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THE RACE: The SONY HD 500 at California Speedway

Nextel Cup Race #25 of 36 for the 2006 season

Updated: often, leading up to the race

Jumps to sections on this page:
Radio | Practice/Qual Times
Event Sched | Goodyear Notes | Local Newspapers
Weather |
Track/Race Records | Track/Race Info
Driver/Team News | Paint Schemes | Odds

  • Race: Sunday, September 3, 2006 in Fontana, CA

  • Title Sponsor/Link: Sony

  • Track: California Speedway

  • TV: NBC 8:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: NBC - 7:00pm/et - with host Bill Weber

  • Speed's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 6:00pm/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace

  • Green Flag Scheduled: 8:05pm/et

  • Race Re-Air: Thursday, September 7 at 2:30pm/et on Speed Channel

  • Announcers: Bill Weber, Benny Parsons, Wally Dallenbach

  • Pit Reporters: Allen Bestwick, Matt Yocum, Marty Snider, Dave Burns

  • TV Listings and Info:
    Jayski's TV Listings Page
    NASCAR on TV
    Race Fan TV

  • Radio Coverage: This Week - MRN and XM

    Motor Racing Network (MRN)

    MRN Radio Booth Announcers: Barney Hall, Joe Moore

    MRN Radio Turn Reporter: Mike Bagley, Dan Hubbard, Dave Moody, Jeff Striegle

    MRN Radio Pit Reporters: Adam Alexander, Danielle Frye, Winston Kelley, Steve Post, Alex Hayden
    (Turn and Pit reporters change from race to race)

  • Purse/Race Awards: $5,993,974 (was $5,840,067 in 2005)

    Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Friday Practice: Friday, September 1, 3:05 - 4:35pm/et, TV-none

  • Saturday Practice: Saturday, September 2, 4:00 - 5:00pm/et, TV-none

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, September 2, 5:35 - 6:20pm/et on TV-NONE LISTED

    Qualifying Info

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, September 1, 2:05pm/et

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-43, Friday, September 1 at 6:40pm/et, TV-Speed Channel, re-air at 1:00am/et on Speed AND live via radio at MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio.

    (the above times in Eastern Time / ET - schedule below is by track location)


    Friday, Sept 1
    9:00 a.m. - Gates Open to Public
    12:05 p.m. - 1:35 p.m. [3:05 pm/et] NNCS Practice
    1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. NBS Practice
    3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. NBS Rookie Practice
    3:40 p.m. [6:40pm/et]- NNCS Qualifying (Two Laps, All Positions)
    6:40 p.m. - 7:40 p.m. NBS Final Practice

    Saturday, Sept 2
    12:00 p.m. - Gates Open to Public
    12:00 p.m. - Walk of Fame - Kyle Busch at Gate 12
    1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. NNCS Practice
    2:35 p.m. - 3:20 p.m. [5:35pm/et] NNCS Final Practice
    3:40 p.m. - NBS Qualifying (Two Laps, All Positions) Impound
    7:00 p.m. - [10:00pm/et] NASCAR BUSCH SERIES; AMERIQUEST 300

    Sunday, Sept 3
    12:00 p.m. - Gates Open to Public
    4:35 p.m. - NNCS Driver Introductions - Clear Pit Road
    5:05 p.m. - [8:05pm/et] NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES: SONY HD 500
    (these times are local to the track)

    NNCS = NASCAR Nextel Cup Series
    NBS = NASCAR Busch Series
    NCTS = NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
    (Information Provided by NASCAR Statistical Services, 1-888-782-8725)


    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires:
    Nextel Cup: Left-side -- 1,400, Right-side -- 1,400;
    Busch Series: Left-side -- 625, Right-side -- 625

    Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4008; Right-side -- D-4010

    Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.4 in.; Right-side -- 88.7 in.

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

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front -- 22 psi; Left-Rear -- 20 psi;
    Right Front -- 45 psi; Right Rear -- 42 psi

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

    Notes: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought to California Speedway earlier this season . . . this is the only track at which teams will run this specific tire set-up in 2006 . . . however, this left-side tire code (D-4008) will be run with a different right-side code at both Texas, Kansas and Homestead this year . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at California . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus

  • The NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus is $40,000 at California for leading the points and winning the race [only #48-Johnson and #17-Kenseth have a shot at it]. 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.
    2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus Winners:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, Las Vegas, 3/12/2006, $30,000
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, Talladega, 5/1/2006, $60,000
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, Indianapolis, 8/6/2006, $120,000


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

Weather Forecast Links for the race area:

The Weather Channel
National Weather Service
Weather Underground

Track/Travel/Camping/Reviews/Info for Fans:
ARS Racing Outlet - California Review
ARS Racing Outlet - California Review II
Laid Back Racing (lots of info)
Go RVing

any known are listed on my Driver Appearances/Chats page with info and links

Scanner Frequencies - sponsored by Racing Electronics:
see my Scanner Freq/Equipment Links Page

Satellite/Backhaul Listing's Links:
Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales

In-Car Audio SIte:
Fans Can Online(NASCAR Online)
looks like this is all that there is out there now....

news and links

  • Kahne wins at California: #9-Kasey Kahne won the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway for 5th win of 2006 and 6th of his career, Kahne dominated the race, leading 130 of the 250 laps. Kahne also won the Busch Series race at California on Saturday night. Kahne overcame a pit road speeding penalty to win the race. #41-Reed Sorenson was leading with 2 laps to go, trying to stretch the fuel mileage, but ran out of gas and finished 19th. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 2nd, followed by #07-Bowyer [best career finish], #99-Edwards, #24-Gordon, #11-Hamlin, #17-Kenseth, #5-Busch, #20-Stewart and #88-Jarrett. Pole sitter #2-Kurt Busch lead the first 11 laps, fell back, got caught on pit road when a caution flew and finished 27th, down a lap. Kahne is now 30 points behind the 10th place driver, #31-Jeff Burton, who finished 16th. #99-Edwards and #16-Biffle are officially eliminated from the Chase, so it will be 11 drivers for the 10 spots in The Chase, unless there is a tie for 10th, then both drivers would get in. There were 10 leaders with 26 lead changes and 7 cautions for 29 laps.
    Race Results on my California Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after California page.(9-3-2006)

  • Unofficial Driver Points Standing after California [25 of 36 races]:
    #17-Matt Kenseth 3638 [clinched a spot in the chase]
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 3629 -9 [clinched]
    #29-Kevin Harvick 3296 -342
    #24-Jeff Gordon 3251 -387
    #5-Kyle Busch 3244 -394
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3226 -412
    #11-Denny Hamlin 3225 -413
    #20-Tony Stewart 3194 -444
    #6-Mark Martin 3181 -457
    #31-Jeff Burton 3179 -459
    and fighting for 10th
    out of 10th and the chase
    #9-Kasey Kahne -30
    For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(9-3-2006)

  • Rumblings - California: How big would the margin of victory have been without the penalty? Kasey Kahne dominated tonight's SONY HD 500 at California Speedway, leading eight times for 130 laps, and pulled away to a 3.4 second victory in the Nextel Cup spite of getting caught for speeding on pit road! Reed Sorenson tried to steal it, but ran out of fuel on the penultimate lap and Kahne cruised by for his 5th win of the season (that's the most of any driver this year) and 6th of his career (he's now solo in 62nd place on the all-time win list). Win #12 for Ray Evernham gives Kasey a sweep of the weekend (he took the Busch event last night as well), and was worth $279,214 from the almost $6M in posted awards. By doing all he could do points wise, Kasey is now just 30 markers out of the "Chase" with one race left.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Richmond in May. Clint Bowyer (3rd) had his career-best finish tonight. His previous best was 4th at The Brickyard in August. Dale Jarrett (10th) had his best finish since he was 9th at Atlanta in March. Casey Mears (14th) had his best finish since he was 7th at Daytona in July. David Gilliland (32nd) tied his career-best finish tonight. He was also 32nd at Infineon in June. STREAKIN....Denny Hamlin has 7 Top-10's in a row. Tony Stewart has 5 Top-10's in the last 6 races. This Week's Elevator....UP: The Operator of the Week is tie. Dale Jarrett (+26) and Mark Martin (+26) share the honors followed by Carl Edwards (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Brian Vickers (-39), followed by Kurt Busch (-26) and Ryan Newman (-21). This is BD #3 for Vickers this season.
    Matt Kenseth re-assumes the points lead from Jimmie Johnson tonight for the first time since we left Phoenix in April. Matt's got a 9 point margin. There are a number of scenarios where we could have a tie for the 10th and final qualifier for the "Chase"....we've got only 11 drivers with a chance this year with one race to go. Dale Earnhardt Jr (9th to 6th) made the best move forward in the standings this week, while Jeff Burton (7th to 10th) and Brian Vickers (17th to 20th) fell the most spots. Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, and Jeff Burton will spend most of next week wanting to know where the #9 car is.(Stock Car Fans)(9-3-2006)

  • California Race Notes:
    • Kasey Kahne won the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway, scoring his sixth Nextel Cup victory in his 97th career start.
    • This is his fifth victory in 2006, the most of all drivers. Kahne also won at Atlanta, Texas, Charlotte and Michigan.
    • Kahne is the third driver to score a weekend sweep in 2006 joining Kevin Harvick at Phoenix in April and Matt Kenseth at Bristol one week ago.
    • This is only the second time in NASCAR history that a weekend sweep has occurred on back-to-back weekends.Harry Gant was the first driver to post back-to-back weekend sweeps winning both races at Richmond and Dover (September 1991).
    • This marked the first victory by a Dodge at California Speedway since the track opened in 1997.
    • Kahne became the 10th different race winner in the last 10 races at California Speedway.
    • Kahne scored his first victory in six races at California Speedway and fifth victory in 75 races on a superspeedway.
    • Kahne won the race from the ninth-place starting position.
    • Kahne scored his fourth top-10 finish in six races at California Speedway.
    • Kahne remained 11th in the point standings, now just 30 points behind 10th-place Jeff Burton.
    • Kahne led the most laps for the second time in 2006. Kahne also won and led the most at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
    • Kahne led eight times for 130 laps including the final two laps in the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway.
    • This is team owner Ray Evernham’s 12th Nextel Cup victory and first at California Speedway.
    • Evernham Motorsports has won at least one race each season 2001– 2006, six consecutive years.
    Notebook Items
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) scored his 12th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his third top-10 finish in 10 races at California. He climbed from ninth to sixth in the point standings, 77 points ahead of 11th place Kasey Kahne.
    • Clint Bowyer (third) scored his seventh top-10 finish in 2006. It is his first top-10 finish in two races at California Speedway.
    • Carl Edwards (fourth) scored his 13th top-10 finish in 2006. It is his fifth top-10 finish in five races at California.
    • Jeff Gordon (fifth) scored his 12th top-10 finish in 2006. It was his sixth top-10 finish in 13 races at California, all top-fives. Gordon climbed from fifth to fourth in the point standings, 102 points ahead of 11th place Kasey Kahne.
    • Denny Hamlin (sixth) scored his 13th top-10 finish in 2006, the most among the rookie contenders. He extended a streak of seven straight top-10 finishes that began at New Hampshire in July.
    • At least one of the Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year contenders has scored a top-15 finish in all 25 races this season.
    • Matt Kenseth (seventh) scored his 15th top-10 finish in 2006. Kenseth took over the point lead by nine points over Jimmie Johnson. Johnson had held the point lead for the last 16 races since Talladega in May.
    • Jimmie Johnson (11th today) has been ranked among the top 10 for 94 consecutive races. He has been running at the finish in all 25 races in 2006.
    • Kevin Harvick (15th) extended a 37-race streak of running at the finish that began at California last September, the longest current streak. Harvick has posted nine straight top-15 finishes.
    • Jeff Burton (16th) dropped from seventh to 10th in the point standings and is just 30 points ahead of 11th-place Kasey Kahne.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-3-2006)

    California Race Rundown

  • The SONY HD 500 at California Speedway:
    The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions, lucky dogs and some notes
    after 250 of 250 laps:

    car#, driver-manu, (starting spot)(laps led)
    #9-Kahne-d (9)(128 laps led) +3.4 seconds lead
    #8-Earnhardt Jr.-c (6)(5 laps led)
    #07-Bowyer-c (3-r)
    #99-Edwards-f (24)
    #24-Gordon-c (14)(42 laps led)
    #11-Hamlin-c (8-r)(29 laps led)
    #17-Kenseth-f (11)
    #5-Busch-c (10)(11 laps led)
    #20-Stewart-c (22)
    #88-Jarrett-f (36)

    c=chevy; d=dodge; f=ford; r=rookie
    pole sitter #2-Busch (1) is 27, -1 lap
    #6-Martin (38) is running 12

    Pit Selections Chart page at

  • Drivers Points after lap 250 of 250 at California
    #17-Kenseth 3638, clinced a spot in the chase
    #48-Johnson -9, clinced a spot in the chase
    #29-Harvick -342
    #24-Gordon -387
    #5-Busch -394
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. -412
    #11-Hamlin -413
    #20-Stewart -444
    #6-Martin -457
    #31-Burton -459
    and fighting for 10th
    out of 10th and the chase
    #9-Kahne -30 out of 10th Live Points Standings.

  • Cars on the lead lap: 18 (of 43 starters)

  • Drivers down only a lap [and still running]: #'s 41,18,26,66,21,16,01,43,2

  • Drivers down more then one lap [and still running]: #'s 4,14,22,55,38,12,32,45,40,96,49,78,44,25,00

  • Cars on the track: 42 (of 43 starters)

  • Off track/out of race (1) and reason:
    #7-Gordon (transmission-out)

  • Laps Leaders Unofficial (10 leaders with 26 lead changes):
    #9-Kahne (130, led most);
    #24-Gordon (42);
    #11-Hamlin (29);
    #2-Busch (11, pole);
    #5-Busch (11);
    #19-Sadler (8);
    #41-Sorenson (8);
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. (6);
    #6-Martin (3);
    #99-Edwards (2);

  • Lap leaders: #2-Busch - pole; #2-Busch 1-11; #9-Kahne 12-27; #11-Hamlin 28-54; #24-Gordon 55-75; #11-Hamlin 76-77; #5-Busch 78-79; #24-Gordon 80-86; #5-Busch 87; #9-Kahne 88-117; #5-Busch 118; #9-Kahne 119; #5-Busch 120-121; #9-Kahne 122-156; #24-Gordon 157-161; #5-Busch 162-165; #24-Gordon 166-174; #8-Earnhardt Jr. 175-179; #9-Kahne 180-181; #5-Busch 182; #9-Kahne 183-192; #6-Martin 193-195; #19-Sadler 196-203; #9-Kahne 204-237; #8-Earnhardt Jr. 238; #99-Edwards 239-240; #41-Sorenson 241-248; #9-Kahne 249-250

    Cautions: 7 for 29 laps

    Caution 7 - Laps 192 - 195: Debris in turn 4, oil on the track, and between turn 1 & 2, some from #7-Gordon who lost a tire
    Caution 6 - Laps 173 - 178: #38-Gilliland spun in turn off turn 2.
    Caution 5 - Laps 156 - 159: Debris unknown where.
    Caution 4 - Laps 111 - 115: #25-Vickers blew a left front tire on the backstretch and the tire ripped the fender off and did a lot of damage to the left front of the car.
    Caution 3 - Laps 83 - 86: Debris in turn 2.
    Caution 2 - Laps 29 - 31: Debris in turn 2.
    Caution 1 - Laps 11 - 13: #7-Gordon lost a left rear tire in turn 4 and spun around.

  • Who got a lap back on each caution at California in the Lucky Dog Pack: (and their finish)
    Caution 7: #43-Labonte, 26th
    Caution 6: #2-Busch, 27th
    Caution 5: #66-Green(2), 22nd
    Caution 4: #66-Green, 22nd
    Caution 3: #21-Schrader, 23rd
    Caution 2: #7-Gordon, 43rd
    Caution 1: none, no one a lap down.
    See past races, rules, news and who has used the most Lucky Dog passes on my
    Lucky Dog page.

    Car#, Penalty, Reason, Issued
    7 TELL Pitting before pit road is open L 9
    7 Stop & Blend Running the stop & go sign L 9
    7 TELL Excessive speed exiting the pits L 9
    25 TELL Pitting before pit road is open L 109
    00 TELL Pitting before pit road is open L 111
    9 TELL Excessive speed entering the pits L 156
    38 MCI Lug nut(s) not installed L 157
    38 TELL Pitting before pit road is open
    40 TELL Pitting before pit road is open L 172
    2 TELL Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area L 193
    PT - Pass through
    TELL - Tail end of the longest line
    SG - Stop and Go
    OL - One lap
    ND - NASCAR discretion
    MCI - Must come into pits
    (NASCAR Statisical Services)(9-3-2006)

  • RACE/PIT NOTES: (as noted heard on TV or Radio)
    ---- with 2 laps to go, #41-Sorenson was going for the win with a 6 second lead, ran out of gas, had to pit and finished 19th, the last car on the lead lap.
    --- on lap 238, leader #9-Kahne came in for his last green flag pit stop, also #24-Gordon came in at the same time, along with #5-Busch; the next lap #8-Earnhardt Jr., #6-Martin, #10-Riggs and #5-Busch came in. #99-Edwards took the lead for a couple laps and came in on lap 241., turning the lead over to #41-Sorenson
    ---- on lap 231, #16-Biffle and #48-Johnson was the first of the lead lap cars to come in for green flag stops for gas and some got tires. #17-Kenseth came in on lap 233 while in 4th place; #16-Biffle had to come back for another pit stop as the crew put the left side tires on the right side.
    ---- as of lap 230, not too many drivers will be able to make it to the end of the race on gas, #01-Nemechek and #42-Mears supposedly can make it all the way.
    ---- on lap 206 while running in the top-10, #01-Nemechek made an unscheduled pit stop for a flat left front tire and lost a lap.
    ---- during the 7th caution, all the lead lap cars came in to pit, #9-Kahne came in as the leader, #6-Martin came out as the leader after a 2 tire pit stop. Kahne came out 5th
    ---- all the lead laps cars came in to pit during the 6th caution, #24-Gordon came in leading, #8-Earnhardt Jr. came out leading, #24-Gordon came out 11th, but had to make a 2nd stop for loose lugnuts.
    ---- #16-Biffle made an unscheduled pit stop on lap 172 for a flat tire.
    ---- during the 5th caution, all the cars came in to pit, #9-Kahne came in as the leader, #24-Gordon came out as the leader; #2-Busch the pole sitter, had just pit before the caution and lost a lap. BIG MISTAKE: #9-Kahne caught speeding and will be penalized, having to go to the end of the longest line, so Kahne came in and topped off the gas.
    ---- on lap 132, #00-Elliott is listed off the track, no idea what the problem is, but Elliott came back out later, 25 laps down.
    ---- #25-Vickers is back on the track as of lap 125 after the team made repairs to the left front, 11 down.
    ---- during the 4th caution, all the lead lap cars came in to make pit stops, #9-Kahne came in leading and went out leading; #6-Martin made a 2nd stop during this caution for damage to the left front fender after making contact with #25-Vickers [which caused the #25 tire to blow]; #12-Newman spent a lot of time in the pits making repairs after the Sadler contact during the 3rd cautions pit stops.
    ---- during the 3rd caution, #12-Newman got into #19-Sadler, Sadler spun and had to get repositioned. #00-Elliott had a broken sway bar and the team worked to repair it; #7-Gordon made a couple stops to make sheet metal repairs.
    ---- green flag pit stops stated around lap 73, the leader #24-Gordon came in on lap 76, next leader #11-Hamlin came in on lap 78; then next leader #5-Busch came in on lap 80; after the pit stops were done, #24-Gordon goes back into the lead; #01-Nemechek overshot his pitstop and had to be pushed back into his pit stall
    ---- #8-Earnhardt Jr. fell back on the restart, said he messed up.
    ---- #1-Truex Jr. fell off the jack and hit the gas before the front left wheel came off and Truex stopped a few feet past his pit stall.
    ---- during the 2nd caution all the cars came in to make pit stops again.. #9-Kahne came in leading, #11-Hamlin came out leading
    ---- during the 1st caution all the cars came in to make pit stops, many took 4 tires, but some took only 2 tires, one was #9-Kahne who came out with the lead, #2-Busch came in with the lead
    ---- green flag at 8:12pm/et
    ---- command to start engines at 8:02pm/et by singer Kelly Clarkson
    ---- To The Back [3]: #4-Wimmer [engine change]; #21-Schrader [engine change]; #40-Stremme [transmission change];

  • Race Coverage of the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway is scheduled to run Sunday,September 3, 2006.
    TV: NBC at 7:00pm/et [green flag around 8:05pm/et].
    Pre-Race: NASCAR Raceday, Speed Channel, 11:00am/et and again at 6:00pm/et..both Live for 1 hour
    Radio: MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Internet: [Pit Command/Trackside - paid]
    Jayski: on my Jayski's Semi-Live Race Coverage/Narrative Page.
    Race Re-Air: Speed Channel, Thursday, September 7th at 2:30pm/et

  • Happy Hour Practice for the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #6-Martin 175.473 [starts 38th]
    #11-Hamlin 174.778 [8th]
    #9-Kahne 174.664 [9th]
    #17-Kenseth 174.643 [11th]
    #2-Busch 174.516 [1st]
    slowest: #78-Wallace 166.516 & #96-Raines 169.260
    no speed listed: #21-Schrader
    most laps run: #6-Martin 39; #12-Newman 35

    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from's leaderboard service)
    #07-Bowyer 171.567 [6th fastest lap], 18 laps run
    #29-Harvick 171.338 [14th], 14 laps
    #9-Kahne 171.238 [3rd], 29 laps
    The practice was NOT televised
    See speeds on my California Practice Speeds Page.(9-2-2006)

  • First Saturday practice for the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #48-Johnson 176.856 [starts 16th]
    #29-Harvick 176.583 [15th]
    #5-Busch 176.121 [10th]
    #31-Burton 176.095 [7th]
    #11-Hamlin 176.065 [8th]
    slowest: #78-Wallace 167.758 and #32-Kvapil 169.209
    most laps run: #6-Martin 35; #16-Biffle, #8-Earnhardt Jr. & #24-Gordon 29
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from's leaderboard service)
    #9-Kahne 171.221 [6th fastest lap], 28 laps run
    #07-Bowyer 171.147 [8th], 17 laps
    #48-Johnson 171.041 [1st], 25 laps
    See speeds on my California Practice Speeds Page.(9-2-2006)

  • Kurt Busch sweeps poles at California: #2-Kurt Busch won the Budweiser Pole for the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway with a speed of 184.540mph for his 2nd pole at California this season, 5th pole of 2006 and 8th of his career. Starting on the outside pole is #25-Brian Vickers; #07-Clint Bowyer, #10-Scott Riggs, #1-Martin Truex Jr. are the top-5, rounding out the top-10 are #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #31-Jeff Burton, #11-Denny Hamlin, #9-Kasey Kahne and #5-Kyle Busch. The non-top 35 teams that made the race were: #4-Wimmer, #00-Elliott, #44-Labonte, #14-Marlin, #55-Waltrip, #49-Lepage, #78-Wallace and #32-Kvapil. Missing the race were: #06-Kluever, #34-Davis, #61-Chaffin and #23-Lester. #23-Lester spun the car on the frontstretch coming to the white flag, turned it around to redo the first lap and get momentum for the 2nd lap BUT after recording the 1st lap of 38.108mph, he shut the car down in turn 2 as the handling was gone with the flat spotted tires. See the qualifying results/starting lineup on the California Starting Grid/Qualifying Results page.(9-1-2006)

  • Ramblings - Qualifying Notes - California: Kurt Busch kept his qualifying success rolling today at California Speedway as he took the Bud Pole for the SONY HD 500 with a time of 39.016 sec (184.540 mph). This is the third top-spot for Busch in the last four races, his 5th of the season (he leads in that category now) and the 8th of his Nextel Cup career. Brian Vickers will join Busch on the front-row for the Sunday twilight affair.
    Scott Riggs (4th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.
    Martin Truex Jr. (5th) has his career-best starting spot this week. His previous best has been 8th (three times)....the most recent at New Hampshire in July.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr (6th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Michigan in June.
    Scott Wimmer (17th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 14th at Lowe's Motor Speedway last October.
    David Gilliland (20th) has his career (albeit short) best starting spot this weekend. His previous best was 26th at Michigan two weeks ago.
    Bill Elliott (23rd) has his best starting spot since he timed in 9th at Texas last October (only six races).
    STREAKIN....Jeff Burton has 7 Top-10 starts in the last 8 races.
    ...Kurt Busch has 6 Top-10 starts in the last 7 races.
    ...Denny Hamlin has 5 Top-10 starts in the last 6 races.
    Once again this weekend the race within the race will involve where the 5, 24, 11, 31, 20, 8, 6, and 9 car are. Expect lots of point updates (since we're just about down to the nitty-gritty) with Kasey Kahne the only logical contender to make the "Chase" (he's 90 points in arrears).(

  • California Qualifying Notes:
    • Kurt Busch won the Nextel Cup Series Bud Pole for the SONY HD 500, lapping California Speedway in 39.016 seconds at 184.540 mph. Kyle Busch holds the track-qualifying record of 38.248 seconds at 188.245 mp -, set Feb. 26, 2005.
    • This is Kurt Busch’s eighth career Bud Pole in 209 Nextel Cup Series races.
    • This is his fifth Bud Pole and 18th top-10 start in 2006 – both more than any other driver. He became the first driver to win five Bud Poles in 2006. Kasey Kahne (four), Jeff Burton (four), Greg Biffle (two), Denny Hamlin (two) and Ryan Newman (two) are the other multiple Bud Pole winners this season.
    • This is Kurt Busch’s second Bud Pole at California. He has started from the top-10 five times in nine races at California – all fourth or better.
    • Kurt Busch became the first repeat Bud Pole winner in 13 races at California Speedway. Qualifying was canceled in 1997 due to weather.
    • Brian Vickers posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 39.120 seconds, 184.049 mph – and will join Kurt Busch on the front row for the SONY HD 500. Vickers has posted five top-10 starts in his six California races. This is his third front row start here.
    • This is the 12th Bud Pole for Dodge in 2006. Chevrolet has eight Bud Poles and Ford has four. Qualifying was canceled at Bristol.
    • Clint Bowyer (third) posted his first top-10 start in two races at California. He started 32nd and finished 14th here in February.
    • Scott Riggs (fourth) has started from the top 10 in four of his six races at California and has not started worse than 14th here.
    • Martin Truex Jr. (fifth) posted his career-best qualifying effort, bettering his previous best of eighth, which he posted at Atlanta in October 2005. His fifth top-10 start this season is his best of 2006.
    • Denny Hamlin (eighth) posted his second top-10 start in as many races at California Speedway. He started fifth and finished 12th here earlier this season.
    • Kyle Busch, the qualifying record holder at California, qualified 10th. He has started from the top 10 in three of his five races here. He won his career-first Bud Pole in qualifying for the 2005 Auto Club 500 and posted his career-first victory in the 2005 SONY HD 500 – both at California Speedway.
    • This is the 11th time in 2006 that two or more rookies have started in the top 10.
    • Scott Wimmer (17th) was the highest qualifier of the drivers that had to make the field on time.
    • Five of the 13 drivers still vying for the Chase to the Nextel Cup qualified in the top 10 and four others are in the top 20. Mark Martin (38th) posted the worst starting position of the drivers still eligible for the final 10-race Chase.
    • Ford did not post a top-10 start for the fourth time this season – all in the past six races. A Ford driver has won two of those six races and finished second in two others.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(9-1-2006)

  • Qualifying Order List for the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway is up, 47 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, #66-Jeff Green is due out first on Friday, September 1st at 6:40pm/et on Speed/MRN/XM, last driver due out is #34-Kertus Davis. For the Qualifying order, see my California Qualifying/Grid Page.(9-1-2006)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway is scheduled for Friday,September 1, 2006 at 6:40pm/et.
    TV: Speed Channel - 6:30pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Internet: [Pit Command/Trackside - paid] Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page.
    Qualifying Re-Air: 1:00am/et on Speed Channel

  • Friday's Practice for the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #25-Vickers 180.131
    #11-Hamlin 180.036
    #01-Nemechek 179.865
    #48-Johnson 179.600
    #10-Riggs 179.412
    slowest: #34-Davis 171.343 and #61-Chaffin 172.068
    most laps run: #31-Burton 26; #43-Labonte 22
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from's leaderboard service)
    #4-Wimmer 177.576 [10th fastest lap], 5 laps run
    #07-Bowyer 177.280 [9th], 7 laps
    #19-Sadler 177.146 [6th], 5 laps
    See speeds on my California Practice Speeds Page.(9-1-2006)

  • How did the non Top-35 teams do in Friday's practice?
    Eight in and four out [47 entered for 43 spots]:
    if things stayed the same, these drivers would make the race:
    #4-Scott Wimmer, 10th
    #00-Bill Elliott [CH2], 27th
    #14-Sterling Marlin, 31st
    #55-Michael Waltrip, 34th
    #32-Travis Kvapil, 35th
    #44-Terry Labonte [CH1], 36th
    #49-Kevin Lepage, 38th
    #06-Todd Kluever, 40th
    if things stayed the same, these drivers would miss the race:
    #78-Kenny Wallace, 42nd
    #23-Bill Lester, 45th
    #61-Chad Chaffin, 46th
    #34-Kertus Davis, 47th
    See speeds on my California Practice Speeds Page.(9-1-2006)

  • Chase Clinching Scenarios Following Sunday's Sony HD 500:
    •Only 48 points separate positions four through 10 in the current Nextel Cup Series standings. Only 138 points separate positions four through 11. A driver can gain a maximum of 156 points over another competitor in each event.
    •The 11th-place driver, Kasey Kahne, can move as high as fourth in the standings following Sunday’s Sony HD 500 at California Speedway.
    •Any driver in positions four through 10 can fall from the top 10 following Sunday’s event.
    •Drivers in positions four through 10 can clinch a spot in the Chase for the Nextel Cup following Sunday’s event.
    •No top-10 driver will be mathematically eliminated from the Chase even if he finishes 43rd (last) at California.
    •Kevin Harvick will clinch a Chase berth with a finish of third or better in Sunday’s event, no matter where another competitor finishes. Harvick also can clinch if he finishes lower than third, as long as his advantage over 11th place is 191 points or greater after the Sony HD 500.
    •Harvick can fall as low as 10th in the standings following Sunday’s event.
    •Also important: Top-10 drivers are racing for the highest finish in the standings before the Chase begins. Although the point separation to start the Chase is a mere five points per position, the 2004 series title was decided by eight points. The 2005 title margin was 35 points.
    •The sports statistics experts at STATS LLC have calculated 574,560 different possibilities for the order of the top 11 drivers following Sunday’s event.
    •Any driver with a lead of 191 points or more over 11th place following Sunday’s event will clinch a spot in the Chase. (Note: The clinching method used by NASCAR does not assume that a driver will be able to start all of the remaining races, although that is likely.)(NASCAR PR)(8-31-2006)

  • Entry List for the SONY HD 500 at California Speedway is up, 47 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including these drivers who need to get in on speed and are NOT in a 2006 Top-35 Owners Points Position:
    #00-Bill Elliott [CH]
    #06-Todd Kluever
    #4-Scott Wimmer
    #14-Sterling Marlin
    #23-Bill Lester
    #32-Travis Kvapil
    #34-Kertus Davis in for Chad Blount
    #44-Terry Labonte [CH]
    #49-Kevin Lepage
    #55-Michael Waltrip
    #61-Chad Chaffin
    #78-Kenny Wallace
    [CH] has champ prov to use if needed
    If qualifying is rained out, the making the race would be: #'s 44,00,14,32,55,4,49,61
    missing the race would be #'s: 78,34,23,06.
    see entry list on Jayski's California Entry List Page.

  • Determining Race Line-Ups - Top 35 Guarantee: At the start of the 2005 seaspn, NASCAR instituted a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series [NNCS]. NASCAR 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 NNCS still will be determined by qualifying speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 35 positions of the NNCS OWNER [not Driver] championship points that have entered the event prior to the entry deadline [usually 13 days before the day of the race] 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 [36-42] will be assigned to those drivers with the fastest qualifying speeds whose car owners are not among the top 35. The final starting position [43rd] – 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 the current of previous 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 previous 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’ current Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)
    Simple: so the field is set by speed to where the 7th fastest non-top 35 driver is on speed. The any drivers in the top35 of OWNERS [not drivers points] are placed to the 42nd spot. The 43rd spot is used for the most recent past Cup champion NOT already in the field from being in the top-35 in owners points or one of the seven no top-35. If their is not past champ for the 43rd spot, it goes to the next fastest [8th fastest driver]

  • see my Final 2005 Owners Points with the 2006 teams listed page

  • What happens if qualifying gets rained out?

    If it is the first 5 races of the season, the previous season OWNERS points are used:

    #1) - Previous season Owner Points [position 1-35]
    #2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
    #3) - Past Nextel Cup Champions not in by 1 or 2
    #4) - Current season Owner Points [Top 35][not in by rules 1-3]
    #5) - Current season race attempts ties broken by current owners points standings [not in by rules 1-4]
    After the 5th race of the season, the current season OWNERS points are used:
    #1) - First 35 by current Owner Points
    #2) - Last Years Cup Champ or the Event Champion if not already in the field
    #3) - Car Owners whose team has won in the previous and current season not already in the field
    #4) - Drivers who have won in the previous and current season not already in the field
    #5) - Past Nextel Cup Champions not in by 1 thru 4
    #6) - Qualifying Attempts with Owners points as the tie breaker
    #7) - Qualifying Order Position
    (all above apply as long as the team was entered by the entry deadline - usually 7-13 days before the race)

  • No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A/Lucky Dog

  • for race results and current drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's - 2006 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).


  • Heading to California:
    • Two races remaining in the “Race to the Chase.” Any driver leading the 11th-place driver by 191 points following California is guaranteed a spot in the 2006 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
    • Eleventh-place Kasey Kahne trails 10th place Mark Martin in the point standings by 90 points.
    • Fourth to 10th in the point standings are separated by 48 points.
    • Seven drivers in the top-10 changed point’s positions at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    • There have been eleven different Bud Pole winners in 12 races at California Speedway. Qualifying was rained out in 1999.
    • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers scoring three victories at California Speedway.
    • Jeff Gordon leads all drivers scoring five top-five finishes in 12 races at California
    • Mark Martin leads all drivers scoring six top-10 finishes in 12 races at California Speedway. Rusty Wallace also scored six top-10s in 11 races at California before his retirement at the end of 2005.
    • A Dodge has never won at California Speedway.
    • Greg Biffle has posted four straight top-10 starts at California, the longest current streak.
    • Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray have each posted four straight top-10 finishes at California Speedway. Edwards has competed in only four races at California. McMurray has competed in six races, posting top-15 finishes in each race.
    • Kasey Kahne leads all drivers with five or more starts with an 8.6 starting average in five races at California.
    • Carl Edwards has a 4.5 finishing average in his four races at California, leading all active drivers.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(8-27-2006)

  • Who's Hot - California:
    • Jimmie Johnson has scored a top-15 finish in 21 of the 24 races in 2006, the most of all drivers.
    • Jimmie Johnson has finished on the lead lap in the last 19 races, since Martinsville in April.
    • Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to score 18 top-10 finishes in the first 24 races of 2006, four more than any other driver.
    • Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne have each won four races in 2006, the most of all drivers.
    • Matt Kenseth has posted 13 top-five finishes in 2006 and ranks second in the point standings. After 24 races one year ago, he ranked 11th.
    • Denny Hamlin has scored top-15 finishes in 14 of the last 15 races. He has scored six straight top-10 finishes.
    • Kevin Harvick has posted eight straight top-15 finishes. Harvick has been running at the finish in the last 36 races.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(8-28-2006)

  • Feb 2006 Race Winner: #17-Matt Kenseth, 147.852, started 31st

  • Sept 2005 Race Winner: #5-Kyle Busch, 136.356, started 25th

  • Track Race Record: #24-Jeff Gordon, June 1997, 155.012mph

  • Slowest Race Record: #38-Elliott Sadler, 128.324mph, 9/5/2004

  • Track Qualifying Record: Kyle Busch, Feb 2005, 188.425mph

  • Feb 2006 Pole Sitter: #2-Kurt Busch, 187.086, finished 16th

  • Sept 2005 Pole Sitter: #99-Carl Edwards, 185.061, finished 4th

  • Most Wins: 3 - Jeff Gordon

  • Most Poles: 1 - eleven different drivers [one rain out]

  • Most Top 5s: 5 - Jeff Gordon

  • Most Top 10s: 6 - Rusty Wallace

  • Oldest Winner: Rusty Wallace, 44 years, 8 months, 15 days, 4/29/2001

  • Youngest Winner: Kyle Busch, 20 years, 4 months, 2 days, 9/4/2005

  • 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: 30 - 9/4/2005

  • 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 and 9/4/2005

  • 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 - twice 6/22/1997 and 2/27/2005

  • Most Wins by Manufacturer: 7 - Ford

  • Worst Starting Spot to Win: Matt Kenseth, 2/26/2006, started 31st

  • Races won from starting pos 1: 0 [of 12] 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: 2
  • 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 starting pos 25: 1
  • Races won from starting pos 31: 1
  • Races won from the top 5: 5 of 12
  • Races won from the top 10: 5 of 12

  • California Nuggets:
    California Milestones:
    Sterling Marlin is expected to make his 700th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start at California. He joins an elite group of drivers that include Richard Petty (1,185), Dave Marcis (883), Ricky Rudd (875), Terry Labonte (844), Darrell Waltrip (809), Kyle Petty (773), Bill Elliott (751), Bobby Allison (719), Rusty Wallace (706) and Buddy Baker (701).
    California Pole Winners Galore
    There have been 11 different Bud Pole winners in the 12 races at California. Qualifying was rained out in 1999.
    Starting Up Front is not Important at California Speedway
    Seven of the last nine races at California Speedway have been won from starting positions outside the top-15, including the 2006 spring race won by Matt Kenseth from the 31st starting position, the deepest starting position of a race winner there.
    California Streaks
    • Greg Biffle has started in the top 10 in the last four straight races at California.
    • Jimmie Johnson has posted three straight top-10 starts at California.
    • Carl Edwards has posted four straight top-10 finishes in four races at California.
    • Jamie McMurray has posted four straight top-10 finishes in his six races at California. He is the only driver to score top-15 finishes in all six of his races at California Speedway.
    Recent Dominance at California
    Mark Martin leads all drivers, scoring six top-10 finishes in 12 races at California Speedway. Martin has scored top- 15 finishes in his last five races there.
    Owner Wins at California Speedway
    Rick Hendrick has scored five wins at California Speedway, the most of any car owner. Those five wins were scored by: Jeff Gordon (three), Jimmie Johnson (one) and Kyle Busch (one). His last California victory was posted by Busch in this race one year ago.
    Leading The Way at California Speedway
    Jeff Gordon led 413 laps in 12 races at California, the most of all drivers.
    Would you Believe?
    There have been nine different race winners in the last nine races at California Speedway.
    California Standouts
    • Eleven drivers have started all 12 races at California Speedway.
    • Eleven drivers scored Bud Poles in the 12 races at California Speedway.
    • Jeff Gordon leads all drivers with three victories at California. He is the only driver with multiple victories there.
    • Mark Martin leads all full time, active drivers with six top-10 finishes at California Speedway.
    • Denny Hamlin (5.0), Kasey Kahne (8.6), Brian Vickers (9.2) and Scott Riggs (9.8) all have average starts of 10th or better at California Speedway.
    • Carl Edwards (4.5), Jamie McMurray (7.0) and Jimmie Johnson (7.57) all have average finishes of 10th or better at California Speedway.
    Season Nuggets
    • Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth became the first two drivers to clinch a spot in the 2006 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
    • Any driver that is 381 or more points behind 10th-place will not be in the 2006 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
    • Any driver leading the 11th-place driver by 191 points following California is guaranteed a spot in the 2006 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
    • Only one driver that ranked in the top-10 after Race No. 24 in 2005 failed to make the Chase. Jeff Gordon was 10th but dropped to 12th the following week and never re-entered the top 10. He was overtaken by Matt Kenseth who ranked 11th at this point one year ago and finished seventh.
    • After 24 races in 2006, three drivers are within the 400-point window. One year ago there were five drivers within the 400-point window.
    • In 2005 seven of the top-12 drivers were separated by 31 points or less with 12th to 11th separated by one point and 11th to 10th separated by 11 points.
    • After 24 races in 2006, seven of the top-10 drivers are separated by eight points or less.
    • Fourth-place Kyle Busch is 138 points ahead of 11th-place Kasey Kahne.
    • Current point leader Jimmie Johnson has scored 18 top-10 finishes in 24 races in 2006. That is four more top-10 finishes than any other driver.
    • Kevin Harvick has outscored all drivers in the last 10 races earning 1,463 points. He outscored current point leader Jimmie Johnson by 109 points during the 10-race period. Johnson ranks sixth in points earned in the last 10 races (1,354 points).
    • Jeff Gordon currently fifth in points, ranks second in points earned in the last 10 races (1,447).
    • Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch, 13th and 14th in Championship points, respectively, rank eighth and 10th in points earned in the last 10 races.
    • All 24 victories in 2006 have been scored by drivers ranked in the top-14 in the point standings. Jeff Burton (seventh) and Mark Martin (10th) are the only two drivers among the top 10 yet to score a victory in 2006.
    • Jeff Gordon leads all drivers scoring 100 lap leader bonus points, 55 more than point leader Jimmie Johnson who has 45. Gordon is the only driver to lead in 17 of the 24 races this season.
    • Kevin Harvick has posted four straight top-10 starts, the longest current streak.
    • After winning only three races in all of 2005, Dodge has won five of the 24 races in 2006. Chevrolet has 14 victories while Ford has just five. One year ago Ford had 10 victories at this point of the season.
    • Three of the top-10 in driver points have been running at the finish in every race in 2006: Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin.
    • Jeff Gordon has posted four DNFs - the most of any driver ranked in among the top 20.
    • NASCAR Rookie-of-the-Year contender Denny Hamlin has scored top-10 finishes in 12 of the 24 races in 2006 (50 percent). He has scored 15 top-10s in 31 career races - 48%. Hamlin has scored top-10 finishes in each of the last six races and 14 top-15 finishes in the last 15. He has been the highest finishing rookie in 13 of the 24 races in 2006 (54%).
    • At least one rookie has scored a top-15 finish in every race this season. In 19 of the 24 races a rookie finished in the top 10 (79%). In seven of the 24 races, two or more rookies finished in the top 10.
    • Seven of the top 10 and 15 of the top-25 drivers changed point positions at Bristol.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(8-30-2006)


    Pole Winners

    2/2006 Kurt Busch, #2 Dodge, 187.086, finished 16th
    9/2005 Carl Edwards, #99 Ford, 185.060, finished 4th
    2/2005 Kyle Busch, #5 Chevy, 188.425mph, finished 23rd
    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)

    Race Winners

    2/2006 Matt Kenseth, #17 Ford, 147.852, started 31st
    9/2005 Kyle Busch, #5 Chevy, 136.356, started 25th
    2/2005 Greg Biffle, #16 Ford, 139.697mph, started 5th
    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


  • 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

    Race Festivities:
    Grand Marshal: Kelly Clarkson
    Command to start engines: Kelly Clarkson
    Wave the green flag/honorary starter: actress Marcia Cross
    National Anthem: R&B Singer Mya
    Military Flyover: F-117 Nighthawks from the 410th Squadron, California

  • Track Homepage:

  • February 2005 California Race Info / Rundown Page

  • September 2005 California Race Info / Rundown Page

  • February 2006 California Race Info / Rundown Page
  • Founder of America Supports You Program to Join Speedway Fans at California: Allison Barber, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, and the architect of the America Supports You program will join NASCAR fans at the California Speedway Sept. 3, 2006. America Supports You is an outreach program launched by the Department of Defense to recognize citizens’ support for military men and women and to communicate that support to members of the Armed Forces and their families.
    • 86 NASCAR race cars including pace cars will carry the America Supports You decal during the Busch Series Race on Saturday, Sept 2, and the NEXTEL Cup Series on Sunday Sept 3. In addition, America Supports You logo will be stenciled in color on the grass along the front straightaway of the Speedway.
    • In conjunction with the California Speedway, America Supports You will provide race fans an opportunity to text their vote of support for our military men and women in uniform. Text messaging is an interactive component of the America Supports You program designed to give all Americans a way to show the volume of their support, and it provides a strong message to members of the military. Barber and sports announcers will invite spectators to actively show their support by texting “Thanks” to T-X-A-S-Y (89279) from their cell phones.
    • Shout outs from the troops stationed overseas to NASCAR fans will play on California Speedway jumbotrons, and America Supports You public service announcements will be broadcast in-stadium for on-site fans.
    In addition, Barber will be interviewed on Sunday afternoon during pre-race ceremonies from the California Speedway along with four military members recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, including SPC Robby R. Case, SSgt Paula Denise Newman and Sergeant Patrick Bauschke.(NASCAR PR)(9-3-2006)

  • Dale Jr. - rebuild Calif Speedway if: Some view NASCAR races at the California Speedway as boring because there isn't enough passing, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. offered a blunt solution Friday: Start over in Fontana. "Dig it up and rebuild it," he said when asked how to generate closer racing on the two-mile, D-shaped oval. "They do it at other places, so I don't see why we couldn't do it here. It's a little too flat, The banking is flat in Turns 1 and 2 and it's not conducive to good racing." All four corners have 14-degree banking. "We're going 196 [mph] down the front straightaway into a flat corner," Earnhardt said. "How are you supposed to race around that? You do your best just to get around it uneventfully, you know, much less try to pass somebody." The track's banking is flatter than some Nextel Cup tracks, but others have even less banking in the corners, including the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Los Angeles Times)(9-2-2006)

  • Marcia Cross Named Honorary Starter for the SONY HD 500: Award-winning TV and film actress Marcia Cross will wave the green race flag at the start of the Nextel Cup Series race at the California Speedway on Sunday, September 3, 2006. Marcia is excited to team up with rookie racecar driver J.J. Yeley of the #18 car to raise awareness about migraine headaches. Migraines have been part of Marcia's life for years. She experienced her first migraine when she was in high school and for many years she suffered, unable to effectively manage her migraines. More than 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches and almost half of all people who suffer from migraines are undiagnosed. If left untreated, migraines can be highly disruptive, even disabling, making it impossible to participate in daily activities. Marcia hopes to educate race fans about migraines and encourages those who suffer from frequent, bad headaches to talk to their doctor about their symptoms. A tool she recommends to help you talk to your doctor is the Headache Quiz and can be found at Getting the right diagnosis can mean the difference between debilitating pain and getting relief.(California Speedway PR)(9-2-2006)

  • Clarkson named Grand Marshal at California: California Speedway announced that Grammy Award-winning and Sony recording artist, Kelly Clarkson, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the SONY HD 500 on Sunday, September 3, 2006. Clarkson will give the most famous words in motorsports, "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines," in front of the Southern California crowd and to a national television audience on NBC during the Labor Day NASCAR weekend event. She will also lead the Nextel Cup Series field off pit road in the Grand Marshal car prior to the start of the SONY HD 500. Clarkson, winner of FOX TV's first American Idol, hails from Burleson, Texas. Tickets for the weekend are on sale now and start as low $20. For more information, call 800-944-RACE [7223] or log on to Speedway PR)(8-31-2006)

  • Midway Grand Opening at California Speedway to Feature Spectacular Musical Line-Up: California Speedway announced a star studded entertainment line up to debut the Entertainment Stage of the track's multi-million dollar Midway renovation project opening on Labor Day NASCAR weekend. The Entertainment Stage will be the centerpiece of the Town Center, which also includes Apex by Wolfgang Puck, a full-service restaurant. Other features in the newly redesigned Midway include a retail store, enhanced shade features, giant video walls, improved picnic and leisure areas and interactive performers. Taking the stage prior to the SONY HD 500 is Puddle of Mudd, Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts, and Julie Roberts. With the design almost doubling from the previous Midway, the new Midway will include many entertainment features and interactive performers scattered throughout the environment. Ground breaking for the eye-catching new Midway redesign project began in February, almost immediately following the checkered flag of the 2006 Auto Club 500. Since then, construction crews have been working through the Spring and Summer months to complete the project before the SONY HD 500 on Labor Day weekend. Tickets to the Nextel Cup Series SONY HD 500 at California Speedway on Labor Day weekend (September 1-3) are going fast. For tickets call 800-944-RACE [7223] or log on to Speedway PR)(7-20-2006)

  • Consultant to help California tix sales: Long-time NASCAR consultant, short-track owner and France family friend Ken Clapp will help California Speedway in its efforts to boost slumping ticket sales at the facility. In an exclusive interview with Thursday at Phoenix International Raceway, Clapp, 67, said he has made a commitment to assist in the revitalization of the Southern California speedway. Clapp said he was asked by NASCAR Vice Chairman Bill France, Jr. last month at Las Vegas to take on the project. “I told him it will take five years,” said Clapp, who will serve as a consultant to track President Gillian Zucker. First up on Clapp’s list is a barnstorming tour with Zucker of the Southern California media, where he has deep roots and many friends. Clapp, who for many years was co-owner and operator of the fabled Stockton 99 Speedway, said some dramatic changes could be in the works at California Speedway. Among them are a possible date change for the spring race, to move it further away from the nearby Las Vegas race, and a track redesign similar to the one done at Homestead-Miami Speedway a couple of years back. The goals are to create better racing and draw more fans.(Speed Channel)(4-22-2006)

  • No plans to move any of Martinsville or California races: International Speedway Corp. Chief Operating Officer John Saunders says the company has no plans to move any of its NASCAR Nextel Cup races from Martinsville Speedway and California Speedway. Answer questions during a conference call with financial analysts to discuss the company's first-quarter financial results, Saunders today said that overall weekend attendance was down at California for February, but ISC remains bullish on the Los Angeles market. He said that the move of a race from North Carolina Speedway at Rockingham for a second California event beginning in 2004 has resulted in increased ticket sales and sponsorship revenues but has not met the company's expectations.
    "While the Southwest is an underdeveloped region for NASCAR racing, we believe it is strategically important to have two major Cup weekends in the nation's second-largest media market," Saunders said. "As part of our long-term growth efforts. We are changing ticket pricing and packaging strategies, as well as adding amenities designed to enhance the fan experience. We remain confident in the long-term success of the California Speedway."
    Martinsville is typically the subject of rumors about tracks that might lose a race because it has only 64,000 grandstand seats, about 5,000 more than Darlington, which has one race. All other ISC tracks that have two races have at least 75,000 seats, except the Watkins Glen road course. Martinsville is also located in Virginia, not far from Richmond International Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway "We have stated previously that realignment, which is a NASCAR initiative, is something that we're very interested in and that we would look in time to markets that are saturated, smaller markets and where we have opportunities to go to larger, underserved markets," Saunders said. "But having said all of that, there are no plans sitting here today to do anything with Martinsville's schedule in 2006, 2007 and no plans beyond that at this point"(

  • California Speedway's Zucker Woman of the Year: Assemblymember Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands) recognizes California Speedway President Gillian Zucker as the 2006 Woman of the Year for the 63rd Assembly District. "As President of California Speedway, Gillian Zucker oversees one of the busiest motorsports facilities in the country," Assemblymember Emmerson said. "The Speedway has an economic impact on the local economy of $220 million, and it is the hard work of both Gillian and her staff that has made California Speedway a fixture in Southern California's sports and recreational world." When Gillian Zucker was appointed fourth President of California Speedway on June 23, 2005, she became the first female president of a track hosting a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event in the country. Prior to her tenure with California Speedway, Ms. Zucker worked with both Daytona International Speedway and Kansas Speedway. "Gillian is a model of success for women in the community, and is truly an astounding individual. I am honored to select Gillian Zucker as Woman of the Year for 2006," stated Assemblymember Emmerson. The Woman of the Year event is an annual event to celebrate remarkable women in California who are making a difference in their communities. Honorees from throughout the state were honored in Sacramento on Monday, March 20th during a special ceremony. Zucker was awarded with an Assembly resolution in honor of her service to our state and our country. Assemblyman Emmerson will host a Woman of Distinction Reception to locally recognize Zucker as Woman of the Year, as well as 63 other Women of Distinction from the 63rd District on Thursday, March 30.(California Speedway PR)(3-31-2006)

  • Calif Speedway Prez Bulldozes Building: Concrete bricks tumbled to the ground at California Speedway on Wednesday afternoon as Speedway President Gillian Zucker drove a CAT 950 Wheel Loader into a souvenir building at Gate 13 to make way for the multi-million dollar Midway redesign. After a quick lesson, Zucker used the machine's bucket to hit the first concrete brick wall. Seconds later it tumbled down. She continued in the same fashion, maneuvering the loader around the building until all that remained was a pile of rubble on the ground. At the site where the souvenir building stood, Wolfgang Puck's Apex restaurant will be built. The restaurant will feature dine-in accommodations, as well as takeout windows for easy access for race fans during NASCAR events. Next to Apex will sit a full service retail store where California Speedway guests can get all their Speedway and race team gear. Behind the motorsports facility's grandstands, and south of Apex, will be grass leisure areas, a town center and a concert stage. Driver merchandise trailers will wrap around promotional displays throughout the Midway to create a street festival atmosphere. Guests will have easy access to the Midway from the west side of the property with a new accessible bridge from Lot 11. Other key elements in the new Midway include shade features, modified entry gates, expanded hospitality areas, radio broadcast locations, giant video walls, leisure areas and grass and water accents. The new midway, bringing the majority of the key entertainment features within California Speedway's fence line, will nearly double the midway footprint from 12.2 acres to 23.8 acres. Demolition of asphalt began at California Speedway on March 6. The new Midway will begin to take form later this spring and into the summer. The first public opening of the Midway will take place during the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series SONY HD 500 this Labor Day weekend (September 1-3). For more information about California Speedway and to order tickers, please visit Speedway PR)(3-24-2006)

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


  • Fatback stays home UPDATE: Ernie Cope will serve as #21-Ken Schrader's crew chief this weekend, as his regular crew chief, Michael McSwain, remained at the Wood Brothers shop to complete other work.(Roanoke Times)(9-2-2006)
    UPDATE: Regular crew chief Michael McSwain stayed back at the team's shop to get ready for the upcoming races at Richmond and New Hampshire. Team owner Eddie Wood said that the move is an indication of what teams might do when they are no longer in the Chase scenario. "It wasn't something we really planned in advance, but it just kind of worked out that way," he said. "Ernie has been helping Fatback since he came back and since Fatback had some stuff to do, it's a no-brainer to have Ernie fill in. Ernie is an experienced crew chief in his own right, so it's business as usual."(

  • Morgan-McClure Motorsports and Lucas Oil Reunite at Calif: Morgan-McClure President Larry McClure announced that the #4 Chevy that Scott Wimmer drive, will be sporting the familiar red LUCAS decal on the hood for the third time this season in the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway this weekend. Wimmer has an average finish of 27th at California and is looking to improve on that this weekend. Wimmer will have to qualify the Lucas Oil Chevy on time and expressed confidence in returning to California. Lucas Oil served as the primary sponsor for the Morgan-McClure #4 Chevy for the full season in 2005 as well as Indy and Michigan in 2006 and has long been involved in the American racing industry through multiple vehicle sponsorships and racing event promotions, at all levels.(Morgan-McClure Motorsports PR)(8-30-2006)

  • Lester to make Cup debut at Atlanta UPDATE 2: Bill Lester is expected to announce at a Tuesday news conference that he'll attempt to make the Cup race next weekend at Atlanta in a Bill Davis Racing car [#23?]. If Lester makes the race, he would become the first African-American to compete in a Cup race since Willy T. Ribbs in 1986.(Roanoke Times)(3-12-2006)
    UPDATE: Lester will attempt to qualify for Sunday's Nextel Cup Golden Corral 500 in a Bill Davis Racing car sponsored by Waste Management. At stake is a chance to become the first African-American in NASCAR's premier series since Willy T. Ribbs finished 37th at Michigan International Speedway on June 15, 1986. Despite huge growth in attendance and TV ratings the last two decades, NASCAR has lagged in attracting minority fans and competitors. Waste Management will sponsor him in Cup races at Michigan on June 18 and at California Speedway on Sept. 3. Lester said there's an option for more races. He will be one of an expected 17 drivers vying for eight unprotected spots in the 43-car field at Atlanta.(USA Today)(3-14-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Truck Series driver Bill Lester will make history this weekend, piloting the #23 Waste Management NASCAR entry for Bill Davis Racing in the Golden Corral 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.(AMS Site)
    Lester would become the sixth black driver to compete in NASCAR's top series since the sport's inception in 1949. The late Wendell Scott drove in 495 races from 1961-73 with one victory at Jacksonville (Fla.) Speedway in 1963. No other African-American has competed in more than three races. Willy T. Ribbs was the last African-American to race in the Cup series, competing in three races in 1986.(Roanoke Times), see an image on the #23 Team Schemes page.(3-15-2006)

  • See the 2006 Team Chart and the 2007 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
#7-Robby Gordon World Series of Poker #7 Schemes Page
#12-Ryan Newman Sony HDTV #12 Schemes Page
#18-J.J. Yeley Imitrex #18 Schemes Page
#21-Ken Schrader U.S. Air Force #21 Schemes Page
#25-Brian Vickers Garnier Fructis #25 Schemes Page
#26-Jamie McMurray Smirnoff Ice #26 Schemes Page
#38-David Gilliland Pedigree Dog Food #38 Schemes Page
#45-Kyle Petty Schwans #45 Schemes Page
#66-Jeff Green According to Jim TV Show #66 Schemes Page

  • Vickers going green at California: Brian Vickers' #25 Chevy will sport a different look this weekend at California Speedway. Garnier, the popular unisex haircare brand, will be featured on the hood of the bold bright-green design. The scheme will adorn the car in one more NextelL Cup Series event this season -- Kansas Speedway in October.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see an image of the scheme on my #25 Team Schemes page.(9-1-2006)

  • #66 team featuring 'According to Jim' scheme IMAGE: Hollywood and NASCAR will cross paths this weekend at California Speedway, as the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevy will sport a special paint design promoting the syndication launch of "According to Jim," in Sunday's Sony HD 500 Nextel Cup Series race. The goal of this unique one-race sponsorship is to help publicize that this breakout family comedy, starring multi-talented film, television and stage actor Jim Belushi, will launch into national syndication five days a week on Monday, September 18. Jim Belushi will attend Sunday's race as both a performer and a spectator. He and his band, "Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts" will play for fans at the California Speedway Midway prior to the race. Belushi then plans to attend the driver's meeting and talk to media members before the race gets underway. In addition, Jim will also serve as the Honorary Race Official. Consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy, which has been the primary sponsor of the Haas entry at a number of events this season, will also have a presence on the #66 car on Sunday. The Best Buy logo and the tag line "HD Done Right" will be displayed on the car's lower quarter panels, promoting Best Buy's expertise in the area of high definition TVs. Fans attending Sunday's race can pick up a free copy of a promotional "According to Jim" DVD at various points around the speedway, and at the Best Buy "Fun Zone" interactive display on the Midway.(GMR Marketing/Haas CNS Racing PR)(8-29-2006)
    IMAGE: see an image on the #66 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2006)

  • Robby Gordon Running Special Paint Scheme at California: In conjunction with Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., the #7 Chevy will be adorned with the World Series of Poker scheme for the first time in the 2006 season. The #7 will have the WSOP brand in two more races this year. In addition to the Sony HD 500, Harrah’s will display the World Series of Poker scheme at Kansas and Talladega.(RGM PR)(8-29-2006)
    IMAGE: see an image on the #7 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2006)

  • Sony on the #12 at Calif: Ryan Newman and his #12 Dodge Charger will carry the Sony colors for the season's second race at California Speedway.(Penske Racing) see an image on the #12 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2006)

  • McMurray to run Smirnoff in a few races: Jamie McMurray will drive the #26 Smirnoff Ice Ford at:
    Lowe's Motor Speedway (May)
    Daytona (July) and
    Fontana (Sept).(Racing One) or see images on my #26 Team Schemes page.(12-22-2005)

  • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery


(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)

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