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THE RACE: The Auto Club 500

Nextel Cup Race #2 of 36 for the 2007 season

Updated: often, leading up to the race

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


  • Race: Sunday, February 25, 2007 in Fontana, CA

  • Title Sponsor/Link: Auto Club

  • Track: California Speedway

  • TV: FOX 3:00pm/et

  • FOX Pre-Race Show: FOX - 3:00pm/et - with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Speed's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 1:00pm/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace

  • Green Flag Scheduled: 3:30pm/et

  • Race Re-Air: Thursday, February 29 at 3:00pm/et on Speed

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

  • Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum, Krista Voda

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • TV Listings and Info:
    Jayski's TV Listings Page

  • Radio Coverage: This Week - MRN and Sirius

    Motor Racing Network (MRN)

    Sirius Satellite - NASCAR Radio

  • Purse/Race Awards: $6,065,926.00 (was $5,929,304 in 2006)


    Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Practice: Friday, February 23, 2:30 - 4:00pm/et; and Saturday, February, 24, 2:00 - 2:50pm/et TV-SPEED

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, February 24, 5:20 - 6:20pm/et on TV-SPEED


    Qualifying Info

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, February 23, 1:30pm/et

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-43, Friday, February 23 at 6:10pm/et, TV-SPEED at 5:30pm/et, no re-air AND live via radio at MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio.

  • Nextel CUP EVENT SCHEDULE for this race

    TIMES LOCAL TO THE TRACK

    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd
    8:00 am........................................................Gates Open to Public
    8:00 am........................................................NBS Practice
    9:30 am........................................................NBS Rookie Practice
    10:20 am........................................................NBS Final Practice
    11:30 am........................................................NNCS Practice
    1:10 pm........................................................NCTS Qualifying
    3:10 pm........................................................NNCS Qualifying
    5:45 pm........................................................NCTS Driver Introductions
    6:00 pm........................................................NCTS Race San Bernardino County 200

    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH
    9:00 am........................................................Gates Open to the Public
    9:30 am........................................................Walk of Fame Matt Kenseth Induction at Gate 12
    11:00 am........................................................NNCS Practice
    12:10 pm........................................................NBS Qualifying
    2:20 pm........................................................NNCS Final Practice
    4:00 pm........................................................NBS Driver Introductions
    4:30 pm........................................................NBS Stater Brothers 300 Race

    SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25TH
    7:00 am........................................................Gates open to the Public
    12:00 noon........................................................NNCS Driver Introductions
    12:30 pm........................................................NNCS Auto Club 500 Race
    Note: These schedules are tentative and subject to change.
    (from the California Speedway site)

    key
    NNCS = Nextel Cup Series
    NBS = NASCAR Busch Series
    NCTS = NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
    SUBJECT TO CHANGE


GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES

    Tire:
    Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials (Nextel Cup and Busch Series);
    Goodyear Wrangler Speedway Radials (Craftsman Truck)

    Number of Tires:
    Nextel Cup: Left-side -- 1,600, Right-side -- 1,600;
    Busch Series: Left-side -- 575, Right-side -- 575;
    Truck Series: Left-side -- 325, Right-side -- 325

    Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4078; Right-side -- D-4062

    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 42-44 laps, based on fuel mileage (Nextel Cup).

    Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same tire codes this weekend, though the Nextel Cup and Busch Series tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Craftsman Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the first time Goodyear has brought this specific combination of left- and right-side tires to the track . . . this left-side code (D-4078) is new to the Goodyear tire lineup and is more heat and wear resistant than the codes brought to California last season . . . this right-side code (D-4062) was run at Dover, Kansas and Michigan last season, but not California . . . the right-side change was made to keep ahead of team developments and speed increases . . . the construction on both of these codes are now in alignment with the enhancements in durability and performance that Goodyear began to incorporate throughout its tire line in 2006 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at California . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.


Nextel Cup Leader Bonus

  • none awarded after the first race of season


LOCAL NEWSPAPERS, WEATHER, TRACK/FAN INFO

Local Newspaper and other 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

The Weather Channel
Accuweather
CNN
National Weather Service
Race Day Weather
Weather Underground

Track/Travel/Camping/Reviews/Info for Fans:
ARS Racing Outlet - California Review
ARS Racing Outlet - California Review II
Laid Back Racing
Go RVing
RV USA

AREA DRIVER APPEARANCES:
any I know of 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 - Racing Feed Locations
Gofastmotorsports.com


QUALIFYING, PRACTICE and RESULTS
news and links

  • Kenseth wins at California: #17-Matt Kenseth won the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway for his 1st win of the 2007 season and 15 career win, tying him with Ernie Irvan and Kurt Busch for 28th overall. #29-Harvick was running down Kenseth with 6 laps to go, when there was a hard wreck by #00-Reutimann to cause a caution, then a red flag. After the red flag was rescinded, Harvick had a flat tire and had to pit as the green flew on the restart. Kenseth held off #24-Gordon to win. #48-Johnson finished 3rd followed by #31-Burton, #01-Martin, #07-Bowyer, #2-Busch, #20-Stewart, #5-Busch and #83-Vickers [first top-10 for a Toyota]. #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #9-Kahne both had engine problems and failed to finish the race. There were 9 cautions for 37 laps [and approx a 15 minute red flag during the 9th and final caution] and 13 drivers lead the race with 29 lead changes.
    Race Results on my California Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after California page.(2-25-2007)

  • Unofficial Driver Points Standing after California [2 of 36 races]:
    #6-Mark Martin 335
    #31-Jeff Burton 330 -5
    #24-Jeff Gordon 309 -26
    #29-Kevin Harvick 307 -28
    #6-David Ragan* 270 -65
    #07-Clint Bowyer 264 -71
    #13-Joe Nemechek 259 -76
    #18-J.J. Yeley 251 -84
    #5-Kyle Busch 239 -96
    #40-David Stremme 236 -99
    some noteables:
    #17-Matt Kenseth is 12th
    #48-Jimmie Johnson is 15th
    #20-Tony Stewart is 21st
    #9-Kasey Kahne is 32nd
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 41st
    Full Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after California page.(2-25-2007)

  • Rumblings - California Race Notes: We were cheated out of what could have been another terrific finish today, as Kevin Harvick (who was closing like crazy) had to pit with a flat tire on a restart with 4 to go and Matt Kenseth was basically unopposed the final 8 miles and went on to win the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Matt becomes our second sweeper in two weeks, and took his second Nextel Cup Series race here and 15th of his career (he's now tied for 42nd on the all-time win list with Ernie Irvan and Kurt Busch). This was win #96 for Roush Racing (or #1 for Rousch/Fenway) and their 5th in Fontana. The victory was worth $342,316 from the over $6M in posted awards. Don't think we can make a story of the blown engines and the change to unleaded fuel. I went back through the last 5 years of results for this event, and the number of cars out by blown motors reads six this year, four last year, then 7/4/2 in 2005-2003. This is just a tough track on powerplants. Now, we can discuss whether this race should stay here. Remember, this is when we used to be in Rockingham, and todays crowd was estimated at 87,000 (and that could be a generous appraisal). Last year was 85,000, the year before 90,000.....and back in 2004 and 2003 we had sellouts of 120,000. It appears as tho too much of a good thing doesn't appeal to the West Coast Crowd, huh?
    Jeff Gordon (2nd) had his best finish since he was the runner-up at Michigan last August.
    Ryan Newman (12th) had his best finish since he was 12th at Loudon last September.
    STREAKIN....Jimmie Johnson has 7 Top-10's in the last 8 races.
    Jeff Gordon has 6 Top-10's in the last 7 races.
    This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Matt Kenseth (+24), followed by David Ragan (+23), Robby Gordon (+21), and Jimmie Johnson (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Kasey Kahne (-36), followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr (-35), Martin Truex Jr (-35), Dave Blaney (-25), Reed Sorenson (-23), and Casey Mears (-21). Now for Kenseth, that's a real sweep!(Stock Car Fans)(2-25-2007)

  • California Fast Facts:
    .. Matt Kenseth won the Auto Club 500, his 15th Nextel Cup Series victory in 258 races.
    .. Kenseth had the top California Speedway Driver Rating (110.1) coming into this race.
    .. This is Kenseth’s first win since the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 26, 2006.
    .. This is Kenseth’s second consecutive win at the Auto Club 500, and second career California Speedway victory.
    .. Kenseth’s starting position of 25th is tied for second lowest starting position by a California Speedway race winner (Kenseth holds the record with a 31st place start last year).
    .. Kenseth’s win makes it two consecutive weeks of Nextel Cup- Busch Series sweeps. (The same occurred last season when Kasey Kahne won the Busch Series and Nextel Cup races at California on Sept. 2-3, followed by Kevin Harvick winning the Busch and Nextel Cup races at Richmond the following weekend on Sept. 8-9.)
    .. This is Kenseth’s second weekend sweep (Bristol, 8/26-26, 2006)
    .. Kenseth now joins Jeff Gordon (3) as the only drivers with more than one California Speedway win.
    .. Kenseth now has four straight top 10s at California Speedway.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-25-2007)

    RACE RUNDOWN

    (as I cover the race on my racepage every race, then correct after race)

  • The Auto Club 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)
    #17-Kenseth-F (25)(129 laps led)
    #24-Gordon-C (1)(2 laps led)
    #48-Johnson-C (23)(31 laps led)
    #31-Burton-C (8)(18 laps led)
    #01-Martin-C (3)(1 laps led)
    #07-Bowyer-C (6)(2 laps led)
    #2-Busch-D (18)
    #20-Stewart-C (11)(28 laps led)
    #5-Busch-C (12)(8 laps led)
    #83-Vickers-T (15)

    C=Chevy; D=Dodge; F=Ford; T=Toyota
    *=rookie

  • Cars on the lead lap: 17 (of 43 starters)

  • Drivers down only a lap [and still running]: #'s 70,40,15,7,45,96

  • Drivers down more then one lap [and still running]: #'s 19,38,42,88,43,99,66,25,44,26

  • Cars on the track: 33 (of 43 starters)

  • Off track/out of race (10) and reason:
    #41-Sorenson (accident-out)
    #1-Treux Jr. (engine-out)
    #10-Riggs (accident-out)
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. (engine-out)
    #22-Blaney (engine-out)
    #9-Kahne (engine-out)
    #21-Schrader (engine-out)
    #14-Marlin (electrical-out)
    #37-Andretti (electrical-out)
    #00-Reutimann (accident-out)

  • Laps Leaders Unofficial (12 leaders with 28 lead changes):
    #17-Kenseth (131);
    #48-Johnson (31);
    #20-Stewart (28);
    #9-Kahne (20);
    #31-Burton (18);
    #5-Busch (9);
    #07-Bowyer (2);
    #29-Harvick (3);
    #16-Biffle (2);
    #24-Gordon (2, pole);
    #01-Martin (1);
    #45-Petty (1);

  • Lap leaders: #24-Gordon - pole; #9-Kahne 1-20; #5-Busch 21-29; #17-Kenseth 30-49; #01-Martin 50; #48-Johnson 51-54; #31-Burton 55; #17-Kenseth 56-65; #20-Stewart 66-74; #31-Burton 75-89; #20-Stewart 90-93; #17-Kenseth 94-115; #20-Stewart 116; #45-Petty 117; #17-Kenseth 118-134; #24-Gordon 135; #17-Kenseth 136-143; #20-Stewart 144-157; #07-Bowyer 158-159; #29-Harvick 160; #16-Biffle 161; #24-Gordon 162; #17-Kenseth 163-195; #31-Burton 196; #29-Harvick 197-198; #16-Biffle 199; #48-Johnson 200-226; #31-Burton 227; #17-Kenseth 228-250;

    Cautions: 9 for 37 laps

    RED FLAG during 8th caution, as of 7:15pm/et until 7:30pm/et
    Caution 9 - Laps 244 - 246: #00-Reutimann spun off turn 3 after #16-Biffle got into the rear of the #00, sending the #00 into the wall hard, also involved are #43-Labonte and #88-Rudd.
    Caution 8 - Laps 227 - 230: debris in the backstretch.
    Caution 7 - Laps 121 - 125: #8-Eanrhardt Jr. lost the engine for good, spun around in turn 4 a few times but didn't hit anything.
    Caution 6 - Laps 116 - 119: debris on the track, looked like a engine belt
    Caution 5 - Laps 93 - 96: debris on the back stretch.
    Caution 4 - Laps 55 - 59: #14-Marlin snapped up and spun around into the short stretch wall and spun in the grass in turn 2.
    Caution 3 - Laps 21 - 23: #6-Ragan spun off turn 2.
    Caution 2 - Laps 15 - 18: #1-Truex Jr. exploded an engine.
    Caution 1 - Laps 8 - 12: #10-Riggs got loose in turn 4 and got hit by #26-McMurray and #41-Sorenson got involved.

  • Who got a lap back on each caution? the Lucky Dog:
    Caution 9: no lucky dog when 10 laps or less are left
    Caution 8: #6-Ragan, 16
    Caution 7: #13-Nemechek 14
    Caution 6: #16-Biffle 15
    Caution 5: #2-Busch 7
    Caution 4: #5-Busch 9
    Caution 3: no driver a lap or more down, on the track
    Caution 2: no driver a lap or more down, on the track
    Caution 1: no driver a lap or more down
    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)
    ---- just before the green flag after the 9th caution, #29-Harvick had a flat tire and had to pit and gave up 2nd place.
    ---- after the red flag during the 9th caution, some drivers towards the end of the field came in to pit, including #5-Busch [7th] and #20-Stewart [8th] along with #11-Hamlin, #12-Newman, #16-Biffle, #6-Ragan
    ---- during the 8th caution pit stops, all the drivers came in, #48-Johnson came in as the leader, getting fuel and four tires and came out 5th.
    ---- on lap 196, #38-Gilliland was penalized as pass thru penalty for speeding on pit road.
    ---- on lap 196, #17-Kenseth came in to make his scheduled pit stop, the next lap leader #31-Burton, then the next leader #29-Harvick, #18-Yeley then too the lead for a lap and came in to pit, handing the lead to #16-Biffle and #48-Johnson took over the lead after all the pit stops were done.
    ---- on lap 192, green flag pit stops are starting, #7-Gordon, #83-Vickers and #2-Busch were some of the 1st drivers to come in.
    ---- on lap 184, #37-Andretti is slowing on the track and has lost a cylinder.
    ---- on lap 158, leader #20-Stewart came in for his scheduled pit stop, 4 tires and fuel BUT he was caught speeding entering pit road and has to do a pass-thru penalty. #88-Rudd was also caught speeding on pit road.
    ---- green flag pit stops are starting on lap 153, #21-Schrader's team has the hood up, MRN reports the motor is gone, but the crew made some repairs and Schrader went back out, but smoke is coming for the car.
    ---- on lap 139, #43-Labonte was running in the top 10, moved up the track and wacked the wall, but kept up to speed, fell to 18th
    ---- on lap 113, #22-Blaney went to the garage with an engine problem.
    ---- around lap 113, #8-Earnhardt Jr. is back on the track after the crew made repairs after having electrical/engine problems.
    ---- around lap 98, #9-Kahne is back on the track after the crew made repairs after having electrical/engine problems.
    ---- on lap 71, #48-Johnson's engine shut off, but he got it restarted and after losing a few spots, he regained speed and was in 10th.
    ---- on lap 70, #9-Kahne drove the car to the garage with the engine off, Kahne said it just shut off.
    ---- on lap 69, #8-Earnhardt Jr. came to pit road with the engine off and the crew went under the hood.
    ---- on lap 65, #8-Earnhardt Jr. started slowing and is losing oil pressure, feels like he is down a cylinder and sounds poor.
    ---- on the caution 4 pit stops, #29-Harvick was caught speeding off pit road and had to restart the race at the end of the longer line, he had come out 3rd.
    ---- when #14-Marlin brought out the 4th caution, half the field had made pit stops and were caught a lap down and after the rest make pit stops will start on the tail end of the lead lap, just in front of the leaders. #8-Earnhardt Jr. was able to get his lap back before the caution.
    ---- around lap 50, lead lap cars are making green flag stops, leader #17-Kenseth came in to pit as well as #5-Busch and #01-Martin.
    ---- but then on lap 43, Kenseth got back by Earnhardt Jr. and put Dale Jr. down a lap again
    ---- on lap 40, #8-Earnhardt Jr. raced his way back on the lead lap, passing leader #17-Kenseth
    ---- on the restart after the 2nd caution #8-Earnhardt Jr slowed on the track, with a flat right rear tire, just missed being the lucky dog and went a lap down.
    ---- during the 2nd caution, three cars that didn't come in a pit the 1st caution, #24-Gordon, #31-Burton and #48-Johnson, along with #12-Newman and #70-Sauter, the rest stayed on the track.
    ---- on the first caution pitstops, the 9 top in the running order stayed on the track, #01-Martin was 9th and came in to get adjustments.
    ---- weather = mostly cloudy, 55° track temp ?° wind ?mph ---- green flag by Troy Aikmen at 3:47pm/et
    ---- command to start engines at 3:35pm/et by Grand Marshal, Actor Kevin Costner
    ---- To The Back [1]: #96-Raines [engine/was to start 41st];


  • To The Back [1]: #96-Raines [engine/was to start 41st];

  • Race Coverage of the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, February 25, 2007.
    TV: FOX at 3:00pm/et [green flag around 3:40pm/et].
    Pre-Race: NASCAR Raceday, SPEED, 1:00pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Internet: ESPN.com Racecast; NASCAR.com [Pit Command/Trackside - paid]
    Jayski: on my Semi-Live Race Coverage/Narrative Page.
    Race Re-Air: Speed Channel, Thursday, February 29, 2007 at 3:00pm/et

  • Satruday's Happy Hour practice Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is over, the results:
    #48-Johnson 182.523
    #9-Kahne 182.242
    #1-Truex Jr. 180.836
    #31-Burton 180.641
    #01-Martin 180.438
    slowest: #44-Jarrett 174.706 and #15-Menard 174.936
    most laps run: #7-Gordon & #48-Johnson 39

    incident: none reported
    weather: Sunny, 64º track temp ?º, wind ?mph
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from NASCAR.com's leaderboard service)
    #31-Burton 176.849 [4th fastest lap], 28 laps run
    #48-Johnson 176.548 [1st], 39 laps
    #29-Harvick 176.468 [7th], 31 laps
    See speeds on my Practice Speeds Page.(2-24-2007)

  • Saturday's first practice Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is over, the results:
    #07-Bowyer 181.424
    #48-Johnson 181.401
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. 181.237
    #2-Busch 181.205
    #99-Edwards 181.050
    slowest: #42-Montoya 174.423 and #43-Labonte 174.427
    most laps run: #22-Blaney 35; #10-Riggs 30

    incident: #11-Hamlin scraped the turn 2 wall, no major damage
    weather: Sunny, 51º track temp ?º, wind ?mph
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from NASCAR.com's leaderboard service)
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. 178.538 [3rd fastest lap], 12 laps run
    #48-Johnson 178.493 [2nd], 13 laps
    #29-Harvick 177.854 [7th], 14 laps
    See speeds on my Practice Speeds Page.(2-24-2007)

  • Jeff Gordon wins pole at California: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Budweiser Pole for the Auto Club at California Speedway with a speed of 185.735mph for his 1st pole of 2007 and 57th of his career [6th all-time, 1 behind Bobby Allison and 2 behind Darrell Waltrip]. Gordon has won at least one pole in 15 straight seasons [since 1993]. The rest of the top-10 are #9-Kahne, #01-Martin, #29-Harvick, #8-Earnhardt Jr., #07-Bowyer, #1-Truex Jr., #31-Burton, #42-Montoya and #25-Mears. The highest Toyota driver is #22-Blaney, who will start 14th. The highest non-top 35 driver was #83-Vickers who will start 15th. the rest of the non top-35 teams to make the race were: #15-Menard, #13-Nemechek, #14-Marlin, #70-Sauter, #37-Andretti [first start since 2005], #00-Reutimann [who knocked his team owner #55-Waltrip out of the race and #44-Jarrett will use the past champions provisional [again] to make the field and will start 43rd. For qualifying results, how the non-top 35 drivers did, the starting lineup on my California Qualifying/Starting Grid Page.(2-23-2007)

  • Ramblings - California: It was Jeff Gordon today at California Speedway as he took the Bud Pole for Sunday's Auto Club 500 with a time of 38.765 (185.735 mph). He becomes the second qualifier for next February's Budweiser Shootout as he takes his 57th career top-spot (he's 6th on the all-time list, and he's now just one pole behind the legendary Bobby Allison in that career category). Kasey Kahne was just a half a tenth behind and he'll line up second.
    Mark Martin (3rd) has his best starting spot since he lined up 4th at Richmond last September. Are you getting the feeling they may have to pry him out of that car?
    Martin Truex Jr (7th) has his best starting spot since he qualified 7th at Richmond last September.
    Juan Pablo Montoya (9th) has his career (albeit short) best starting spot this week. His previous best was 29th at Homestead last November.
    Paul Menard (22nd) equals his career-best starting spot this week. He lined up 22nd at Atlanta last March.
    Welcome Back John Andretti (32nd). He makes his first start since Michigan in August of 2005 when he started 23rd and finished 28th.
    STREAKIN....Dale Earnhardt Jr has 6 Top-10 starts in the last 7 races.(Stock Car Fans)(2-24-2007)

  • California Qualifying Notes:
    * Jeff Gordon won the Bud Pole for the Auto Club 500 - his 57th Budweiser Pole in 475 Nextel Cup races - with a time of 38.76 seconds and a speed of 185.73 mph.
    * This is Gordon's second Bud Pole at California Speedway (1998).
    * Gordon now joins Kurt Busch (both 2006 races) as the only drivers who have won more than one Bud Pole at California Speedway. * Gordon has three wins at California Speedway (1997, 1999, 2004), more than any other driver.
    * No driver has ever won a California Speedway race from the Bud Pole (there was no qualifying in 1999 - weather. Jeff Burton started from the pole and finished second).
    * Gordon's average start is now 11.786 at California Speedway.
    * Brian Vickers was the top qualifier who had to make it in on time.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-24-2007)

  • Eight do not qualify [DNQ] for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway: #55-Waltrip, #4-Burton, #36-Mayfield, #84-Allmendinger, #72-Whitt, #49-Bliss, #78-KWallace and #34-Lepage [who wrecked](2-23-2007)

  • Qualifying Order List for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is up, 51 drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, #5-Busch is due out first on Friday, Feb 23 at 5:30pm/et on SPEED, last driver scheduled out is #21-Schrader. For the Qualifying order, see my California Qualifying Page.(2-23-2007)

  • Friday Practice Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is over, the results:
    #13-Nemechek 185.219
    #07-Bowyer 184.781
    #24-Gordon 184.710
    #20-Stewart 184.209
    #01-Martin 183.983
    slowest: #72-Whitt 176.350 and #34-Lepage 178.651
    most laps run: #16-Biffle 23; #48-Johnson 21

    incident: #49-Bliss got loose off turn 4 and spun around in the frontstretch grass on his 1 lap
    weather: partly sunny, 52º track temp 67º, wind NW 5-10mph
    Best average speed [all laps averaged]
    (from NASCAR.com's leaderboard service)
    #07-Bowyer 182.461 [2nd fastest lap], 9 laps run
    #19-Sadler 182.066 [18th], 3 laps
    #13-Nemechek 181.788 [1st], 7 laps
    See speeds on my Practice Speeds Page.(2-23-2007)

  • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice? at California
    if things stayed the same, these drivers make the race:
    #13-Joe Nemeck, 1st fastest
    #83-Brian Vickers, 9th
    #70-Johnny Sauter, 22nd
    #14-Sterlin Marling, 24th
    #78-Kenny Wallace, 29th
    #37-John Andretti, 30th
    #15-Paul Menard, 32nd
    #44-Dale Jarrett, 47th, would use the past champ prov
    if things stayed the same, these drivers miss the race:
    #55-Michael Waltrip, 33rd
    #00-David Reutimann, 35th
    #36-Jeremy Mayfield, 40th
    #49-Mike Bliss, 43rd
    #4-Ward Burton, 46th
    #84-A.J. Allmendinger, 48th
    #34-Kevin Lepage, 50th
    #72-Brandon Whitt, 51st
    See speeds on my Practice Speeds Page.(2-23-2007)

  • Entry List for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is up, 51 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:
    Not in top 35 of 2006 owners points (2007 race attempts in parens):
    #00-David Reutimann (1/38th in 2007 owners pts)
    #4-Ward Burton (1/56th)
    #13-Joe Nemechck (1/7th)
    #14-Sterling Marlin (1/16th)
    #15-Paul Menard (1/45th)
    #34-Kevin Lepage (1/47th)
    #36-Jeremy Mayfield (1/43rd)
    #37-John Andretti (1/51st)
    #44-Dale Jarrett [Past Champ 1999](1/21st)
    #49-Mike Bliss (1/42nd)
    #55-Michael Waltrip (1/61st)
    #70-Johnny Sauter (1/15th)
    #72-Brandon Whitt (1/60th)
    #78-Kenny Wallace (1/46th)
    #83-Brian Vickers (won in 2006)(1/57th)
    #84-A.J. Allmendinger (1/59th)
    withdrew from the race
    #33-Scott Wimmer (0)
    #39-Regan Smith (1/50th)
    #74-Derrike Cope (1/48th)
    In the event that qualifying is rained out:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 83,44,13,70,14,00,49,36
    missing the race would be [8]: #'s 15,78,34,37,4,84,72,55
    See the full list at my Jayski's California Entry List
    (2-19/21-2007)

  • see my Final 2006 Owners Points with the 2007 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)

  • 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 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 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 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 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]

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

  • Jayski's - 2007 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).


TRACK RECORDS, NOTES, RULES and NEWS

  • Four Race Tracks Tony Stewart has never won a Cup race at: There are four current race tracks the Nextel Cup Series runs on that #20-Tony Stewart has not won at [a Nextel Cup race]:
    Las Vegas 0 for 8 with a best finish of 2nd in 2000
    California 0 for 11 with a best finish of 4th in 1999 & 2001
    Darlington 0 for 14 with a best finish of 4th in 2001 & 2002
    Talladega 0 for 16 with a best finish of 2nd [6 times] in 2001,2002,2005,2006
    Stewart has won at 18 of 23 tracks he has raced on, didn't win at Rockingham which is no longer active for Cup racing.(11-5-2006)

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

  • Sept 2006 Race Winner: #9-Kasey Kahne, 144.462, started 9th

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

  • Slowest Race Record: #38-Elliott Sadler, Sept 2004, 128.324mph

  • Track Qualifying Record: #5-Kyle Busch, Feb 2005, 188.425mph

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

  • Sept 2006 Pole Sitter: #2-Kurt Busch, 184.540, finished 27th

  • Most Wins: 3 - Jeff Gordon

  • Most Poles: 2 - Kurt Busch

  • Most Top 5s: 6 - Jeff Gordon

  • Most Top 10s: 6 - Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon

  • 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: 42 - 9/3/2006

  • 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 13] 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 9: 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 starting pos 25: 1
  • Races won from starting pos 31: 1
  • Races won from the top 5: 5 of 13
  • Races won from the top 10: 6 of 13


PAST RACE/POLE WINNERS

    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

    9/2006: 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/RACE NEWS

  • 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°; frontstretch 11°; backstretch 3°
    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: actor Kevin Costner
    Command to start engines: actor Kevin Costner
    Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: actor Rick Schroeder
    Honorary Race Official: ?
    National Anthem: Bob McKnight
    Military Flyover: ?

  • Track Homepage: californiaspeedway.com

  • Last Year: see my Sept 2006 Race Info page.

  • Last Year: see my Feb 2006 Race Info page.

  • Oscar Winner Costner Named Grand Marshal for California Cup race: Kevin Costner will serve as Grand Marshal of the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway on February 25, 2007. Costner will give the "Gentlemen, Start your Engines" command to the Nextel Cup drivers in front of the live audience and those watching at home on FOX. In addition, Costner will energize fans when he performs live with "The Kevin Costner Band" on the Opportunity, California FanZone stage during pre-race festivities. The California Speedway will host the kickoff of NASCAR racing on the West Coast with the Craftsman Truck Series San Bernardino County 200 (February 23), the Busch Series Stater Bros.300 (February 24) and the Nextel Cup Series Auto Club 500 (February 25). Costner and his six-member band will play a set of original rock music. The group first made its public debut in August 2006 at the “Field of Dreams” film site in Dyersville, Iowa, drawing thousands of fans. Since then, they have played numerous venues across the country. Tickets for the Auto Club 500 weekend are going fast! To purchase tickets or to receive more information, call 800-944-RACE [7223] or visit racetickets.com or www.californiaspeedway.com.(California Speedway PR)(1-31-2007)

  • California Speedway Improves Sight Lines, reconfigs RV area: As part of its ongoing commitment to providing the best racing experience for fans, California Speedway President Gillian Zucker announced that the infield RV area has been reconfigured to improve sight lines for grandstand guests and the television audience, and to improve the safety conditions for drivers and safety workers by providing NASCAR officials with a better view of the track's backstretch from the tower. The reconfiguration comes in response to feedback from NASCAR officials, guests and television partners and will further ensure that in 2007 and beyond, California Speedway's February and September Nextel Cup weekends are fun and memorable for all involved. While the changes will result in improved sight lines for NASCAR officials and grandstand fans, the view from more than 40,000 lower grandstand seats - some of the most popular seats - will be dramatically improved. Following a sight line study conducted by Associated Engineers, Inc. of Ontario, Calif., the Speedway removed the first row of backstretch RVs placing an additional 50 ft of space after the inside retaining wall and the 150 ft. skid pad. The new open area will be fenced off and will not be accessible to the public. The reconfiguration resulted in the displacement of 157 of 1,800 RV spots and Zucker called each RV owner to explain the necessity of the changes. While these changes have benefited the track’s grandstand guests and home viewers, California Speedway has not forgotten the dedicated infield RV fans. Nextel Vision screens will be added to the backstretch so that infield RV guests will have an even better view of the racing action and will be able to view in full detail all pre-race and on-track entertainment. The screens will be supplemented by FM band radio (104.7) transmitting the audio PA signal and MRN broadcast. For tickets to the upcoming Auto Club 500 weekend at California Speedway, or for more information, visit www.californiaspeedway.com or call 800-944-RACE. (California Speedway PR)(11-27-2006)

  • California Speedway considering track options: When Dale Earnhardt Jr. suggested that California Speedway reconfigure its track, it wasn't the first time track president Gillian Zucker had heard that suggestion. In fact, she has heard plenty of suggestions on how to make racing better on the 2-mile oval. She has gone to other tracks and talked to drivers, owners and NASCAR officials about how to create more side-by-side racing. "There are a lot of different opinions," Zucker said Saturday. "If you go back and look at the finishing order of the race, you can figure out who thinks it's a great race track and who thinks it could use a lot of work. ... It is only a 10-year-old race track. To tear it up would be a major undertaking and it is something that we're not going to do unless we're absolutely certain that by doing it, it would provide the most competitive racing surface in the nation." Although Homestead-Miami Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway have been reconfigured recently, Zucker said it might not be as simple at a 2-mile oval such as California. Adding banking would be difficult in Turn 1, Zucker said, because speeds are already so high going into that turn. Reducing the 70-foot width of the track could be an option. The other major factor that would go into any sort of repaving/reconfiguring project would be how it would improve sightlines, something that Zucker wants to focus on. "We have a good number of people in those grandstands that can't see all the way around this facility," Zucker said. "That is something that I think is really important to try to correct."(SceneDaily.com)(9-5-2006)

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


DRIVER/TEAM/TESTING NEWS

  • #74/Cope not running Cup race at Calif: per the Derrike Cope website, Cope and the #74 team next planned race is Texas and then Talladega. The #74 is listed on the California Auto Club 500 entry list. Cope's next planned race is the Busch race in Mexico for Jay Robinson.(Derrike Cope site)(2-20-2007)

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


PAINT SCHEME NEWS

    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
    #00-David Reutimann Domino's Pizza #00 Schemes Page
    #6-David Ragan AAA Insurance #6 Schemes Page
    #10-Scott Riggs Stanley Tools #10 Schemes Page
    #11-Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight #11 Schemes Page
    #12-Ryan Newman Mobil 1 #12 Schemes Page
    #14-Sterling Marlin Panasonic #12 Schemes Page
    #15-Paul Menard Quaker State/Menards #15 Schemes Page
    #17-Matt Kenseth Carhartt #17 Schemes Page
    #21-Ken Schrader Little Debbie's #21 Schemes Page
    #24-Jeff Gordon Dupont Cromax Pro #24 Schemes Page
    #25-Casey Mears Jackson Hewitt National Guard "Hero of the Year" #25 Schemes Page
    #41-Reed Sorenson Energizer e2 Lithium #41 Schemes Page
    #45-Kyle Petty Wells Fargo #45 Schemes Page
    #66-Jeff Green Yellow Transporation #45 Schemes Page
    #70-Johnny Sauter Best Buy #70 Schemes Page


  • Mears to run run Jackson Hewitt National Guard "Hero of the Year" scheme at California: This weekend at California Speedway, Staff Sgt. Quinton D. Martin of Gulfport, Miss., will have his image displayed on the hood of the #25 National Guard/GMAC Chevy as the winner of the first-ever National Guard "Hero of the Year" award sponsored by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. Martin served in Iraq with the 1,108th Aviation Support Detachment and has been a member of the National Guard for 24 years. For more information about the "Heroes of the Year" campaign, visit www.supporttheguard.com.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see the full Jack Hewitt PR at jacksonhewitt.com(2-22-2007)

  • Sorenson to run Energizer e2 Lithium scheme at California: The #41 Dodge of Reed Sorenson will sport the Energizer e2 Lithium paint scheme this weekend in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. The dynamic silver and blue paint scheme will feature Energizer e2 Lithium, the World's Longest Lasting Battery in High Tech Devices, alongside the famous Energizer Bunny, who will be on hand during pre-race ceremonies and in the pits on Sunday to give "long lasting" support to Sorenson and the Energizer/Target team.(Chip Ganassi Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #41 Team Schemes page.(2-22-2007)

  • Differerent paint for the #24 at California: Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevy will carry the familiar "fire and flames" design in this weekend's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway on Sunday, but will feature a new waterborne paint from DuPont Refinish. DuPont Cromax Pro, which is being introduced in preparation for strict California emissions regulations, and their "Catch the Wave" product slogan will be featured on Gordon's Chevy and firesuit.(Performance PR Plus)(2-21-2007)

  • Mobil 1 back with Newman for 5 races: haven't seen a PR or anything, but got an image of the #12 Mobil 1 Dodge scheme that Ryan Newman is scheduled to drive in five races in 2007, see my #12 Team Schemes page for the image. The scheduled races are basically the same as last season: California (Feb), Chicago (July), Pocono (Aug), New Hampshire (Sept) and Atlanta (Oct).(2-3-2007)

  • 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)


Jayski's Silly Season Sprint Cup News Page
Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site

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