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7:00pm Camping World RV Service 300 NNS Race (150 laps, 300 miles)

Sunday August 31
7:00am Parking Lots open

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5:00pm Pepsi 500 NSCS Race (250 laps, 500 miles)

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THE RACE: Pepsi 500

Sprint Cup Race #25 of 36 for the 2008 season

Updated: often, leading up to the race

Jumps to sections on this page:
Event Sched | Purse/Race Awards | Local Newspapers
Weather | Camping | Odds
TV / Re-airs | Radio | Practice/Qual Times
Rundown of Race/Results | Entry/Practice/Qualifying | Track/Race Records
Paint Schemes | Track/Race Info | Goodyear Notes | Driver/Team/Testing News

  • Race: Sunday, August 31, 2008 in Fontana, CA

  • Title Sponsor: Pepsi

  • Track: Auto Club Speedway

  • Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 8:17pm/et

Television Coverage/Re-air/TV Team

  • TV: ESPN 8:00 pm/et

  • NASCAR Countdown: ESPN - 7:00pm/et

  • SPEED's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 5:00pm/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace

  • Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
    Monday, September 1 at 2:30am/et on ESPN2
    Monday, September 1 at 7:00am/et on ESPN Classic
    Thursday, September 4 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED and
    Thursday, September 4 at 5:30pm/et on HD Net (High Def)

  • Announcers: Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree

  • Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake

  • Studio: Allen Bestwick, Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty

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

Radio Coverage/Shows/ Team

Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Practices:
    Friday, August 29, 3:00 - 4:30pm/et, TV-SPEED;
    Saturday, August 30, 7:00 - 7:45pm/et, TV-SPEED

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, August 30, 8:20 - 9:20pm/et on TV-SPEED

Qualifying Information/Times/TV

  • Qualifying Draw [ping pong balls]: Friday, August 29, 2:00pm/et

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-42 [if no past champ prov used, then 43rd goes next fastest non top-35 driver], Friday, August 29 at 6:40pm/et, TV-SPEED, re-air scheduled at 2:00am/et on SPEED;
    AND live via radio at MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio.

news and links

  • Johnson wins at California: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway for his 3rd win of 2008 and 36th of his career. Starting from the pole, he dominated throughout the race, leading 227 laps. It was the first time a driver has won the California race from the pole. #16-Biffle finished 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #29-Harvick, #17-Kenseth #99-Edwards, #18-Busch, #9-Kahne, #44-Reutimann, and #07-Bowyer. #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th. The battle to make the Chase remained unchanged with #6-Ragan and #9-Kahne still trying to get into the top 12. #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and #31-Burton locked themselves into the chase. #16-Biffle only needs to start at Richmond to be locked in. There were 22 lead changes among 9 drivers and 8 cautions for 34 caution laps.
    For race results, awards and more, see my California Race Results Awards Page.(8-31-2008) Comment here

  • UNOFFICIAL Drivers Points Standings [after California race 25 of 36]:
    1) #18-Kyle Busch 3751 [8 wins]
    2) #99-Carl Edwards 3547 -204 [6 wins]
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 3386 -365 [3 wins]
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3323 -428 [1 win]
    5) #31-Jeff Burton 3234 -517 [1 win]
    6) #16-Greg Biffle 3159 -592
    7) #29-Kevin Harvick 3132 -619 [+187 pts ahead of 13th]
    8) #20-Tony Stewart 3110 -641 [+138]
    9) #17-Matt Kenseth 3081 -670 [+109]
    10) #24-Jeff Gordon 3074 -677 [+102]
    11) #11-Denny Hamlin 3065 -686 [1 win][+93]
    12) #07-Clint Bowyer 2989 -762 [1 win][+17]
    CHASE contenders
    13) #6-David Ragan 2972 -779 [17 pts out of 12th]
    14) #9-Kasey Kahne 2945 -806 [-44]
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after California page.(8-31-2008)

  • California Fast Facts:
    Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500, his 36th victory in 244 Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2008.
    This is his third victory and eighth top-10 finish in 12 races at Auto Club Speedway.
    Greg Biffle (second) posted his third top-10 finish in 12 races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his 11th top-10 finish in 2008.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Auto Club Speedway.
    Patrick Carpentier (18th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 208 points over Carl Edwards.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-31-2008)

  • Lucky Dogs....Who got a lap back on each caution at California: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: none, no one a lap down
    Caution 2: #26-McMurray, 24th
    Caution 3: none, no one a lap down
    Caution 4: #08-Sauter, 42nd
    Caution 5: #12-Newman, 16th
    Caution 6: #10-Carpentier, 18th
    Caution 7: #43-Labonte, 21st
    Caution 8: #1-Truex, Jr., 19th

  • Racing Resources Says....
    * Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Johnson posted his 36th career victory in his 244th race. He has passed Mark Martin for 17th on the all-time wins list. He posted his third victory of the 2008 season; he also won at Phoenix and Indianapolis. Johnson posted his third victory at Auto Club Speedway in his 12th start. He is tied with Jeff Gordon for most victories among all drivers there.
    * Johnson has finished in the top three in eight of his 12 Auto Club Speedway starts, including the past four races. He won the race from the pole, the first time in 17 races at Auto Club Speedway that the race was won from the pole. Johnson scored his fourth series victory from the pole; his previous win from the pole came in his previous victory at Indianapolis.
    * Johnson led 228 of the 250 laps, the most laps ever led by a driver in a single event at Auto Club Speedway. This is the fifth time in 2008 that Johnson has led the most laps, and he has won three of those races.
    * Johnson, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards combined have won the past eight races of the season: Johnson has won two races, and Busch and Edwards have each won three.
    * Hendrick Motorsports scored its seventh victory at Auto Club Speedway, the most of any team. Hendrick Motorsports posted its fourth victory of the 2008 season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. also has a victory.
    * Greg Biffle, who finished second, posted his second second-place finish of the season.
    * David Reutimann, who finished ninth, posted his career-best finish.
    * Johnson and Kasey Kahne, who finished eighth, are the only drivers who finished in the top 10 who started there.
    * Patrick Carpentier, who finished 18th, was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
    * The top 10 consisted of three Chevys, three Fords, three Toyotas and a Dodge.(

  • California Penalty Report:
    Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
    1 #26 TE Pitting before pit road is open 4
    2 #2 TE Pitting before pit road is open 43
    3 #96 TE Spedding Exiting Pit Road 44
    4 #55 TE Speeding Entering Pit Road 45
    5 #2 TE Crewmembers over the wall too soon 43
    6 #2 TE Intentionally causing a caution 43
    7 #26 TE Pitting before pit road is open 147
    8 #26 TE Outside half of the pit box tire violation - not in contact 147
    9 #83 TE Outside half of the pit box tire violation - not in contact 182
    10 #00 TE Pitting before pit road is open 182
    PT - Pass through
    TE - Tail end of the longest line
    SG - Stop and Go
    OL - One lap
    ND - NASCAR discretion
    MCI - Must come into pits.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-31-2008)

  • If the Chase started now the drivers in:
    1) #18-Kyle Busch 5080 [8 wins x 10 bonus pts]
    2) #99-Carl Edwards 5050 [6 wins, 5 wins x 10 pts = 50pts*]
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson 5030 [3 wins]
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5010 [1 win]
    5) #31-Jeff Burton 5010 [1 win]
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin 5010 [1 win]
    7) #07-Clint Bowyer 5010 [1 win]
    8) #16-Greg Biffle 5000
    9) #29-Kevin Harvick 5000
    10) #20-Tony Stewart 5000
    11) #17-Matt Kenseth 5000
    12) #24-Jeff Gordon 5000
    * lost the bonus for win at Las Vegas due to penalty.(8-31-2008)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Richmond International Raceway:
    #84-Allmendinger jumps up to 31st, #7-Robby Gordon falls to 35th, and #77-Hornish falls out of the top 35.
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    31) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 1935, +42
    32) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 1932, +39
    33) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 1931, +38
    34) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing: 1930 +37
    35) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon Motorsports: 1911 18 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
    36) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 1893, 18 points out of 35th
    37) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 1856 -55
    38) #10-Carpentier/Gillett Evernham Motorsports 1622 -289
    For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(8-31-2008)

  • Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway scheduled drivers
    (DIRECTV channel, car#, driver)
    HD (high definition)/SD (standard definition) Channels
    795, #99-Carl Edwards
    796, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    797, #24-Jeff Gordon
    798, #48-Jimmie Johnson
    799, Team Radios/National Broadcast
    Teams and drivers are subject to change at anytime, more info at

  • Race Coverage of the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, August 31, 2008.
    TV: ESPN at 8:00pm/et; pre-race show at 7:00pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio on the NASCAR page - Racecast and Chat.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Monday, September 1 at 2:30am/et
    ESPN Classic, Monday, September 1 at 7:00am/et
    SPEED, Thursday, September 4 at 12:00pm/et and;
    HDNET, Thursday, September 4 at 5:30pm/et

news and links

  • Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway Pit Stall Selections

  • Pit Stall selections: pole sitter #48-Jimmie Johnson's team chose the first pit stall selection for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Outside pole sitter, #84-A.J. Allmendinger chose the next stall with an opening in front of it, stall 12A, #10-Patrick Carpentier chose the last pit stall. See the full pit stall selections on my Calfironia Pit Stall Selection page.(8-30-2008)

  • Happy Hour Practice: for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #22-Blaney 176.199
    #24-Gordon 174.571
    #48-Johnson 174.448
    #31-Burton 174.406
    #84-Allmendinger 174.364
    slowest: #21-Ambrose 168.248 & #08-Sauter 167.871
    #88-Earnhart, Jr. and #00-Skinner made slight contact with each other near the end of the session but no real damage to either car.
    See practice speeds on my California Practice Speeds page.(8-30-2008)

  • First Saturday Practice: for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #99-Edwards 177.958
    #48-Johnson 177.117
    #16-Biffle 176.787
    #6-Ragan 176.622
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr 175.798
    slowest: #96-Schrader 167.656 & #08-Sauter 166.312
    #77-Hornish spun coming off turn 4 right after the start of the session, but didn't hit anything.
    See practice speeds on my California Practice Speeds page.(8-30-2008)

  • Johnson on pole at California: #48-Jimmie Johson won the Coor's Light Pole for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway with a speed of 180.397mph for his 4th pole of 2008 and 17th pole of his career. #84-Allmendinger will start 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #9-Kahne, #10-Carpentier, #19-Sadler, #1-Truex, Jr., #22-Blaney, #2-Busch, and #8-Almirola. #18-Busch will start 11th. #88-Earnhardt Jr. will start 18th.
    The Go-or-go homers [non top 35 in owners pts] to make the race: #84-Allmendiner, #10-Carpentier, #78-Nemechek, #96-Schrader, #00-Skinner, #45-Petty, #21-Ambrose, and #08-Sauter. Missing the race was #70-Raines.
    See the pole progression, qualifying results and starting lineup on my Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results/Order page.(8-29-2008)

  • California Qualifying Fast Facts
    Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Pepsi 500 with a lap of 39.912 seconds, 180.397 mph.
    This is his 17th pole in 244 Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fourth pole and 19th top-10 start in 2008.
    This is his first pole in 12 races at Auto Club Speedway.
    AJ Allmendinger (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2008 and his first in two races at Auto Club Speedway. This is his best career start.
    Jeff Gordon (third) posted his ninth top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his 17th in 25 races this season.
    Patrick Carpentier (fifth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-29-2008)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Friday, August 29, 2008 at 6:40pm/et.
    TV: SPEED - 6:30pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio
    Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 2:00am/et

  • Qualifying Order for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is posted. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done. The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #29-Harvick, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #9-Kahne. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is ##00-Skinner, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #84-Allmendinger. See the full qualifying order on my Pepsi 500 Qualifying Page.(8-29-2008)

  • Friday Practice for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway isover, the fastest:
    #99-Edwards 178.913
    #48-Johnson 178.656
    #83-Allmendiner 178.059
    #19-Sadler 177.800
    #83-Vickers 177.773
    slowest: #66-Riggs 172.790 & #08-Sauter 167.220
    #55-Michael Waltrip was held 15 minutes at the start of the session for being late through inspection last weekend at Bristol. See practice speeds on my California Practice Speeds page.(8-29-2008)

  • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Auto Club Speedway:
    if things stay the same, these drivers would make the race:
    #84-A.J. Allmendinger, 3rd fastest
    #10-Patrick Carpentier, 18th
    #00-Mike Skinner, 29th
    #78-Joe Nemechek, 31st
    #70-Tony Raines, 38th
    #96-Ken Schrader, 40th
    #21-Marcos Ambrose, 41st
    #45-Kyle Petty, 42nd
    if things stay the same, this driver would miss the race:
    #08-Johnny Sauter, 44th
    See practice speeds on my California Practice Speeds page.(8-29-2008)

  • Entry List for the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of 2008 owners points (2008 race attempts/owners pts standings in parens):
    #00-Mike Skinner (24/36)
    #08-Johnny Sauter (10/47)
    #10-Patrick Carpentier (24/39)
    #21-Marcos Ambrose (24/42)
    #45-Kyle Petty (24/40)
    #70-Tony Raines (24/42)
    #78-Joe Nemechek (24/41)
    #84-A.J. Allmendinger (24/36)
    #96-Ken Schrader (24/38)
    In the event qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 84,00,96,10,45,78,21,70
    missing the race would be [1]: #'s 08
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's California Entry List.(8-25-2008)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Auto Club Speedway:
    #66-Riggs moves up to 34th and Hornish to 35th
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    31) #7-Gordon/RGM: 1868 +59
    32) #55-Waltrip/Waltrip Racing: 1861 +52
    33) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 1856, +47
    34) #66-Riggs/Haas CNC Racing: 1843 +34
    35) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 1823 14 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
    36) #84-Allmendinger/Red Bull Racing: 1809, 14 points out of 35th
    37) #00-McDowell/Waltrip Racing: 1798 -25
    38) #96-Schrader/Hall of Fame Racing: 1582 -241

    For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(8-23-2008)

  • What happens if qualifying gets rained out?
    After the 5th race of the season, the current season OWNERS points are used:
    #1) - First 35 by current Owner Points [position 1-35][top 35 teams do NOT need to attempt ALL the races]
    #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) - ALL Past Sprint Cup Champions not in by 1 thru 4 [is NOT charged against the 6 past champ provisionals]
    #6) - Qualifying Attempts [not starts] 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)

  • Go or Go Home Drivers to Qualify Together: NASCAR announced in January that starting with the Cup race at California, teams outside the top 35 in owners points will be allowed to qualify together at the end of the qualifying session. The Nationwide and Truck Series used this procedure at Daytona. Sprint Cup didn't use the new procedure at Daytona due to the unique/somewhat complicated qualifying session/races there. The thought is that nobody would have an advantage in track conditions.(2-19-2008)

  • Qualifying Rules/Notes/News page

  • Jayski's - 2008 Sprint 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).

  • Determining Race Line-Ups - Top 35 Guarantee: At the start of the 2005 season, NASCAR instituted a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the Sprint 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 Sprint 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 Sprint 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 Sprint 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 top 35 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]

  • Past Champions Limited To 6 Provisional Berths in Cup: NASCAR announced an update to the past champion’s provisional rule in the Sprint Cup Series for 2007. Beginning this season, a past champion’s provisional may be used by an eligible driver a maximum of six times over the course of the season. In addition, a team with a past champion eligible driver may only use this provisional a maximum of six times during a season. Previously, there was no limit on usage of the past champion’s provisional over the course of the 36-race season. The provisional gives the eligible driver the 43rd and final starting position in the race field. "As NASCAR seeks to place more emphasis on competition, we have decided the time is right to limit the number of provisionals allowed,” said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. “We believe this revision brings the provisional policy in line with the continued growth of the sport.”(NASCAR PR)
    This is only for a team/driver OUTSIDE the top-35 in owners points, drivers whose team is in the top-35 in owners points, would already be guaranteed in the field and not need the Past Champions Provisional.(1-31-2007)
    See my 2008 Past Champions Provisional Page for more.(2-8-2008)


  • Clinch Scenarios at California: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #48-Jimmie Johnson and #31-Jeff Burton control their own Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup destiny this weekend. With certain Auto Club Speedway finishes – outlined below – they will join #18-Kyle Busch and #99-Carl Edwards, who have already secured spots in the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup. To clinch a Chase spot, a driver needs to leave Auto Club Speedway with a 196-point lead over 13th place.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. is currently 350 points ahead of 13th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Earnhardt will clinch if he finishes:
    • 40th or better
    • 41st or 42nd and leads at least one lap
    Jimmie Johnson is currently 348 points ahead of 13th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Johnson will clinch if he finishes:
    • 40th or better
    • 41st and leads at least one lap
    Jeff Burton is 274 points ahead of 13th place. Regardless of any other driver’s finish, Burton will clinch if he finishes:
    • 15th or better
    • 16th or 17th and leads at least one lap
    • 20th and leads the most laps
    Six other drivers can clinch this weekend as well, but do not control their own destiny. Unlike Johnson, Earnhardt and Burton, all six must increase their current points lead over 13th place in Sunday’s race. Below are those drivers who can mathematically reach the 196-point margin over 13th position this weekend:
    #20-Tony Stewart: Is 170 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 26 points.
    #16-Greg Biffle: Is 141 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 55 points.
    #29-Kevin Harvick: Is 129 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 67 points.
    #24-Jeff Gordon: Is 108 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 88 points.
    #17-Matt Kenseth: Is 78 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 118 points.
    #11-Denny Hamlin: Is 57 points ahead of 13th place and needs to pad his lead by 139 points.
    #07-Clint Bowyer, currently 12th in the series standings, cannot clinch a Chase position at Auto Club Speedway under any scenario, assuming #6-David Ragan starts Sunday’s race.(NASCAR PR)(8-26-2008) Comment here

  • Four Race Tracks Tony Stewart has never won a Cup race at: There are four current race tracks the Cup Series runs on that #20-Tony Stewart has not won at [a Cup race]:
    California 0 for 14 with a best finish of 4th in 1999 & 2001
    Las Vegas 0 for 10 with a best finish of 2nd in 2000
    Talladega 0 for 19 with a best finish of 2nd [6 times] in 2001,2002,2005,2006
    Darlington 0 for 16 with a best finish of 4th in 2001 & 2002
    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.

  • Sept 2007 Race Winner: #48-Jimmie Johnson, 131.502, started 2nd

  • Feb 2008 Race Winner: #99-Carl Edwards, 132.704, started 9th

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

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

  • Sept 2007 Pole Sitter: #2-Kurt Busch, 182.399, finished 9th

  • Feb 2008 Pole Sitter: #48-Jimmie Johnson, set by points due to rain, finished 2nd

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

  • Most Wins: 3 - Jeff Gordon

  • Most Poles: 3 - Kurt Busch

  • Most Top 5s: 7 - Jeff Gordon

  • Most Top 10s: 7 - 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: 33 - 2/24/2008

  • Fewest Lead Changes: 18 - 5/3/1998

  • Most Leaders: 16 - 9/7/2007

  • Fewest Leaders: 8 - done twice, most recently 4/28/2002

  • Most Cautions: 12 - 2/24/2008

  • 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: 9 - Ford

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

  • Races won from starting pos 1: 0 [of 16] 0.0%
  • Races won from starting pos 2: 1
  • 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: 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: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 31: 1
  • Races won from the top 5: 2 of 16
  • Races won from the top 10: 8 of 16

  • At Auto Club Speedway:
    • Groundbreaking for Auto Club Speedway took place in November 1995.
    • The first race was a NASCAR West Series race won by Ken Schrader on June 21, 1997.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 22, 1997 and won by Jeff Gordon.
    • The first NASCAR Nationwide Cup race was held on Oct. 19, 1997, won by Todd Bodine.
    • The first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race was won by Mike Bliss on Oct. 18, 1997.
    • September 2004 was the first night race and was also the first year there were two races a year for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.
    • 2005 was the first time the first Auto Club Speedway race was a triple-header with all three major NASCAR series competing.
    • The track name was changed from California Speedway to Auto Club Speedway in February 2008.
    • There have been 16 Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway since the track opened in 1997.
    • Five drivers have competed in all 16 Auto Club races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Joe Nemechek and Kyle Petty.
    • Joe Nemechek won the pole for the inaugural race in 1997. Greg Sacks broke Nemechek’s short-lived, track-qualifying record in the second round of qualifying.
    • There have been 11 different pole winners, led by Kurt Busch (three) and Jeff Gordon (two) Qualifying was canceled in 1999 and 2008-1.
    • 12 different drivers have posted victories at Auto Club Speedway. Jeff Gordon (three), Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth (two) are the only multiple race winners there.
    • Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing have each won six races, more than any other organization.
    • Eight of the 16 races were won from outside the top 10 starting positions.
    • Matt Kenseth won the 2006 sprint race from the 31st starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.


    Pole Winners
    2/2008: none, rained out
    9/2007: Kurt Busch, #2 Dodge, 182.399, finished 9th
    2/2007: Jeff Gordon, #24 Chevy, 185.735, finished 2nd
    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, 188.425, finished 23rd
    9/2004: Brian Vickers, #25 Chevy, 187.417, finished 13th
    5/2004: Kasey Kahne, #9 Dodge, 186.940, finished 13th
    2003: Steve Park, #1 Chevy, 186.838, finished 40th
    2002: Ryan Newman, #12 Ford, 187.432, finished 14th
    2001: Bobby Labonte, #18 Pontiac, 182.635, finished 22nd
    2000: Mike Skinner, #31 Chevy, 186.061, finished 7th
    1999: none, rained out
    1998: Jeff Gordon, #24 Chevy, 181.772, finished 4th
    1997: Joe Nemechek, #42 Chevy, 183.015, finished 18th
    (1997 Greg Sacks, #40 Chevy was the fastest but in 2nd round 183.753mph)

    Race Winners
    2/2008: Carl Edwards, #99 Ford, 132.704, starts 9th
    9/2007: Jimmie Johnson(2), #48-Chevy, 131.502, started 2nd
    2/2007: Matt Kenseth(2), #17 Ford, 138.451, started 25th
    9/2006: Kasey Kahne, #9 Dodge, 144.462, started 9th
    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(3), #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(2), #24 Chevy, 150.276mph, started 5th
    1998: Mark Martin, #6 Ford, 140.220mph, started 3rd
    1997: Jeff Gordon, #24 Chevy, 155.012mph, started 3rd


    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
    #00-Mike Skinner "Day of Reckoning"/Affliction #00 Team Schemes Page
    #5-Casey Mears Cheez-It #5 Team Schemes Page
    #7-Robby Gordon Monster Energy Drink #7 Team Schemes Page
    #10-Patrick Carpentier Valvoline #10 Team Schemes Page
    #11-Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground #11 Team Schemes Page
    #12-Ryan Newman Kodak #12 Team Schemes Page
    #17-Matt Kenseth R&L Carriers #17 Team Schemes Page
    #19-Elliott Sadler McDonalds #19 Team Schemes Page
    #20-Tony Stewart Subway #20 Team Schemes Page
    #24-Jeff Gordon Pepsi/DuPont #24 Team Schemes Page
    #28-Travis Kvapil Hitachi Inspire the Next none...yet
    #38-David Gilliland CitiFinancial #38 Team Schemes Page
    #44-David Reutimann UPS Store Toys for Tots #44 Team Schemes Page
    #45-Terry Labonte Wells-Fargo #45 Team Schemes Page
    #48-Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Foundation #48 Team Schemes Page
    #77-Sam Hornish Jr. Penske Truck Rental #77 Team Schemes Page
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy Drink #88 Team Schemes Page
    #99-Carl Edwards Aflac #99 Team Schemes Page

  • Monster to sponsor Robby: been told that Monster Energy Drink will be the sponsor for #7 Robby Gordon Dodge at Auto Club Speedway, see an image of the scheme on my #7 Team Scemes page..(8-28-2008)

  • Sherwin-Williams to sponsor Biffle at Kansas: The Sherwin-Williams #16 Ford, driven by Greg Biffle, will race in the Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway which will be held on Sunday, September 28. This opportunity has been made possible as a result of Sherwin-Williams partnership with 3M, Biffle's sponsor. During the months of September and October, Sherwin-Williams will be featuring a NASCAR Race Promotion in their stores on select 3M products. More info at, see an image of the scheme on my #16 Team Schemes page.(8-28-2008)

  • Pepsi scheme for Gordon at Calif: Jeff Gordon will drive a specially painted #24 DuPont/Pepsi Chevy in the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speeday.(Performance PR Plus), see an image of the scheme on my #24 Team Schemes page (not the Pepsi Stuff one)(8-27-2008)

  • Kvapil to run the Hitachi "Inspire the Next" scheme at California: Yates Racing announced that Hitachi Power Tools (Hitachi Koki USA, Ltd.), which offers an extensive line of professional grade power tools and accessories will sponsor the #28 entry with driver Travis Kvapil for the Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. The Yates Racing Ford will feature Hitachi's global "Inspire the Next" branding on the #28 Ford. The primary sponsorship kicked off last month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which represented the first time Hitachi Power Tools has been a primary sponsor in NASCAR's most elite division, the Sprint Cup Series.(Yates Racing PR)(8-27-2008)

  • "Day of Reckoning" scheme for Skinner at Calif: Affliction Entertainment and Michael Waltrip Racing have teamed up to race for the checkered flag in the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California. This year's Sprint Cup Series race at the two-mile D-shaped oval will find Waltrip's #00 Toyota, driven by veteran driver Mike Skinner, fully wrapped in Affliction Entertainment's "Day of Reckoning" graphics promoting the upcoming Oct. 11 MMA Pay-Per-View event from Las Vegas. In addition to Affliction's sponsorship of the Michael Waltrip Racing #00 entry, the company will work with Auto Club Speedway to promote "Day of Reckoning" to the multitude of fans who attend the events planned at the world-famous speedway this Labor Day weekend. Utilizing the venue's multiple promotional opportunities, Affliction and Auto Club Speedway have packaged an entertaining mixture of promotional opportunities to make the fans aware of Affliction's upcoming event. Roy Englebrecht Events, Donald J. Trump and Affliction Entertainment in association with Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino present Affliction "Day of Reckoning" featuring the WAMMA heavyweight elimination match between Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett on Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Tickets are available online at or by calling 702.739.FANS. Ticket prices range from $75 to $500. Arlovski vs. Barnett is available live on cable and satellite Pay-Per-View and closed circuit television.(MWR PR)(8-26-2008)

  • Citifinanacial to sponsor #38 in four races UPDTE: CitiFinancial announced that it will sponsor the Yates Racing #38 Ford Fusion and driver David Gilliland in four Sprint Cup Series races beginning at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 17. The #38 will also sport the CitiFinancial and Citi paint scheme at Fontana, Richmond and Texas.(Yates Racing PR)(8-10-2008)
    IMAGE: see an image of thecar on my #38 Team Schemes page.(8-15-2008)

  • Johnson foundation scheme returns at Calif: the 2008 Jimmie Johnson #48 Jimmie Johnson Foundation paint scheme is scheduled to run at the Auto Club Speedway in August. This is the second year that Johnson has used his home track to pay tribute to his foundation, which is dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need throughout the United States. See an image of the car on my #48 Team Schemes page.(6-19-2008)

  • Yellow car for Stewart at Phoenix UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart will run a Subway sponsor #20 Toyota in the Subway Fit Fresh 500(k) at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend, the car will be yellow with green strips, Subway logo on hood and Home Depot on the 1/4 panels, see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(4-9-2008)
    UPDATE: UPDATE: Furthering its relationship with Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing, SUBWAY Restaurants will serve as primary sponsor of the #20 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series for three races in 2008. Longtime sponsor The Home Depot will adorn the quarterpanels of the #20 Toyota, while SUBWAY will have signage on the rest of the car. The #20 SUBWAY/Home Depot Toyota will make its debut:
    April 10-12 during the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway, and will return to the track
    Aug. 29-31 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and again
    Oct. 3-5 at Talladega Superspeedway.
    SUBWAY Restaurants has a yearlong associate sponsorship of the #20 Home Depot Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series and a personal services agreement with Stewart.(True Speed Communication/Joe GibbsRacing)(4-11-2008)

  • Cheez-It back on the #5 for a few races UPDATE: #5-Casey Mears is scheduled to run the Cheez-it paint scheme in Sprint Cup four races: Texas [4/6]; Pocono [8/3]; Michigan [8/17]; and California [8/31]. Kellogg's and Carquest will split the rest of the races. See an image of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(1-22-2008)
    UPDATE: Cheez-It, the world's largest-selling cheese cracker, will adorn the hood of the #5 Chevy of Casey Mears this weekend at Texas. "The Big Cheese" will make its debut this Sunday and decorate the hood of the #5 Chevy for four races:
    Texas, [April]
    Pocono [Aug],
    Michigan [Aug],
    California [Aug].
    The Cheez-It/CARQUEST Chevy finished third the last time it raced, which was last September at the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California.(HMS)(4-3-2008)

  • McDonald's to sponsor Sadler UPDATE: McDonald's will make its return to NASCAR's Cup series as one of three primary sponsors for Gillett Evernham Motorsports' #19 Dodge of Elliott Sadler this season. McDonald's, Best Buy and Stanley Tools were announced as company's sharing sponsorship on the car Tuesday. Best Buy is expected to be on the car for 15 races, while Stanley will have 13 and McDonald's eight, although those numbers are still subject to change.(
    UPDATE: McDonald's USA and Gillett Evernham Motorsports [GEM] announced that McDonald's will sponsor Elliott Sadler's #19 Dodge in six [not 8] Sprint Cup races in 2008. "McDonald's is thrilled to partner with Gillett Evernham Motorsports, which is one of the premier teams in the Sprint Cup Series," said John Lewicki, McDonald's senior director of alliance marketing. "This partnership is a great fit as McDonald's, Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Elliott Sadler are all committed to delivering quality experiences to fans and customers alike." McDonald's will sponsor Sadler's #19 Dodge all season and serve as the primary sponsor at:
    Martinsville on March 22
    Darlington on May 10 Michigan on June 15 [Big Mac]
    California on Aug. 31
    Talladega on Oct. 5 and
    Atlanta on Oct. 26.
    McDonald's logos will also appear on the uniform of Sadler's teammate Kasey Kahne in the 2008 season. McDonald's has sponsored Gillett Evernham Motorsports since 2004 and has continued to grow its involvement. "McDonald's is obviously one of the great brands of American history and we feel proud a company of its prestige selected Gillett Evernham Motorsports," said team co-owner Ray Evernham. "The sponsor partners we have at this race team are second to none. McDonald's has supported my team and my family for quite a few years now. They are more than just a sponsor, they are my friends." Sadler will carry "trimary sponsorship" in 2008 with Best Buy and Stanley taking turns serving as primary sponsor along with McDonald's throughout the season. "The cool thing is I've always been a McDonald's, Best Buy and Stanley kind of guy," Sadler said. "We have some great partners and I am glad they are coming on board with us. McDonald's has been a big part of my life growing up." For more information about McDonald's visit www.McDonald' PR).see an image for the car on the #19 Team Schemes page.(1-24-2008)

  • Kodak back with Newman in 2008: been told Kodak will be the primary sponsor for #12-Ryan Newman for six races:
    Pocono - June 8;
    Chicago - July 12, The Mummy scheme;
    Watkins Glen - Aug 10;
    California - Aug 31;
    New Hampshire - Sept 14;
    Atlanta - Oct 26
    See an image of the car on the #12 Team Schemes page.(1-16-2008)

  • Aflac to sponsor Edwards in 2008 UPDATE: Aflac is close to announcing a 2008 NASCAR limited sponsorship deal with Roush Fenway Racing. Aflac will sponsor a #99 Ford driven by Carl Edwards. An Aflac executive would not confirm the deal with Edwards on Tuesday, but the company did not deny it either when asked about Edwards. "We are still working through the details," said Al Johnson, a second vice president responsible for sponsorships. "We like Carl and what he has done this year -- and what we expect him to do next year. We're very excited." The final terms of the deal could be announced in the next two weeks. The deal with Edwards is expected to be for eight races and could possibly include an associate sponsorship that would put the Aflac duck logo somewhere on the car for the entire season, said a source familiar with the deal. Edwards' primary sponsor is Office Depot. The eight races that Aflac will be the primary sponsor with the corporate logo on the hood have not been determined. Terms of the deal are not available. It is believed Aflac spent between $2 million and $3 million for the 2007 deal. Aflac broke into NASCAR racing this summer with an eight-race deal with Roush Fenway. That deal included four Sprint Cup races in California, New Hampshire, Chicago and Kansas City and four Busch Series races. #16-Greg Biffle drove the Aflac car on the Sprint Cup circuit, winning the race in Kansas City. Roush Fenway drivers Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray split the Busch races. Biffle, Edwards' Roush Fenway teammate, will be sponsored by 3M next year. In July, Aflac announced a deal with NASCAR to serve as the sport's exclusive supplemental insurance sponsor and provider through the 2010 season. It is not known what Aflac paid for that designation.(Ledger-Enquirer)(10-24-2007)
    UPDATE: Aflac Incorporated and Office Depot announced a new business relationship within the sport of NASCAR that will help both companies reach new customers, engage the loyal NASCAR fan base and leverage opportunities to grow their businesses. Building on its successful entry into NASCAR in 2007, Aflac will serve as the primary sponsor of Carl Edwards and the #99 Ford Fusion for eight races. In addition, Aflac will be onboard the Office Depot #99 Ford Fusion as an associate sponsor for all other races during the 2008 Sprint Cup season. At the core of the affiliation are Edwards and the #99 Ford Fusion from Roush Fenway Racing.
    Aflac will be Edwards’ primary sponsor for the following 2008 Sprint Cup Series races:
    Atlanta [March]
    Texas [April]
    Phoenix [April]
    Pocono [June]
    Daytona [July]
    Indy [July]
    California [Aug] and
    Charlotte [Oct]
    . More information can be found at Racing PR)(11-2-2007)

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


  • 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
    Grandstand seating capacity: 92,000 Opened: 1997

    Race Festivities/Officials:
    Grand Marshal: Drew Carey
    Command to start engines: Drew Carey
    Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt
    Invocation: Jeff Hamilton, Motor Racing Outreach
    National Anthem: Bo Bice
    Military Flyover: F18s VFA 14/97 Lemoore Naval Air Station, CA
    for the season race officials by track, see my Race Officials page

  • Track Homepage:

  • ESPN's NASCAR Track Guide: Auto Club [formerly California] Speedway

  • Last Year: see my September 2007 California Race Info page

  • Last February: see the February 2008 California Race Info page

  • Hollywood-Themed Camping World Back Lot Will Premier at Auto Club Speedway in 2009: Auto Club Speedway campers will have something to celebrate in 2009-the new Camping World Back Lot, a 286-site campground at Auto Club Speedway that will have a unique Hollywood theme. Campers will get not only great NASCAR racing, but also the full Hollywood "back lot experience." Visitors to the Camping World Back Lot will find a wide variety of activities, including studio-sponsored movie nights, comfortable common areas, and food stands with a cinematic theme. The campground will have full access to infield stores, water and pump services and easy access to trams. Camping sites are sold as a package for the entire racing season. The package includes one site for both races, two Action Pack ticket packages.(Auto Club Speedway PR)(9-1-2008)

  • California Race Winners Will Ring the "Mobell": Race winners at Auto Club Speedway will inaugurate a new tradition in Gatorade Victory Lane this race weekend: ringing the "Mobell" a full-scale replica of the hundreds of bells that line California's El Camino Real. The Mobell was presented to Speedway president Gillian Zucker by the Automobile Club of Southern California, which integrates the image of the bell in its AAA logo. The 700-mile-long El Camino Real linked California's 21 Franciscan missions, which were founded by Father Junipero Serra in the late 18th century. The winners of the Camping World RV Service 300 Presented by Coleman and the Pepsi 500 will each ring the bell as part of their post-race Gatorade Victory Lane celebrations.(Auto Club Speedway PR)(8-31-2008)

  • Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, Bo Bice and Randy Couture Added to Pepsi 500 Pre-Race Ceremonies: Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, stars of the MTV hit series, "The Hills" will serve as honorary starters and wave the green flag to start the Pepsi 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, August 31. They will be joined during the pre-race ceremonies by American Idol season four runner-up Bo Bice, who will perform "The Star Spangled Banner," and mixed martial arts star Randy Couture will serve as honorary race official and pace car driver, leading the field to the green flag from behind the wheel of the official Chevy pace car. Giving the command to start engines will be TV icon Drew Carey, announced earlier as the event's Grand Marshal.(Auto Club Speedway PR)(8-30-2008)

  • New food menu at Auto Club Speedway: There's a new food line at Auto Club Speedway, created in part by feedback that track president Gillian Zucker received earlier this year. In addition to the standard race track fare of hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries, fans will get an opportunity to order: Kabobs of marinated beef, chicken and vegetables over a bed of rice; Grilled Mexican corn on the cob; Sushi, including California Rolls and spicy tuna rolls; Mexican fruit salad, a combination of sliced watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, pineapple and mago seasoned with lemon juice and chili powder; Chicken sausage sandwiches; Root beer floats. The new food debuted at one of the Speedway's Hard Card Club functions earlier this summer and was greeted with smiles. Tim Niro, general manager of Americrown's western division, said the Speedway's hamburgers, one of the traditional food staples in sports, will have a new taste. "We changed the way they are to be cooked," said Niro, who has spent the past two years in charge of the Speedway's concessions. "At three locations, we're going to grill the hamburgers. We're using raw hamburger rather than frozen patties". Based on past figures, Niro expects fans to consume 10,000 hamburgers and 20,000 hot dogs this weekend. The track made the switch in napkins and the way it wrapped hot dogs after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers complained the paper was sticking to the front of the cars, causing some to overheat. "I got tired of getting called into the (NASCAR) hauler," said Niro, who faced a similiar situation while working at Michigan Internaional Speedway. "We got nine times the complaints at Michigan and here about the wrappers. We put the hot dogs in foil, which will not get airborne, as opposed to how we did it before."(Los Angles Daily News)(8-28-2008)

  • ACS goes for Guinness record; bingo hall: For as long as California/Auto Club Speedway has been open, attendance has always been a subject of speculation. Since the track's opening in 1997, the policy has been not to release numbers, regardless of the event. That should change this week, if a world record is to fall. Together with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Speedway will attempt to set a world record for the largest bingo hall. Each fan in attendance at Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Pepsi 500 will get a card and a chance to win some of the $20,000. The record is 70,080 set by a group in Colombia in 2006, which erased the 53,000 mark in Dodger Stadium set in 2003. There's little doubt in this corner that the record will fall on Sunday - if not, the real heat story won't be about the weather. But somehow, it's doubtful the folks at Guinness will just take the Speedway's word.(San Bernardino County Sun.(8-26-2008)

  • Drew Carey To Serve As Grand Marshal For Pepsi 500: Stand-up comic turned actor and producer Drew Carey will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 2008 Pepsi 500, Auto Club Speedway President Gillian Zucker announced. The host of “The Price is Right” and star of the long-running comedy “The Drew Carey Show”, Carey will give the starting command, “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines”, to the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers running in the Pepsi 500 on Sunday, August 31.
    “It’s only fitting that one of the biggest stars on television should be giving the most famous command in motorsports,” said Zucker. “Drew Carey is a big NASCAR fan, and I know our fans are going to be excited to see him at the track. I hope everyone will listen to Drew and ‘come on down’ to Labor Day’s biggest party.” One of televison’s biggest stars, Carey succeeded longtime host Bob Barker on the legendary show “The Price Is Right” after having had the distinction of starring in two hit shows simultaneously: “The Drew Carey Show”, which ran from 1995-2004, and the improv/sketch show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on which he was both host and producer. While in the Marine Reserves, Carey’s military buzz cut and black wide-rim glasses became part of his trademark look. He began his successful career as a comedian in April of 1986 at the Cleveland Comedy Club. One of his first big breaks was competing on "Star Search '88." In 1991, Carey landed a spot on HBO's "14th Annual Young Comedians Special" and appeared on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." Carey landed his own television development deal at Disney, which led to an opportunity for Carey to co-star in the series "The Good Life." Carey also had the opportunity to work with Bruce Helford, who was a consulting writer on the series and hired Carey as a staff writer for "The Gaby Hoffman Show." Their experience led the two of them to decide to co-create “The Drew Carey Show.”. Carey also starred in his own comedy special for Showtime, "Drew Carey: Human Cartoon" and performed in Showtime's "Tenth Anniversary of the Montreal Comedy Festival."(ACS PR)(8-25-2008)

  • 2009 Cup Schedule Announced, 4 "off" weeks: NASCAR announced today its national series schedules for the 2009 season, which features realigned dates for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Truck Series. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series there will be a three-way date swap between Atlanta Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway (formerly California Speedway) and Talladega Superspeedway.
    • Atlanta’s second 2009 race will be held on Sunday, Sept. 6, taking the Labor Day weekend slot now held by Auto Club Speedway.
    • Auto Club Speedway’s second race will be Sunday, Oct. 11 – the fourth week of the “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup,” a slot formerly held by Talladega.
    • Talladega’s second event will move to Sunday, Nov. 1, making it the seventh Chase event – the slot formerly held by Atlanta.
    “The 2009 schedule reflects realigned dates that are good opportunities for everyone involved in our sport – fans, sponsors, tracks and teams," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. The season begins with a tripleheader weekend at Daytona International Speedway capped by the running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15. In addition to that season-opening event for the Sprint Cup Series, the Truck Series starts its season on Friday night, Feb. 13, followed the next afternoon by the Nationwide Series opener. For all three series, the season will conclude with another tripleheader weekend, at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20-22.
    Other key NASCAR Sprint Cup dates in 2009:
    • The 31st annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona – a non-points event – will be held on Saturday, Feb. 7.
    • On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 12, Richmond International Raceway will again host the “Chase cut-off” race, affording the last opportunity for drivers to qualify for NASCAR’s championship playoffs.
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host the first races in both the “Race to the Chase” (Sunday, June 28) and the Chase (Sunday, Sept. 20).
    There also will be an additional off-week for NASCAR’s premier series in 2009, prior to the Labor Day weekend event, giving teams a final break before a 12-week stretch that will end the season. Because of the way the calendar falls, NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will have a total of four off-weeks during the 2009 season.
    The NASCAR Nationwide Series will have a 35-race schedule. Changes from this year include a new event at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1, replacing Mexico City; a switch of the Atlanta Motor Speedway event from March to September; and moving the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve event in Montreal to Sunday, Aug. 30.
    The NASCAR Truck Series in 2009 again will have 25 races, with one realigned date: The series’ late-season race at Atlanta will be replaced by a night event at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, Aug. 28.(NASCAR PR)(8-19-2008)

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


    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires:
    Sprint Cup: Left-side -- 1,525, Right-side -- 1,525;
    Nationwide: Left-side -- 575, Right-side -- 575

    Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4146; Right-side -- D-4150

    Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.3 in.; Right-side -- 88.6 in.

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

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

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 40-44 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams will run the same tire codes at California this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Goodyear brought for teams in these two series to run at this track earlier this season . . . California is the only track at which NASCAR Teams will run this exact tire set-up in 2008, though this right-side tire code (D-4150) is scheduled to be run with a different left-side at Kansas in late September . . . 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.

    Testing update: Goodyear conducted a tire test at Kansas Speedway this past Tuesday, in order to confirm its tire recommendation for the NASCAR weekend coming up on Sept. 26-28 . . . other upcoming tests include Dover (Sept. 3), Atlanta (Sept. 16), Indianapolis (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8) and Homestead (Oct. 14).

  • see past races on my 2008 Tire Notes page

  • and news about Goodyear and tire testing on my Goodyear News page


  • Hall of Fame Racing announces Driver Plans for Upcoming Races: Rookie Joey Logano will drive the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota in five Sprint Cup Series races for Hall of Fame Racing, team officials announced Wednesday. Logano, who is under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing and will drive the #20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in Sprint Cup starting in 2009, will pilot the #96 DLP HDTV Toyota in five Sprint Cup races in 2008, beginning at New Hampshire. Logano will also drive the #96 at Kansas, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Martinsville and Texas. Logano, 18, will make his Sprint Cup debut next weekend at Richmond driving the #02 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hall of Fame Racing receives chassis, engines and manufacturing support from Joe Gibbs Racing. Veteran Ken Schrader, who started seventh and finished 21st in the DLP HDTV Toyota last weekend at Bristol, will drive the #96 Toyota in this weekend's Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif then at Richmond, Dover and Talladega. Brad Coleman, who has been under contract as a test driver for Hall of Fame Racing since November 2007, will continue to test for the team in the coming weeks. "Ken Schrader brings practical experience and stability to our race team that will help in a lot of ways," said Tom Garfinkel, co-owner of Hall of Fame Racing. "Brad did a great job testing for us at Kansas this week, and Ken will be an asset to Brad as we continue to get him more laps in a Sprint Cup car."(Hall of Fame Racing PR), Logano is also schedule to run TWO races for JGR in the #02 Home Depot Toyota, at Richmond and Atlanta.(8-27-2008) Comment here

  • Sauter has Cup ride for next 4 races: Johnny Sauter has a full schedule in the coming weeks of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. Sauter will pilot the #08 FUBAR Dodge this week at Bristol and next week at Auto Club Speedway. Then, he will get back behind the wheel of the #70 Haas CNC Racing Chevy for the following two events at Richmond and New Hampshire. "I'm definitely looking forward to the next few weeks of racing," Sauter said. "As a driver, I'm just happy people think of me when they have openings to fill, whether it be for a few races or a single event. I'm still looking for a full time opportunity in 2009, but in the meantime I'm happy to be busy and just thankful for the chance to contribute to these organizations."(PR)(8-21-2008) Comment here

  • See the 2008 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.

Jayski's Silly Season Cup News Page
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