight-year history.(Press Telegram)(4-27-2004)
- California Speedway Boss is influential: California Speedway President William Miller was named one of Southern California's 25 most influential sports executives by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Miller, who became CMS president in 2000, ranked 23rd on the list.(NASCAR Scene Daily 'Free' Newsletter)(4-2-2004)
- California Next with SAFER: California Speedway President Bill Miller announced that installation of the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) wall is scheduled to begin at the superspeedway in early April with an anticipated completion date prior to the April 30-May 2nd Auto Club 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series weekend. Two sets of barriers will be placed along the turns at the two-mile oval, with the first set starting at the entrance of turn one and running continuously to the exit of turn two. The second set will start at the entrance of turn three and run continuously to the exit of turn four. A third set of barriers will be placed on the inside retaining
wall off the exit of turn two, extending approximately two-thirds of the way down the backstretch.(California Speedway PR)(3-2-2004)
- Latest Darlington rumor: When the lights go up, the Labor Day date comes back and everyone wins. California can have Darlington's new November date -- making the big L.A. market part of the 10-race title chase -- and the Southern 500 returns to its traditional weekend. Why would they be putting up lights at Darlington for either of its two cool-weather events? It's such a perfect solution, you kinda figure it's not true.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-21-2004)
- California Speedway Lights: The lighting of California Speedway in anticipation of next year's "Finish Under The Lights" Pop
Secret 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race on September 5th will commence on Monday, October 13th, speedway President Bill Miller
announced today. The tentative construction schedule by Musco Lighting will begin with the construction of pole foundations around the exterior of the speedway's two-mile oval and quarter-mile Street Legal Drag Strip, California Dragway, from October 13-November 14. The next phase of the project, beginning November 17, is for the installation of pole foundations in the infield portion of the speedway. According to Musco Project Manager Mark Flesner, other phases on the road to completing the lighting project include: installation of pit
road poles and lights; installation of oval perimeter poles and lights; installation of drag strip poles and lights; installation of grandstand poles and lights; installation of infield lights, with a projected completion of the project in the Summer of 2004. Season ticket packages for 2004 are on sale now, featuring the Ultimate Season Package, the NASCAR Six Pack and the Pick Your NASCAR Weekend packages. For purchasing and event information, log on to www.californiaspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(PR)(10-8-2003)
- Another Lawsuit: Greg Moore's wrongful death lawsuit will be back in a U.S. court later this year or early 2004. Lawyers representing Moore's estate filed an appeal earlier this summer arguing the wrongful death lawsuit resulting from the Maple Ridge, B.C., driver's fatal crash in 1999 shouldn't have been dismissed. The brief, filed with the Riverside, Calif., County Court of Appeals, names Championship Auto Racing Teams and California Speedway Corp. as defendants. The appeal is an attempt to overturn an earlier decision by a lower court to dismiss the suit. Moore, 24, died when his car crashed into a wall during the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway. Lawyers representing the Moore estate maintain the death was caused because when the car left the course, it skidded on grass in the track's infield and slammed into a concrete wall that was void of any energy-absorbing material.(Toronto Sun/CP)(9-16-2003)
- California Speedway Season Tix: Starting Wednesday, August 6th, fans purchasing new season tickets at California Speedway for the 2004 season, which features two NASCAR Nextel Cup races, will have the opportunity to select their seats online at www.californiaspeedway.com using the speedway's interactive 3-D grandstand map and secure online purchasing services. All new orders must be paid in full at the time of purchase. Packages include: Ultimate Season Package; NASCAR Six-Pack Package; NASCAR Weekend Package. Season tickets for 2004 will go on sale via phone August 13th by calling 1-800-PIT-SHOP (748-7467).(California Speedway PR)(8-6-2003)
- New Ticket Plans for California: With two NASCAR Winston Cup weekends in 2004, California Speedway announced new ticket pricing, policies and packages for 2004. For the first time, the speedway is implementing a payment plan for season ticket renewals, infield RV renewals and California Speedway Club renewals. Renewals for season ticket holders were mailed this morning. Deposits can be made for new season ticket sales now by calling 1-800-PIT-SHOP or on the speedway's website at www.californiaspeedway.com. The 2004 season will be the first time California Speedway will offer renewable NASCAR tickets. In addition, the ticket pricing structure will move to a two-tiered pricing system, lower rows 1-23 and upper rows 24-48. The speedway is also offering a NASCAR fan layaway plan for the Ultimate Season Package, the new NASCAR Six-Pack Package and the new Renewable NASCAR Weekend Package. The plan calls for a $65 deposit per ticket ordered payable by credit card. Individual race tickets, pending availability, will go on sale via the Internet and telephone for the May Auto Club 500 in December. For the September Pop Secret 500, tickets go on sale in May of 2004.(California Speedway PR)(6-17-2003)
- It's OFFICIAL - California gets 2nd race, on Labor day, Darlington moves to 2nd Rockingham slot, which loses a race: Beginning in 2004, California Speedway will get a second NASCAR Winston Cup date -- Sunday night during Labor Day weekend. This first official move of the Winston Cup Series' "realignment 2004" was announced Friday. The inaugural Pop Secret 500 is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm/et on Sunday, Sept. 5th, and will be telecast live on NBC. California Speedway is touting it as the first Sunday night prime time Winston Cup event. NASCAR president Mike Helton deflected all questions about additional future changes to the schedule. In 2004, North Carolina Speedway, a 60,113-seat oval in Rockingham, NC will lose its second date on the schedule, in the fall. This season Rockingham's spring race was held Feb. 23, a date that has been weather-plagued through the years. The Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, a 60,000-seat oval, will replace Rockingham's fall date. The Southern 500 has been held on Labor Day weekend for 53 years at Darlington, the 1.336-mile South Carolina oval. Darlington maintains its spring event, held annually in March since 1957.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-2003)
- Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - California Speedway
- Mears is versatile: #41-Casey Mears has driven in four different series in two styles of cars at California Speedway. He has raced in CART, Indy Lights, Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series cars at what he considers his home track in Fontana. His most memorable race at California Speedway came in his CART Series debut when he ran a third car for Team Rahal and finished fourth in 2000.(Mearsgang.com)(4-30-2004)
- See the 2004 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.
PAINT SCHEME NEWS
- New look for the #40:the #40 Coors Light Dodge that Sterling Marlin driver will have an altered paint scheme this weekend at California Speedway. Starting this weekend the car will sport a new paint scheme for the rest of the season [have not seen it...yet]. AND Fans have until the end of the month [April? May?] to vote for one of three different #40 Prilosec OTC paint schemes, to be run later this season, on www.prilosecotc.com.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(4-30-2004)
- #30 IMAX Scheme at California: The #30 AOL Chevrolet will again carry the special IMAX paint scheme this weekend for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway.(RCR PR), see images of the car on the #30 Team Paint Schemes page.(4-30-2004)
- Special Scheme for Rusty at California: #2-Rusty Wallace, driver of the Miller Lite Dodge, will beactive in sponsor Miller’s advertising push to be “President of Beers.” “Our Miller Lite Dodge will be carrying a special color scheme this weekend at California Speedway that reflects their latest advertising campaign,” said Wallace, who won two weeks ago at Martinsville, Va., to snap a victory drought of 105 races that dated back to his California win on April 29, 2001. “It’s a cool looking car and a real eye-catcher. The theme signals how determined Miller is to let consumers know that there’s a choice out there." Miller’s latest ad campaign features television commercials urging beer drinkers to reject a monarchy (King of Beers) and instead consider a democracy in which Miller runs for “President of Beers.” See an image of the car on my #2 Team Paint Scheme Page.
AND - the Martinsville Car Name: got asked this question quite a bit this week so.....Martinsville winning car named "The Predator" -- "We've been trying to get Bell to name one of their new models (helicopters) that for some time now," Rusty explained. "The predator is the ultimate hunter and it strikes like nothing else. This was a brand new car that won right out of the box. The car never touched a race track until we got to Martinsville. That's quite impressive." The next race for the car will be Richmond, with the team scheduled to test there on May 5.(TRPR.com)(4-28-2004)
- Special Mobil Scheme for Newman: #12-Ryan Newman is scheduled to run a special Mobil 1 30th Anniversay paint scheme at the California race on May 2.(3-18-2004)
- Special Scheme for Tony Stewart at California Speedway in September, a reverse scheme of some sort for the #20 Home Depot Chevy.(12-27-2003)
- More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery
RACE /CHAMPIONSHIP ODDs