THE NEXT Nextel Cup RACE
the Jayski site is housed at:
NEWS, STATS and INFO
THE RACE: The Auto Club 500
Nextel Cup Race #2 of 36 for the 2005 season
Updated: often, leading up to the race
- Race: Sunday, February 27, 2005 in Fontana, CA
- TV: FOX 3:00pm/et
- Pre-Race Show: Fox - 2:00pm/et - with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond
- Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel
Wednesday, March 2 [Fast Forward, 2-hour recap] at 5:00pm/et;
Thursday, March 3 [Replay] at 3:00pm/et;
Friday, March 4 [Replay] at 12:00am/et
- Pay Per View/NASCAR In Demand: www.indemand.com
- Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
- Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes
- Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond
- TV Listings and Info:
Jayski's TV Listings Page
NASCAR on TV
- Purse/Race Awards: $5,804,876 (was $5,780,656 in 2004)
(First Place - $272,450)
- 1st Practice: Friday, February 25, 4:20 - 5:40pm/et
- Final Practice: Friday, February 25, 7:00 - 8:00pm/et, TV-Speed
- Qualifying Draw: Friday, February 25, 3:20pm/et
- Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-42, Saturday, February 26 at 3:10pm/et, TV-FX, AND live via radio at MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio.
- NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Nextel Cup qualifying via the web (NOTE: this is a paid subscription service).
GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES
Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials (Nextel Cup and Busch Series);
Goodyear Wrangler Speedway Radials (Craftsman Truck Series)
Codes: Left - D-6852; Right - D-6854
Circumference: Left - 87.4 in.; Right - 88.7 in.
Estimated Pit Stops: Every 48-52 laps, based on fuel mileage
Number of Tires Required:
Nextel Cup: Left - 1,500, Right - 1,500
Busch Series: Left - 550, Right - 550
Craftsman Truck: Left - 325, Right - 325
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front - 30 psi
Right Front - 48 psi
Left Rear - 30 psi
Right Rear - 45 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front - 24 psi
Right Front - 44 psi
Left Rear - 24 psi
Right Rear - 41 psi
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 two-mile speedway by teams in all three major NASCAR series throughout the 2004 season . . . all three NASCAR series will compete on the same tires this weekend, though the Nextel Cup and Busch Series tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle" and the Craftsman Truck Series tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the first of eight races at which Nextel Cup teams are scheduled to run this tire set-up in 2005 . . . in addition to California, this combination will be run by Nextel Cup, Busch and Truck Series teams at Charlotte, 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: "We developed this tire set-up this past fall, and it is new for the 2005 season. We held primary testing at Charlotte with Joe Nemechek and Bobby Labonte, while most (Nextel) Cup teams ran these codes at the open test at Fontana last month. The difference between this set-up and the one run last year at Fontana is a 'grippier' right-side compound to compliment NASCAR's new, reduced aero rules package."
RACE BONUS INFO
- The NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus is $20,000 at California Speedway for leading the points and winning the race. 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.
2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus Winners:
- 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 and displays the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award decal on their race car. 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. Eligible drivers earn two points for winning the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award and another point if they also go on to win the race. The driver who earns the most points during the season will win the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award Championship.
Bonus for leading at halfway and winning at California: $10,000
Winners for 2005 so far:
Daytona: Tony Stewart, $10,000
(* won race and bonus)
NOTE: the award goes to the eligible driver leading on the 5th consecutive green lap following a mid-race caution if one occurs.
#48-Jimmie Johnson and #29-Kevin Harvick are not on the program.
Capital One does Lowe's Credit card and doesn't wish to have MBNA on the #48
The #29 has the GM Card (Household Bank) as an associate sponsor on the B-post.
WEATHER, TV/RADIO COVERAGE
LOCAL NEWS, TRACK/FAN INFO
IN-CAR AUDIO SITES
Fans Can Online
looks like this is all that there is out there now....
QUALIFYING, PRACTICE and RESULTS
news and links
- Biffle wins at California: #16-Greg Biffle backed up his words, saying he would lead the race by lap 5 [he did by lap 4] and would win the race [he did], winning the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, leading 46 laps and holding off #48-Jimmie Johnson [with help from his teammate #97-Kurt Busch], Johnson finished 2nd, followed by Busch, #42-Jamie McMurray and #99-Carl Edwards. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was never a factor after starting 40th, cutting down two left front tires and needed fender repairs, finishing 32nd, 13 laps down. Pole sitter, #5-Kyle Busch led 2 of the first 3 laps, but was never a factor after that and finished 23rd, but was the Rookie of the race. #24-Jeff Gordon, who came into the race leading the points and running up front all day, lost an engine with 4 laps to go. #01-Joe Nemechek led the most laps, but lost an engine. #15-Waltrip lost an engine for the 2nd race in row. #97-Busch now leads the points by 5 over #48-Johnson. Four Roush drivers are in the top-5 in points.
Race Results [BELOW] or at:
Jayski's California Race Results/Awards page
- NASCAR Nextel Cup Drivers Points after 2 of 36 races
#97-Kurt Busch, 340
#48-Jimmie Johnson, 335, -5
#6-Mark Martin, 301, -39
#99-Carl Edwards, 287, -53
#16-Greg Biffle, 273, -67
#38-Elliott Sadler, 272, -68
#20-Tony Stewart, 268, -72
#2-Rusty Wallace, 268, -72
#40-Sterling Marlin, 260, -80
#24-Jeff Gordon, 258, -82
Full points at:
Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after California page
- 2005 Race to the Chase after California Page
- Race Results:
Winner: Greg Biffle
Car: No. 16 Ford
Winner's purse: $288,650
Average speed: 150.021 mph
Margin of victory: 0.231 second
Starting position: 5
Laps led by winner: 46
Most laps led: Joe Nemechek, 3 times for 63 laps
Lead changes: 26 among 14 drivers
Caution flags: 7 for 40 laps
Event records set: None
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Race - Auto Club 500
Sunday, February 27, 2005
1. (5) Greg Biffle, Ford, 250, $288,650.
2. (8) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 250, $235,041.
3. (20) Kurt Busch, Ford, 250, $208,075.
4. (15) Jamie McMurray, Dodge, 250, $143,225.
5. (19) Carl Edwards, Ford, 250, $125,600.
6. (31) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 250, $148,811.
7. (18) Mark Martin, Ford, 250, $116,825.
8. (41) Elliott Sadler, Ford, 250, $141,316.
9. (9) Ryan Newman, Dodge, 250, $138,616.
10. (23) Rusty Wallace, Dodge, 250, $127,383.
11. (7) Dale Jarrett, Ford, 250, $130,458.
12. (10) Mike Bliss, Chevrolet, 250, $94,500.
13. (14) Bobby Labonte, Chevrolet, 250, $127,225.
14. (38) Ken Schrader, Dodge, 250, $90,575.
15. (13) Sterling Marlin, Dodge, 250, $120,383.
16. (27) Scott Wimmer, Dodge, 250, $115,233.
17. (29) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 250, $133,111.
18. (36) Kyle Petty, Dodge, 250, $103,933.
19. (32) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 250, $113,420.
20. (26) Bobby Hamilton Jr., Chevrolet, 250, $102,583.
21. (2) Brian Vickers, Chevrolet, 250, $93,675.
22. (16) Casey Mears, Dodge, 249, $104,633.
23. (1) Kyle Busch #, Chevrolet, 249, $110,225.
24. (35) Travis Kvapil #, Dodge, 249, $91,550.
25. (33) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 249, $83,350.
26. (6) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 249, $127,286.
27. (37) Jeff Green, Dodge, 249, $110,186.
28. (3) Jeremy Mayfield, Dodge, 248, $104,495.
29. (24) John Andretti, Ford, 248, $77,950.
30. (28) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 246, engine failure, $126,936.
31. (43) Kevin Lepage, Dodge, 241, $77,525.
32. (40) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 237, $124,728.
33. (12) Scott Riggs, Chevrolet, 229, engine failure, $95,597.
34. (42) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 224, $84,900.
35. (25) Robby Gordon, Chevrolet, 222, engine failure, $76,700.
36. (11) Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 216, rear gear, $76,550.
37. (39) Jason Leffler, Chevrolet, 215, engine failure, $76,325.
38. (30) Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 203, engine failure, $103,289.
39. (4) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 180, engine failure, $104,255.
40. (17) Kasey Kahne, Dodge, 167, accident, $107,880.
41. (21) Ricky Rudd, Ford, 145, engine failure, $102,894.
42. (34) Randy LaJoie, Chevrolet, 47, transmission, $75,575.
43. (22) Bill Elliott, Dodge, 23, accident, $75,788.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 139.697 mph.
Time of Race: 3 hours, 34 minutes, 45 seconds.
Margin of Victory: 0.231 Seconds.(NASCAR PR)(2-27-2005)
- California Race Notes: Greg Biffle won the 10th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at California Speedway, scoring his fourth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory in his 80th career start.
Biffle became the eighth different winner at California Speedway.
Biffle climbed from 25th to fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL point standings. This is his career-best point standing. His previous best was 13th following the 2004 Daytona 500.
Biffle posted his first top-10 finish in five races at California Speedway.
Biffle has won at least one race each season 2003-2005, three consecutive years.
Team owner Jack Roush has won at least won race each season 1997 - 2005, nine consecutive years.
Biffle;s win marked the 75th victory for Roush Racing.
All five Roush cars led at California Speedway, leading a combined total of 151 of the 250 laps raced.
Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his third top-10 finish in five races at California Speedway. He is one of just two drivers to begin
the 2005 season with two top-five finishes, joining Kurt Busch. Johnson has scored top-10 finishes in his last eight races, since
Charlotte last October.
Kurt Busch (third) scored his third top-10 finish in six races at California Speedway. Busch also begins the 2005 season with two top-five finishes. Busch has scored top-10 finishes in 11 of the last 12 races, since New Hampshire last September. Busch took the lead in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings by five points over second-place Jimmie Johnson.
Jamie McMurray (fourth) scored his third top-five finish in four races at California Speedway.
Carl Edwards (fifth) scored his second straight top-10 finish in two races at California Speedway. Edwards begins the 2005 season with two top-15 finishes.
Mark Martin (seventh) has been running at the finish in 24 consecutive races, the longest current streak. Martin scored his fifth top-10 finish in 10 races at California Speedway. Martin has scored two top-10 finishes in 2005.
Rusty Wallace (10th) scored his sixth top-10 finish in 10 races at California Speedway. Wallace begins the 2005 season with two
10th-place finishes. He has scored top-10 finishes in four of his last five races, since Phoenix last November.
Jeff Gordon finished 30th due to engine failure. His last DNF was also for engine failure and also occurred at California Speedway last September.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(2-27-2005)
- Stock Car Fans - Rumblings - California: Pit strategy and tire wear determined our winner today....and it was one of the drivers who didn't pit at lap 218 who won it. Greg Biffle stayed out (along with teammate Kurt Busch) on the last caution and made his tires last (but just barely) for the win today at California Speedway. Biffle's win in the Auto Club 500 was his 4th career and the 75th for Roush Racing, and it was worth $288,650 from the over $5.8M in posted awards.
Biffle just held on from a charging Jimmie Johnson and keyed a terrific day for the Roush cars. They had four cars in the Top-7, while the Hendrick team (and customers) had a pletora of engine problems.
Elliott Sadler (8th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Lowe's in October.
Dale Jarrett (11th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Lowe's in October.
Ken Schrader (14th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Bristol last March.
Kyle Busch (23rd) had his career-best finish today. His previous best was 24th when we were here last September.
Mike Wallace (25th) had his best finish since he was 18th at Talladega last October. (only 5 races)
STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 8 Top-10's in a row.
Kurt Busch has 11 Top-10's in the last 12 races.
Rusty Wallace has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
The Rookie Report: Kyle Busch (23rd) noses out Travis Kvapil (24th) for the top-spot this week. Eric McClure was a dnq once again.
This Week's Elevator...UP: Operator of the Week (for the second week in a row) is Elliott Sadler (+33), followed by Kevin Harvick (+25) and Ken Schrader (+24). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Joe Nemechek (-35), followed by Jeremy Mayfield (-25), Terry Labonte (-25), Kasey Kahne (-23), Kyle Busch (-22), Scott Riggs (-21), Bill Elliott (-21), Matt Kenseth (-20), and Ricky Rudd (-20). Losers beat gainers 3-1 in the financial "Shaft" today.
Kyle Busch led today (two times for two laps) for the first time in his Nextel Cup career. Randy LaJoie led today (once for two laps) for the first time in his Cup career.
As always we get wild swings in the point standings early in the season. Winner Greg Biffle moved forward 19 spots today (24th to 5th) to make the best upward move, while Scott Riggs (4th to 18th) moved the most in a negative direction.(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(2-27-2005)
JAYSKI's RACE RUNDOWN
- The Auto Club 500 at the California Speedway:
The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions and some notes
after 250 of 250 laps:
car#, driver, starting spot, laps led
#16-Biffle (5)(46 laps led)
#48-Johnson (8)(4 laps led)
#97-Busch (20)(11 laps led)
#99-Edwards (19)(33 laps led)
#29-Harvick (31)(23 laps led)
#6-Martin (18)(2 laps led)
- Cars on the lead lap: 21 (of 43 starters)
- Off track/out of race (11):
#44-Labonte (out-rear end)
- Laps Leaders Unofficial (14 with 26 lead changes):
#01-Nemechk (63; led halfway and most);
- Lap leaders: #5-Busch pole; #5-Busch 1; #25-Vickers 2; #5-Busch 3; #16-Biffle 4-26; #45-Petty 27-28; #34-LaJoie 29-30; #17-Kenseth 31-45; #99-Edwards 46-60; #97-Busch 61; #19-Mayfield 62; #43-Green 63; #17-Kenseth 64-66; #99-Edwards 67-68; #17-Kenseth 69-107; #6-Martin 108; #01-Nemechek 109-143; #6-Martin 144; #01-Nemechek 145-160; #6-Martin 161; #48-Johnson 162-165; #01-Nemechek 166-177; #99-Edwards 178-193; #29-Harvick 194-203; #6-Martin 204; #29-Harvick 205-217; #97-Busch 218-227; #16-Biffle 228-250;
Cautions: 7 for 40 laps
Caution 7 - Laps 218 - 221: #11-Leffler lost an engine.
Caution 6 - Laps 204 - 209: #15-Waltrip lost an engine. Gonna be a long one as they are putting down speedy dry and making sure the track is clean for the final run.
Caution 5 - Laps 161 - 164: #9-Kahne lost it and hit the turn 4 wall hard.
Caution 4 - Laps 144 - 150: #07-Blaney lost it in turn 4 and hit the wall hard.
Caution 3 - Laps 108 - 114: Debris on the track.
Caution 2 - Laps 60 - 66: #8-Earnhardt Jr. lost another left front tire, this time it came apart and left debris on the track.
Caution 1 - Laps 26 - 30: #91-Elliott wacked the walla and stopped on the track.
- Who got a lap back on each caution at California - The Lucky Dog Pack: (and their finish)
Caution 7: #12-Newman(2)
Caution 6: #25-Vickers
Caution 5: #12-Newman
Caution 4: #97-Busch
Caution 3: #22-Wimmer
Caution 2: #4-Wallace
Caution 1: none as #91-Elliott who would had gotten it, caused the caution
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)
---- on lap 238, #24-Gordon is down a cylinder and sounding pretty bad, he is falling back. On lap 244 NASCAR black-flagged Gordon who took the car to pit road
---- on lap 234, #17-Kenseth slowed while running 9th, when he lost a tire and had to pit.
---- around lap 231, #10-Riggs took the car to the garage with a broken motor.
---- #9-Kahne is back on the track after the team made repairs after his wreck on lap 215.
---- around lap 185, #25-Vickers is reporting his engine may be going.
---- on lap 185, #38-Sadler, while running 3rd, is reporting that he thinks has a tire going down.
---- while leading on lap 178, #01-Nemechek reported his engine was laying down and started falling back thru the field
---- on lap 177, #12-Newman came in to pit to get trash removed from the grill as the engine was running hot, then he was caught speeding down pit road and had to do a pass-thru penalty.
---- On lap 170, #07-Blaney is back on the track after the team made repairs from his accident
---- #15-Waltrip came out 4th after the 5th caution but sped leaving pit road and had to do a pass through penalty.
---- #10-Riggs slowed on the track, possible engine problems around lap 155.
---- #43-Green slowed on the track and came in to pit with a tire going down on lap 126
---- #24-Gordon reporting he thinks he has a tire going down on lap 119, nothing ever came of this, guess it is ok.
---- during the 3rd caution, the #8 team was doing a lot of work on the left front fender.
---- #11-Leffler got caught speeding on lap 105, and has to do a drive-thru penalty.
---- on lap 97, #12-Newman came in to pit after having a tire go down. #5-Busch also came in to pit.
---- #14-Andretti made an unscheduled pit stop on 95.
---- on lap 82, #14-Andretti scrubbed the wall after #32-Hamilton Jr. ran high on him, but drove on ok.
---- on lap 58, #8-Earnhardt Jr. lost another left front tire, caution this time.
---- on lap 52, #41-Mears made an unscheduled pitstop as the car was over heating and the team cleaned the trash off the grill and changed 4 tires.
---- on lap 38, #8-Earnhardt Jr. lost a left front tire, he was able to make it into the pits, no damage to the fender, went a lap down.
---- #15-Waltrip brushed the wall just before the caution, but drove on, ok.
---- #5-Busch pitted too close to the wall and made things tough on crew and lost 7 spots.
---- #21-Rudd smacked the wall after #91-Elliott bounced off the wall and hit Rudd, Rudd did some damage to the car and had a flat right front tire and had to pit, no caution was thrown. Rudd came back in for a 2nd pit stop as the car is handling poorly.
---- TO The BACK: #20-Stewart [transmission change]; #07-Blaney [backup car]; #43-Green, #34-LaJoie, #14-Andretti and #38-Sadler [unapproved adjustments after impounding]
- Starting Lineups for the race at:
Jayski's California Starting Lineup/Qualifying Page
- Impounding: What teams can do to the cars after they are impounded following qualifying:
Plug in oil heater; open hood; prime oil system; back car out of garage to start; turn master switch on; open oil cooler bypass valve; start engine; close hood; set tire pressure; torque wheels; install radio and water bottle; remove or repair tape on car front.
Can't Do: Enter the garage without a NASCAR official present; jack up any part of the car; add water or pressurize the cooling system; climb inside the car; adjust wedge bolts, shocks or sway bars; add fuel, oil or brake fluid; remove air box; adjust fenders, spoiler or any body components.(Roanoke Times)(2-27-2005)
- Impounding Era Begins: Beginning this weekend at California Speedway, a new NASCAR rule requires cars to be impounded after qualifying, there will be no "Happy Hour" practice [this week]. Cars will qualify with their race setups; adjustments won't be allowed before the race [some minor things like tape on the grill, fuel tanks filled, etc are allowed]. The top 35 teams in owners points from the 2004 season are guaranteed starting positions in the first five races of 2005 no matter where they qualify. Beginning with the sixth race [at Martinsville], the 2005 owners standings will be used.(2-25-2005)
- Kyle Busch wins pole at California, breaks two records: #5-Kyle Busch won the pole for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, with a track record lap of 188.245mph, one of four drivers who were faster then the old track record, set by Ryan Newman in April 2002 of 187.432mph. #25-Brian Vickers, who is 21 years old, is on the outside poll, followed by #19-Jeremy Mayfield, #01-Joe Nemechek and #16-Greg Biffle. ALSO #5-Kyle Busch is the youngest pole sitter in Nextel Cup history at 19 years, 9 months, 24 days old. The all-time record was held by Donald Thomas - 20 years, 4 months, 6 days old at Lakewood Speedway in GA on 11-16-1952. The modern-era [1972-present] record was held by Brian Vickers, 20 years, 6 months, 20 days at Richmond on 5-14-2004.(that stats from the NASCAR Statistical Services Updates Book)
Some troubles: #07-Blaney backed into the wall in turn two and will have to go to a backup and had no speed, but since the team is in the top-35 in owners points, Blaney will make the race, but will fall to the rear of the field before the start of the race. #20-Stewart, who qualified 29th, will have to start at the rear of the field as the team had to change transmissions, and this year there is a one transmission rule, just like the eone-engine rule. #38-Elliott Sadler had a spark plug break and was running on 7 cylinders on his qualifying attempt. #27-Shelmerdine lost an engine on his lap and recorded no speed. #73-Eric McClure, going for the last spot in the field. spunout on his first lap and missed the race, which let #37-Kevin Lepage get the last spot.
#38-Sadler and #07-Blaney got in based on their owners points position [Top 35 in 2004 Owners Points, not speed as #92-Barrett, #66-Sadler and #79-Boyd were all faster the The #38 and #07.
For starting lineup/qualifying results, see:
Jayski's California Qualifying/Lineup Page
- How did the non Top-35 teams do in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway qualifying? Eight got in and five will go home:
#4-Mike Wallace - IN
#7-Robby Gordon - IN 25th
#11-Jason Leffler - IN
#14-John Andretti - IN
#27-Kirk Shelmerdine - DNQ
#34-Randy LaJoie - IN
#37-Kevin Lepage - IN
#44-Terry Labonte - IN
#66-Hermie Sadler - DNQ
#73-Eric McClure - DNQ
#79-Stan Boyd - DNQ
#91-Bill Elliott - IN
#92-Stanton Barrett - DNQ
- Some Rookie Notes: A Raybestos Rookie has now won three consecutive pole positions at California Speedway: Kasey Kahne (2004 Auto Club 500), Brian Vickers (2004 Pop Secret 500) and now Kyle Busch. At least one Raybestos Rookie has won a Bud Pole in each of the last 10 years. (1996-2005). There has been a first-time Bud Pole winner in each of the last 19 years (1987-2004).(Camp and Assoc/ Raybestos PR)(2-26-2005)
- Rookie of the Year Candidates: how fast were they and where do they start:
#5-Kyle Busch, 188.245, starts 1st
#73-Eric McClure, 0.000 spinout, DNQ
#77-Travis Kvapil, 182.997, 35th
- Some California Qualifying Notes: This is Kyle Busch's first career Bud Pole in eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. Six drivers have posted their series-first Bud Pole in fewer races: Mark Martin (three), Ryan Newman (three), Kasey Kahne (three), Johnny Benson (four), Jimmie Johnson (four) and Loy Allen (six). Tony Stewart and Boris Said also posted their series-first Bud Pole in their eighth race.
Busch became the 31st first-time Bud Pole winner on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series since 1990; the 16th since the 2000 Daytona 500. There were no first-time Bud Pole winners in 2004.
This is Busch's second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at California. He started 18th and finished 24th here in September 2004.
Brian Vickers posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 38.351 seconds, 187.740 mph and will join Busch on the front row for the Auto Club 500. Vickers has started from a top-10 starting position in all three of his races at California. He won the Bud Pole here last September and started sixth in his first race here in May 2004. Jeremy Mayfield (third) posted his fourth top-10 start in 10 races at California. Joe Nemechek (fourth) scored his sixth top-10 start in 10 races at California. It is his fourth consecutive top-10 start here. Greg Biffle (fifth) posted his second top-10 start in five races at California, both in the past two races. The first three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at California were won from a top-five starting position but five of the past six have been won from a starting position outside the top-10, all 16th or worse. The deepest in the field that a race winner has started in nine races at California Speedway was 24th by Jeremy Mayfield in 2000.(NASCAR PR)(2-26-2005)
- Stock Car Fans - Ramblings - California: And youth shall be served.... Today at California Speedway, Kyle Busch made history as he became the youngest (at 19) to ever win a Bud Pole in NASCAR's top series as he grabbed the top-spot for Sunday's Auto Club 500 with a time of 38.248 (188.245 mph). This is by far Kyle's best ever starting spot (tho this is only his 8th Cup start). His previous best was 18th which he accomplished twice last season....Las Vegas last March and here last September.
Teammate Brian Vickers (the old guy at 21) will make it an all-Hendrick front row as he was a little over 1/10th of a second behind.
Jeremy Mayfield (3rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up 3rd at Kansas last October.
Matt Kenseth (6th) has his best starting spot since he started 5th at Loudon last September....but that race lined up on points. This is
his best start on time since he qualified 5th at Michigan last August.
Mike Bliss (10th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 7th at Chicagoland last July. (only 5 races)
Terry Labonte (11th....and semi-retirement seems to agree with him) has his best starting spot since he lined up 11th at Loudon in July.
Sterling Marlin (13th) has his best starting spot since he started 3rd at Bristol last August.
Randy LaJoie (34th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 24th at Loudon in September of 1999! (only 4 races)
STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 9 Top-10 starts in a row.
Tomorrow may be a crap-shoot with these new rules. There's a good chance our usual fuel-mileage event here may be compromised by tire wear, how are they gonna handle in traffic without that extra inch of spoiler, and did some of those guys up front sacrifice handling for a better starting position? Without a happy-hour to check (and hopefully find) those small problems that can cost you a race, we hope to have some answers tomorrow.(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(2-26-2005)
- Non Top 35 Teams/Drivers: and how they fared in Happy Hour practice, 7 fastest get in, the champ provisional for either #44-Labonte [gets it first] or #91-Bill Elliott if needed, if not then to the 8th fastest team of these teams/drivers:
#4-Mike Wallace, was 22nd fastest
#7-Robby Gordon, 20th
#11-Jason Leffler, 26th
#14-John Andretti, 24th
#27-Kirk Shelmerdine, 46th
#34-Randy LaJoie, 45th
#37-Kevin Lepage, 47th
#44-Terry Labonte [could use champ prov], 15th
#66-Hermie Sadler, 42nd
#73-Eric McClure, 43rd
#79-Stan Boyd, 48th
#91-Bill Elliott [could use champ prov if Labonte doesn't need it], 7th
#92-Stanton Barrett, 34th
If it was qualifying the 8 teams who would make the race would be:
#'s 91, 44, 7, 4, 14, 11, 92, 66.
Missing the race would be: #'s 71, 34, 27, 37, 79.(2-25-2005)
- Happy Hour practice for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is over, the top five were:
slowest: #79-Boyd 167.290 and #37-Lepage 173.218 (only 2 laps run)
Most laps run: #31-Burton, 50; #19-Mayfield, 45
#15-Waltrip wacked the wall towards the end of practice and did damage to the right front.
Best average speed [all laps averaged]
(from NASCAR.com's leaderboard service)
#99-Edwards, 181.247 [3rd fastest lap], 32 laps run
#17-Kenseth, 180.968 [6th], 24 laps run
#44-Labonte, 180.794 [15th], 20 laps
#25-Vickers, 180.792 [8th], 24 laps
See speed at NASCAR.com.(2-25-2005)
- Qualifying Order List for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is up, 48 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, #11-Jason Leffler is due out first on Saturday, Feb 26th at 3:00pm/et on FX, last driver due out is #73-Eric McClure. For the Qualifying order, see NASCAR.com.(2-25-2005)
- First practice for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is over, the top five were:
slowest were: ##11-Leffler 177.122 and 34-Randy LaJoie at 178.258
no speed listed for: #14-Andretti, #92-Barrett, #79-Boyd, #7-Gordon, #44-Labonte, #37-Lepage, #73-McClure, #66-Sadler, #27-Shelmerdine as they didn't get thru inspection as NASCAR got backed up. #37-LaJoie will have to go to a backup car as his primary couldn't get thru the templates and had the deck lid confiscated by NASCAR.
#89-Morgan Shepherd is not on the practice sheets, so down to 48
Most laps run: #9-Kahne, 61; #19-Mayfield, 42
Best average speed [all laps averaged]
(from NASCAR.com's leaderboard service)
#17-Kenseth, 181.148 [11th fastest lap], 18 laps run
#6-Martin, 180.669 [7th], 17 laps
#16-Biffle, 180.127 [2nd], 29 laps
See speed at NASCAR.com.(2-25-2005)
- Entry List for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is up, 49 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, drivers who need to get in on speed and are not in the top 35 in 2004 OWNERS Points are:
#34-Randy LaJoie [was #98 in 2004]
#44-Terry Labonte [could use champ prov]
#91-Bill Elliott [could use champ prov if Labonte doesn't need it]
UPDATE: #89-Morgan Shepherd is not on the practice sheets, so down to 48.(2-25-2005)
- Entry List Link:
NASCAR.com - Auto Club 500
- No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A/Lucky Dog
- Jayski's - 2005 Nextel Cup Race Results Page
- 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).
- The Impounding Rules:
Post-qualifying impound procedure will be used in all three national series
Cost-containment measure for teams
Following qualifying, starting field will be impounded until race day
Teams will not be permitted to work on their cars unless for special circumstances and authorized by NASCAR officials
New procedure will alter the traditional race weekend schedule
Traditional race weekend (Friday-Sunday): two hours practice on Friday, qualifying Saturday and then the cars would be impounded immediately following post-qualifying inspection
Nextel Cup events using the procedure [21 of 36]: California (both races); Atlanta (both - Jayski Note: not sure about this, Atlanta put out a PR saying they would NOT go to the new rule); Bristol (both - Jayski Note: last I heard, the April race still would be a 3-day deal with qualifying on Friday, race on Sunday, the August race is Saturday night); Phoenix (both); Darlington; Richmond (both); Pocono (both); Michigan (both); Daytona (July); New Hampshire (both); Watkins Glen; and Kansas.(Jayski Note: also Indiabapolis will probbaly use the rule as they already hold qualifying on Saturday's for a Sunday race]
Additional events may be added during the season
All Busch and Craftsman Truck events will use the impound procedure (FoxSports)(2-12-2005)
- New Procedure for Determining Race Line-Ups - No more provisionals [accept the champ]: NASCAR will institute a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series effective with the 2005 season, NASCAR officials announced today. NASCAR has revamped the system by simplifying the procedure with teams no longer accruing provisionals throughout the season to gain entry into the starting fields. While starting positions one through 42 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series still will be determined by qualifying speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 35 positions of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series owner championship points that have entered the event prior to the entry deadline one of those starting positions in the field, providing they have made an attempt to qualify [which usually means the team at least practiced and made an effort to qualify]. The remaining seven positions will be assigned to those drivers with the fastest qualifying speeds whose car owners are not among the top 35. The final starting position – the champion’s provisional – can be utilized by a car owner whose driver is a current or past NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion who participated as a driver during their 2004 season and was entered in the event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline. If there is more than one series champion vying for the position, it will be given to the most recent series champion. If the final provisional starting position – 43rd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup – is not filled by a current or past series champion, it will be assigned to the next eligible car owner according to qualifying results. Through the first five races of the season for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the top 35 in the NNCS of the 2004 owner championship points entered in the event prior to the entry deadline will be assured one of the 42 starting positions in the field, provided they have made an attempt to qualify. From the sixth race on, the current owner championship points will be used to determine the top 35 each race week. In the event that conditions prevent qualifying from being run, starting positions will be assigned according to the respective series’ 2005 Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)
so...... the way it reads, the top 42 are lined up by speeds ran. If any of the drivers/teams in the top 35 in owners points are not in, then they would start 42nd...and so on if more are not in the top 42. So someone not in the top 35 can still win the pole. NO WORD on how the Daytona 500 lineup will be set and it is not mentioned in this PR. Last year, the first 2 spots were filled on qualifying day by the two fastest drivers, then 3-30 were filled by Twin 125 [now the Gatorade Duel - 150's], then eight spots by the fastest remining drivers, four using provisionals based on 2003 owners standings, and a champions provisional, which if not used, went to the next team in onners points not in the race.(1-13-2005)
BASICALLY How it Works:
The drivers/team qualify for the race
the top 42 drivers/teams are lined up based on qualifying speed
any drivers/teams in the top 35 in Owners Points not in at that point, will be placed in spots 42, 41, etc depending on how many there are.
example: #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #24-Gordon qualify outside the 42 spots, they would line up 41st and 42nd, but by their speed, if neither had a time/speed, Gordon would presently start 41st [his team was 3rd in 2004 owners points] and Earnhardt Jr. would start 42nd [his team was 5th in 2004 owners points], the drivers 41st or 42nd would be bumped.
spot 43 is filled by either a past series champ or the next fastest team/driver.(1-14-2005)
- Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites:
TRACK RECORDS, NOTES, RULES and NEWS
- 2004 Race Winner: Jeff Gordon, 137.268, started 16th
- Track Race Record: Jeff Gordon, June 1997, 155.012mph
- Track Qualifying Record: Ryan Newman, April 2002, 187.432mph
- 2004 Pole Sitter: #9-Kasey Kahne, 186.940,
- Slowest Race Record: Elliott Sadler, 128.324mph, 9/5/2004
- WHO'S HOT
* Kurt Busch has scored 10 top-10 finishes, including one victory, in the last 11 races, since New Hampshire last September.
* Jimmie Johnson has scored four victories and seven top-10 finishes in the last seven races, since Charlotte last October.
* Jeff Gordon has scored four top-five finishes in his last four races, since Phoenix last fall.
* Rusty Wallace has scored three top-10 finishes in his last four races, since Phoenix last fall.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(2-23-2005)
- California Nuggets
Starting Up Front is not Important at California Speedway Four of the nine races at California Speedway have been won from staring
positions of fifth or better. However five of the last six races there have been won from starting positions of 16th or worse and no one has ever won there from the Bud Pole.
Jeff Gordon has won three races at California Speedway. He is the only driver with multiple victories at California Speedway. His 9.33
average finish is the best among the 16 drivers that have competed in all nine races there
Despite posting one of his four career victories at California Speedway (2000) Jeremy Mayfield has posted two DNFs in his last four races there. He finished 38th (2002), 35th (2003) 14th (May 2004) and 16th (Sept. 2004).
Ford has five victories at California Speedway, Chevrolet has four and Dodge still seeks it's first win there.
* Sixteen drivers have started in all nine races at California Speedway.
* Eight different drivers have scored one Bud Pole at California Speedway. Qualifying was rained out there in 1999.
* Jeff Gordon has scored five top-five finishes at California Speedway, the most among all drivers
* Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon and Bobby Labonte have each scored five top-10 finishes at California Speedway, the most among all drivers.
* Rusty Wallace has scored five top-10 finishes in the last six races at California Speedway.
* Jeff Gordon has a 11.88 starting average at California Speedway, the best among the 16 drivers who have competed in every
race there. Ryan Newman leads all drivers with more than two starts at California with a 6.5 starting average in four races.
* Kasey Kahne has a 7.5 average finish in his two races at California Speedway, the best of all drivers with two or more starts there. Kahne won the Bud pole in this race one year ago.
* Ryan Newman has posted two straight top-five finishes at California Speedway.
* Joe Nemechek has posted three straight top-10 starts at California Speedway.
Ken Schrader, Kyle Petty and Joe Nemechek are the only drivers that have competed in all nine races at California Speedway that have not scored a top 10 finish there.
Leading The Way at California
Jeff Gordon has led 410 laps in nine races at California, more than any other driver.
Would you Believe?
Tony Stewart has finished 16th or worse in his last four races at California Speedway.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(2-22-2005)
- Most Wins: 3 - Jeff Gordon
- Most Poles: 1 - eight different drivers
- Most Top 5s: 5 - Jeff Gordon
- Most Top 10s: 5 - Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte
- 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: 29 - 9/5/2004
- Fewest Lead Changes: 18 - 5/3/1998
- Most Leaders: 15 - done twice, most recently on 5/2/2004
- Fewest Leaders: 8 - done twice, most recently 4/28/2002
- Most Cautions: 11 - 9/5/2004
- Most Caution Laps: 51, 9/5/2004
- 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: 5 - Ford
- Worst Starting Spot to Win: Jeremy Mayfield, 4/30/2000, started 24th
- Races won from starting pos 1: 0 [of 9] 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: 2
- Races won from starting pos 17: 1
- Races won from starting pos 19: 1
- Races won from starting pos 24: 1
- Races won from the top 5: 4 of 9
- Races won from the top 10: 4 of 9
PAST RACE/POLE WINNERS
9/2004 Brian Vickers, #25 Chevy, 187.417mph, finished 13th
5/2004 Kasey Kahne, #9 Dodge, 186.940mph, finished 13th
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)
9/2004 Elliott Sadler, #38 Ford, 128.324mph, started 17th
5/2004 Jeff Gordon, #24 Chevy, 137.268mph, started 16th
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
- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series News & Notes - California:
How do you trump a victory in the season-opening Daytona 500? Aim for two-in-a-row in the Auto Club 500. That’s Jeff Gordon’s (#24 DuPont Chevrolet) goal this week as he completes the traditional Daytona 500 champion’s media tour, plus anticipates race #2 on the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. This year, the season’s second event is at California Speedway, a change from last year, when the first of two California races fell in May. Gordon won that race, too – the Auto Club 500 – and now, on the heels of his third Daytona 500 triumph and 70th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory, he’s eager to tackle another friendly track. Clearly, Gordon takes to California’s two-mile environs. He has three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup wins there (1997, 1999, 2004), tops among all drivers, and Hendrick Motorsports leads all NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams with four California victories. Do not think, however, that Gordon will coast into California, the state of his birth. The four-time series champion is keen on capturing a fifth title – the Drive for Five in ’05 is his team’s unofficial slogan this season – and Gordon knows winning the Daytona 500 doesn’t always translate into sustained success.
NEWS & NOTES, Part II
Storybook start – Lepage off and running … He made the field for the 47th annual Daytona 500 when no one expected it, and a ninth-place finish in last week’s season-opening event proved his presence wasn’t a fluke. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup veteran Kevin Lepage (#37 Dodge) was the breakthrough story of Speedweeks – finishing in the top 10 last Sunday. Lepage’s team, fielded by R & J Racing and owner John Carter, hadn’t taken their Daytona 500 car to the wind tunnel. Poor performances during NASCAR Preseason Thunder, the annual January test sessions, didn’t help, but crew chief Bill Poindexter and crew persevered. A Shelburne, Vt., native beginning his ninth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, the 42-year-old Lepage raced his way into the Daytona 500 by finishing third in the second of last Thursday’s two 150-mile qualifying races, the Gatorade Duel. He started eighth last Sunday, just two days after learning that Patron Tequila had signed as his Daytona 500 sponsor, and despite lug-nut and stalling issues in the pits, finished ninth, powered by an Ernie Elliott engine. Now, Lepage heads to California with another ninth-place spot – this time in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings. “To do what we have done here with the budget and manpower we have is just a credit to the dedicated and hard working people we have around us,” Poindexter said. “Kevin drove a great race. The crew made great pit stops all day. Even with the mishaps that we did have, we worked through them.”
The champ likes California, too … Jeff Gordon may be seeking his fifth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series title, but Kurt Busch is attempting to become the first back-to-back champion since Dale Earnhardt in 1993 and 1994 [actually Jeff Gordon did back-to-back in 1997 and 1998], and if last week’s second-place finish in the Daytona 500 is any barometer, this week’s trip to California bodes well for the #97 Sharpie/IRWIN Ford team. California Speedway was the site of Busch’s second career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start. It came late in the 2000 season and Busch finished 37th. Since then, he’s finished 13th (2001), second (2002), first (2003) and 23rd in last year’s first California race and 11th in the Labor Day weekend race. Certainly, a fast start helps pave the way for a repeat.
T. Labonte, Elliott ready for 2005 starts… Two former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champions will make their 2005 debut this week at California. Bill Elliott (#91 Stanley Tools Dodge) and Terry Labonte (#44 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) are running part-time schedules this season – Elliott for an as-yet-undetermined number of races and Labonte for 10 races.
The 2003 season was Elliott’s final fulltime NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season and Labonte announced last year that 2004 would be his last fulltime season. Labonte plans to devote a lot of time to helping his son Justin, who competes fulltime in the NASCAR Busch Series. But, like Elliott, he’s ready to get back behind the wheel himself now and then.
New impound procedure = new weekend schedule … NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams will spend Friday through Sunday just as they do most race weekends – at the track. But how they spend their time will be different. This week’s Auto Club 500 marks the first weekend that NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams will utilize a new post-qualifying procedure that should prove to be a cost-containment benefit for teams. The amount of labor on special qualifying setups, plus the expense of special qualifying equipment, should be reduced. Here’s an overview:
• Friday’s schedule – Instead of one two-hour practice and afternoon qualifying, teams now will have two one hour-practice sessions.
• Saturday’s schedule – Instead of two 45-minute practices to tune race setups, teams will qualify, then have their cars immediately impounded in their garage bays. No work will be allowed until Sunday morning.
• Saturday’s traditional “Happy Hour” – the two final 45-minute practices – will be eliminated.
• Twelve tracks will use the new impound procedure in 2005, including California (both events), Atlanta (both events) Bristol (both events), Phoenix (both events), Richmond (both events), Pocono (both events), Michigan (both events) New Hampshire (both events), Daytona (the Pepsi 400 in July), Watkins Glen, Kansas and Darlington. Other events may be added during the season.
• All NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events will use the new impound procedure. Both series will compete this weekend at California.
Gear ratio, reduced spoiler debuts at California … A new gear ratio, which reduces engine RPMS, will be in effect this weekend at California. Used for all non-restrictor plate events in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, it’s another cost-containment measure. The Auto Club 500 weekend also marks the competition debut of shorter NASCAR NEXTEL Cup spoilers; they’ve been reduced from 5˝ inches to 4˝ inches for all non-restrictor place events; the impetus is to reduce aerodynamic dependency and heighten driver control.
Chevrolet leads Manufacturers standings … Jeff Gordon’s Daytona 500 win gave Chevrolet an early lead in the 2005 Manufacturers Championship. Chevrolet, which won the 2004 Manufacturers Championship, has nine points and one win. Ford has six points and Dodge has four. Ford holds the edge in victories at California Speedway with five. Chevrolet has four.
This Week on NASCAR TV on SPEED Channel …
• NASCAR Nation – Monday through Thursday at 7 p.m. ET and PT. Hosted by Ralph Sheheen and Courtney George with Krista Voda, Connie LeGrand, Michelle Fizer, John Willenborg and NASCAR.com’s Marty Smith.
• Friday, Feb. 25 – NASCAR Live at noon ET. NASCAR Live will return with updates from the track at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET, with host Steve Byrnes and news updates from Bob Dillner.
• Friday, Feb. 25 – NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series final practice (7 p.m. ET, LIVE) from California Speedway.
• Friday, Nov. 25 – Trackside (8 p.m., ET) LIVE from the SPEED Channel stage truck located inside of Turn Four. Hosted by Steve Byrnes, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond. This week’s guests include Jimmy Spencer, Bobby Hamilton Jr., and Scott Riggs.
• Friday, Feb. 25 – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race (9 p.m. ET, LIVE) from California Speedway.
• Saturday, Feb. 26 – NASCAR Live at 10 a.m. ET. NASCAR Live will return with updates from the track at 11 a.m. and noon ET, with host Steve Byrnes and news updates from Bob Dillner.
• Saturday, Feb. 26 – NASCAR Busch Series qualifying (1 p.m. ET, LIVE) from California Speedway.
• Saturday, Feb. 26 – NASCAR Performance (1:30 a.m. ET, replays Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET). Hosted by Dick Berggren, Chad Knaus and Robert “Bootie” Barker from the SPEED stage truck.
• Saturday, Feb. 26 – NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying (11 p.m. ET, SDD) from California Speedway.
• Sunday, Feb. 27 – NASCAR This Morning (11 a.m. ET, LIVE) with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, and Kenny Wallace.
• Sunday, Feb. 27 – NASCAR Live updates from the track at 1 and 1:30 p.m. ET, with host Steve Byrnes and news updates from Bob Dillner.
• Sunday, Feb. 27 – NASCAR Victory Lane (8 p.m. ET). Host John Roberts is joined by NASCAR drivers Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Spencer, offering post-race coverage from California Speedway.
• Sunday, Feb. 27 – SPEEDNews NASCAR Edition (7 p.m. and midnight ET) hosted by Bob Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Connie LeGrand. Contributors are Bob Dillner, Robin Miller, Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond.
From the Archives … Although California Speedway has hosted only nine NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events, it’s merely the latest in a list of California venues to host NASCAR events. The state of California claims a rich history of stock-car racing, and the sport’s west coast origins parallel the sanctioning body’s 54-year history. Here’s a historical primer:
• Five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races were held in California during the 1951 season. Following Marshall Teague’s April win at Carrell Speedway, Lou Figaro won on June 30 at the same track. Marvin Burke won on Oct. 14 at Oakland Stadium while Danny Weinberg won the Oct. 28 race at Hanford, Ca. Bill Norton won on Nov. 11 at Carrell Speedway. All five races were run on half-mile dirt tracks. Oakland Stadium featured 46-degree banking in the turns; compare that to Bristol Motor Speedway’s 36-degree banking.
• NASCAR didn’t return to California until 1954, when it staged four events. Former driver Bob Barkhimer, president and organizer of the California Stock Car Racing Association, joined NASCAR as its Western Regional Director and transferred all of CSCRA’s racing activities to NASCAR. This move brought many popular west coast drivers and speedways into the NASCAR fold. Drivers such as Marvin Panch, Lloyd Dane and Bill Amick became full-time NASCAR competitors.
• California’s first NASCAR road-course race took place in 1956 at the Willow Springs track. Chuck Stevenson won on a twisting 2.5-mile oiled dirt road course. Of the 111 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races held in California, 66 have been staged on the Willow Springs Raceway, Riverside Raceway and Sonoma’s Infineon Raceway road courses.
• NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events have taken place on 16 different California speedways ranging in size from the .4 mile Ascot Stadium in Los Angeles, to the 2.5-mile Ontario Motor Speedway of the 1970’s, to the 2.6 mile Riverside Raceway.
• Dirt-surfaced speedways have hosted 27 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races. The last dirt-track event was held Sept. 10, 1961 at the California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento. California driver Eddie Gray won the 100-mile race.
• California tracks that have hosted NASCAR events span nearly the entire length of the state – from Eureka’s Redwood Speedway in the north to Los Angeles’ Ascot Stadium in the south.
• Early prominent drivers from California include Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney and Ray Elder. Current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup stars and California natives include Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick (#29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet), Casey Mears (#41 Target Dodge) and Robby Gordon (#7 Jim Beam Chevrolet).(NASCAR PR)(2-23-2005)
- 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: californiaspeedway.com
- Last Year: see my May 2004 California Race Info page.
- Sept's Race: see my Sept 2004 California Race Info page
- Pit Road Speeding: in 2005, NASCAR is using a new, more accurate computer timing system to check for speeding.
- Magic Johnson Named Grand Marshall for Auto Club 500: California Speedway says retired basketball star Magic Johnson will be the grand marshal for Sunday's Auto Club 500 Nextel Cup race. Johnson, a member of basketball's hall of fame who is working with NASCAR to broaden its appeal to minorities, will give the command to the drivers to start their engines before the race.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-24-2005)
- Southern 500 coming back in 2006? UPDATE 3 No Plans: ESPN Magazine is reporting [Dec. 6th page 140] that Labor Day racing may return to Darlington [Raceway] as early as 2006. NASCAR were concerned at the negative reaction to the mothballing of the 54-year-old Southern 500, and that was before LA [Los Angeles] TV stations bailed on the race at Fontana, CA [California Speedway, Sept 5th on NBC], Darlington's replacement, in favor of baseball.(ESPN Magazine)(12-1-2004), been told that the NBC affilaite in LA doesn't carry baseball, so not sure of that reference.
UPDATE: from an ESPN Insider chat with NASCAR President Mike Helton when asked about the 'return' of the Southern 500: "The 2005 schedule that has been released shows the only Darlington race being on the Saturday before Mother's Day. Since we only plan one year at a time, that is the most current answer."(ESPN.com Insider)(12-8-2004)
UPDATE 2 - California could lose a 2nd date? Among the rumors at the Nextel Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C., is that one of California Speedway's two NASCAR dates could be in trouble. Mind you, it's strictly something said and repeated but never finding its way into print. After all, it's rather silly to even think about. Absurd is perhaps a better adjective. NASCAR, track owner International Speedway Corp. and the controlling France family went to great lengths to realign the schedule in 2004 to give Fontana its Labor Day Sunday night event. To even propose such a thought after one race is unthinkable. However, it indicates someone somewhere is concerned about whether NASCAR will ever catch on in Southern California. Apparently, selling 93,000 seats or so, not to mention another 15,000 in the infield, isn't enough for some. There have been published reports in various Southern newspapers that California Speedway is encountering problems selling tickets for the Feb. 27 Auto Club 500.(more at the Daily Bulletin)(1-28-2005)
UPDATE 3 - No plans to return Darlington's race to Labor Day: Darlington won’t get its date back. NASCAR president Brian France said there are no plans to give Darlington Raceway back its traditional Labor Day weekend date despite published reports that the track with that date might lose a race. He also didn’t totally close the door. “That’s always possible,” he said. “But I think they want to build their equity on the Saturday night race Mother’s Day weekend, and they’re very focused on doing that.” Speculation that California Speedway might lose the Labor Day date it inherited from Darlington last year surfaced during NASCAR’s media tour in Charlotte two weeks ago.(The State)(2-11-2005)
- California to implement Saturday qualifying rules: California Speedway announced that it will be the first speedway on the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series season schedule to implement Saturday qualifying during the February 25-27 NASCAR Tripleheader Weekend, which also includes a Friday night NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The Auto Club 500 race weekend takes place one week after the season-opening Daytona 500. NASCAR announced a new rule in mid-November stipulating a change in the 2005 qualifying procedures where all cars will be impounded following their qualifying session, meaning teams will not be permitted to work on the cars and will have to focus their efforts on preparing for race set-ups starting with the all-important practice sessions on Friday. Qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Auto Club 500 is slated for 12:10pm/pt on Saturday, February 26. Cup qualifying is sandwiched between NASCAR Busch Series qualifying, which kicks off the day at 10:00am/pt, and the NASCAR Busch Series 300-mile race, which starts at 3:00pm/pt and will likely finish "Under the Lights." Saturday concludes with the Miller Lite Rock 'n Racing Concert, which is free for all guests with a Saturday ticket, followed by a spectacular fireworks show by PyroSpectaculars. In addition, 2004 Auto Club 500 champion Jeff Gordon will be inducted into the speedway's Walk of Fame at Gate 12 either prior to or after NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying. Tickets for Saturday are just $40 in the lower level reserve section
and $50 in the upper level reserve section. While Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying has moved to Saturday, Friday remains full of on-track action with a new, first-ever Friday night NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, which joins the Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup Series races for this new NASCAR Tripleheader Weekend. Craftsman Truck Series qualifying for the American Racing Wheels 200 starts the day at 10:00am/pt. Two Busch Series practice sessions will be held from Noon to 1:10pm/pt. and from 2:50 to 3:50pm/pt. The NEXTEL Cup Series will also have two practice sessions to fine-tune their machines from 1:20 to 2:40pm/pt and a final practice session from 4:00 to 5:00pm/pt, setting the stage for the American Racing Wheels 200 at 6:15pm/pt. Tickets for Friday are general admission and just $30 with children 12 and under free.
Two other new NASCAR rules are scheduled to be in effect at California Speedway during the February weekend aimed at bringing the NASCAR competition closer. A new gear rule for NASCAR's top three premier racing series will limit the maximum RPMs that all engines will be able to produce in competition. The other new rule, a reduction of the rear spoiler by an inch at all non-restrictor plate tracks, effects just the NEXTEL Cup Series teams. The spoilers will be 4.5 inches in height, reducing aero-push and enhancing the passing ability of the cars. Tickets are on sale now at 800-944-RACE  or online at www.californiaspeedway.com for this February Tripleheader Weekend. Pre-race Pit passes and Party Zone passes, California Speedway's fan hospitality featuring several NASCAR stars, are also on sale.(California Speedway PR)(12-22-2004)
- Races looking for sponsors: at least four race tracks are looking for a title sponsor for their Nextel Cup races in 2005:
Chicagoland [Tropicana left, will miss the big orange]
Michigan [DHL lasted one year, will they be involved in NASCAR ?}
California [Pop Secret moved from the Rock for a year, General Mills
Talladega [EA Sports gone]
California is looking for $2 million for the labor day prime time race
(NASCAR Scene Print)(11-26-2004)
- Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - California Speedway
- No Fatback at California UPDATE: Speed Channel's NASCAR Nation reports that #21 Motorcraft Ford / Wood Brothers Racing crew chief Michael 'Fatback' McSwain will not be at California Speedway as he had some out patient back surgery this week. Eddie Wood will serve as the crew chief for Ricky Rudd in the Auto Club 500. The team is working on a way that McSwain will be able to call the shots from his home.(2-24-2005)
UPDATE: Crew chief Michael "Fatback" McSwain will not be physically present for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, but the Wood Brothers Racing team will have his live input through the electronic technology of Nextel, Racing Radios engineering and NEXTEL Track Pass on NASCAR.com.
According to team co-owner Eddie Wood, "As soon as we found out Fatback would have to have his surgery this week we started exploring possible options for communication. In the process we discovered between Nextel and Racing Radios we would be able to hook up a line of direct contact between Fatback, Ricky, team engineer Hoyt Overbagh and me. Fatback will be able to monitor the race as it progresses in real time on NASCAR.com." McSwain underwent back surgery in North Carolina Friday morning while his Motorcraft Genuine Parts Team prepared its #21 Ford Taurus for practice in California. The team plans to communicate with the crew chief during practice sessions at the track Friday afternoon, before qualifying on Saturday and during the race on Sunday.
"The positive part of this is that we had a real good test in California," said McSwain. "We were happy when we came home. That
makes it a little easier. If we hadn't tested out there with this new aero package and we were going out there green, it would be
different." McSwain is scheduled to have a micro-endoscopic procedure on the L-5 disc in his back Friday morning to correct a problem that was discovered when he returned from Daytona. The crew chief had surgery late last year for a back ailment that developed during the 2004 season. Doctors advised immediate surgery to resolve the current situation. Friday's operation is an outpatient procedure that will allow McSwain to return to his Charlotte area residence that afternoon.(Motorcraft Racing PR)(2-25-2005)
- See the 2005 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.
PAINT SCHEME NEWS
- Give Kids the World Schemes returns...at California: Tide Racing returns to the track at California Speedway Feb. 25-27 with a special paint scheme honoring longtime charitable partner Give Kids The World, a nonprofit resort for children with life-threatening illnesses. The #32 Tide/Give Kids The World Chevrolet will feature star decals that have been signed by children who visited Give Kids The World Village during “An Evening with the Stars” - a special event Feb. 14 at which children signed their names on the decals and posed for photographs with a replica star-covered Tide race car and Tide driver Bobby Hamilton, Jr. FOX Sports analyst Jeff Hammond also participated as the event’s emcee. Along with this special car at Fontana, Tide will be represented by a local family who recently visited Give Kids The World Village. The Marks family of Los Angeles visited Give Kids The World in April 2003 at the wish of Zachary, now age seven. Called “Zachie” by his family and friends, Zachary was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis, Type 1 (also referred to as NF1). Many children's manifestations of NF1 are skin tumors, café-au-lait spots and internal tumors. Zachary has two tumors, one in his optic pathway which impairs his vision and another in his brain. He receives treatment every Friday, but is doing extremely well. Zachary has a twin sister, Cassandra (Cassie) and an older brother, Nicholas (Nick), age 14. His parents, Joyce and Ron, own an audio/video company in Los Angeles. The entire family will attend Sunday’s race as honorary members of the Tide Racing/Give Kids The World team. As the star-filled paint scheme shows, the stars at Give Kids The World are the children - and the stars that adorn the #32 Tide/Give Kids The World Chevrolet in Fontana help symbolize the more than 67,000 children the Village has served to date from all 50 states and more than 50 countries worldwide. For more information about Give Kids The World, please visit www.gktw.org.(PPI Motorsports Site)(2-25-2005)
- Kahne to run the Mountain Dew scheme again: #9-Kasey Kahne will take his partnership with Mountain Dew to new heights this season when his first national television commercial for the brand debuts this Sunday and his #9 Dodge features a Mountain Dew paint scheme at next week's race at California Speedway. In the TV spot entitled "Change," not only does Kahne's Dodge go through a number of "changes," but he must also vie for the seat behind the wheel of his own race car. The commercial will air during the FOX broadcast of the Daytona 500 this Sunday, February 20. Kahne's Dew allegiance will also show on the track when he competes in a Mountain Dew paint scheme at the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway on Sunday, February 27. Kahne's #9 Dodge will showcase the new Mountain Dew graphics that will begin appearing on the brand's product packaging available in stores in March. The last time Kahne's car featured a special Mountain Dew paint scheme he finished second at Michigan International Speedway on June 20, 2004. This marks the fifth straight year that Mountain Dew has sponsored Evernham Motorsports drivers and teams. Pepsi-Cola Company's involvement with NASCAR began when the sport was introduced in 1948. Today, Pepsi serves its products at 16 of the 23 Nextel Cup Series tracks and is the title sponsor of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 2, 2005.(Pepsi Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #9 Team Schemes page.(2-16-2005)
- Post-It to sponsor Biffle in ten races: Post-It will be the primary sponsor for the #16 Roush Racing Ford that Greg Biffle drives, the following ten races are scheduled: California (Feb), Atlanta (Mar), Texas (Apr), Darlington, Pocono (June), Sonoma, Chicago, Talladega (Oct), Phoenix (Nov). See an image of the car on the #16 Team Paint Schemes page.(12-28-2004)
- More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery
RACE /CHAMPIONSHIP ODDs
(this is not to promote gambling but to offer readers odds and ideas on what the
'experts' think about the upcoming race and the Cup series season)