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Times are local to the Track

Friday February 22nd
9:00 am California FanZone Gates Open to Public

9:45 am - 11:50am NNS Practice

12:00 pm -1:30 pm NSCS Practice

1:40 pm NCTS Qualifying (Two Laps, All Positions)

3:40 pm NSCS Qualifying (Two Laps, All Positions)

5:45 pm - 6:45 pm NNS Final Practice

Saturday February 23rd
revised after Friday's wash out
8:00 am California FanZone Gates Open to Public

9:30 am NNS Final Practice [No Qualifying]

11:30 am NCTS Driver Introductions

12:00 pm San Bernardino County 200 NCTS Race (100 Laps, 200 Miles)

2:00 pm - 3:55pm NSCS Final Practice

4:00 pm NNS Driver Introductions

4:30 pm Stater Brothers 300 NNS Race (150 laps, 300 Miles)

Sunday February 24th
8:00 am Opportunity, California FanZone Gates Open to Public

12:30 pm NSCS Driver Introductions

1:00 pm Auto Club 500 NSCS Race (250 Laps, 500 Miles)

NSCS = Sprint Cup Series
NNS = Nationwide Series
NCTS = Craftsman Truck Series

Times are local to the Track


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Race / Cup Odds

Auto Club 500
Sprint Cup

Vegas Insider
Auto Club 500
Sprint Cup
California Preview by Micah Roberts

World Sports Exchange:
Auto Club 500
Sprint Cup
Sprint Cup Chase 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)


the Jayski site is owned and served by:

THE RACE: The Auto Club 500

Sprint Cup Race #2 of 36 for the 2008 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
Rundown of Race/Lucky Dogs/Results
Track/Race Records | Track/Race Info
Driver/Team News | Paint Schemes

  • Race: Sunday, February 24, 2008 in Fontana, CA

  • Title Sponsor: Auto Club

  • Track: Auto Club Speedway [formerly California Speedway]

  • Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 4:00pm/et

Television Coverage/Re-air/TV Team

  • FOX 3:30pm/et

  • Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
    Thursday, February 28 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED and
    Thursday, February 28 at 11:30pm/et on HD Net (High Def)

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

Radio Coverage/Shows/ Team

Purse/Race Awards

    $6,144,605 (was $6,065,926 in 2007)

Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Practices: Friday, February, 22, 3:00 - 4:30pm/et, TV-SPEED
    Saturday...only Happy Hour

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, February 23, 5:00 - 6:55pm/et on TV-SPEED

Qualifying Information/Times/TV

  • Qualifying Draw [ping pong balls]: Friday, February 22, 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, February 22 at 6:40pm/et, TV-SPEED, re-air at 1:00am/et;
    AND live via radio at MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio.

news and links

  • Edwards wins at California: #99-Carl Edwards won the Auto Club at Auto Club Speedway for his first win of 2008 and 8th win of his career. Edwards led 64 of 250 laps [#48-Johnson led the most]. #48-Jimmie Johnson finished 2nd followed by #24-Jeff Gordon, #18-Kyle Busch [new points leader], #17-Matt Kenseth, #1-Martin Truex Jr., #20-Tony Stewart, #29-Kevin Harvick, #9-Kasey Kahne and #12-Ryan Newman. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished the race after his early race wreck and finished 40th, 47 laps down. There were 33 lead changes among 15 drivers and 12 caution flags for 44 laps.
    Race Results on my California Race Results/Awards Page.(2-25-2008)

  • The Unofficial Points Standings [after California, race 2 of 36]:
    1) #18-Kyle Busch 335
    2) #12-Ryan Newman 329 -6
    3) #20-Tony Stewart 316 -19
    4) #2-Kurt Busch 299 -36
    5) #99-Carl Edwards 296 -39
    6) #9-Kasey Kahne 294 -41
    7) #29-Kevin Harvick 268 -67
    8) #48-Jimmie Johnson 267 -68
    9) #16-Greg Biffle 262 -73
    10) #31-Jeff Burton 261 -74
    11) #83-Brian Vickers 257 -78
    12) #1-Martin Truex Jr. 253 -82
    of note: #7-Gordon is now 32nd, without the 100pt penalty
    Gordon would be 12th
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after California page.(2-25-2008)

  • California Race Notes: #17-Kenseth came in early with trash on the grill [was over heating], lost a lap, but got it back as the lucky dog on the 1st caution] #29-Harvick pitted just after #11-Hamlin smacked the turn 3 wall [who hit some water on the track], bringing out the 1st caution. Harvick was shown as the leader, then just before the green flag, NASCAR sent him to the end of the longer line as they decided he pitted illegally when pit road was closed.
    The 2nd caution had #5-Mears losing it [said he was loose, but had seen and hit water a couple times], sliding down, where #88-Earnhardt Jr, clipped the #5, sending the #88 into spin, pancaking the driver side and tearing off most of the right ride sheet metal. Then while Mears was against the wall, #77-Hornish, who had gotten in the rear of the #41 car, couldn't see and ran into the #5, which turned over and ended up on the passenger side, the #77 caught fire, but the safety crews got their fast and put out the fire. No drivers were hurt. The race was red flagged, with the #77 and #5 out of the race, the #88 and #41 will work on their cars once the red flag is lifted. Both Earnhardt Jr. and Hamlin said there is water on the track and the track is not in race conditions. Sorenson said the track was dusty but OK. NASCAR brought the cars to pit road as of 7:22pm/et, most drivers got out of their car. The track workers worked to get the weepers on the track. The cars took back to the track under caution as of 8:00pm/et. #18-Busch and #96-Yeley came in the next lap, the crew went under the hood and put some water in to cool the engine. About half the field came in to pit after the red flag. Green flag on lap 25 as of 8:05pm, only 225 laps tp go. With a large lead, #24-Gordon is saying his engine is running hot, TV shows debris on his grill at 33 laps. Gordon then let #48-Johnson pass him, got behind Johnson and the pressure change sucked the debris off the grill.
    Well, the rain is back, a light shower causing the 3rd caution. All the drivers came in to pit on the lap of the 3rd caution but #34-Andretti and #44-Jarrett, Andretti came in the next lap, Jarrett stayed out, then pitted just before the green flag when the rain stopped. The 4th caution came out when #70-Mayfield lost a tire and ripped out some crush panels which left debris on the track. The 5th caution came out on lap 64 when #78-Nemechek lost a tire and spun in turn 4. 6th caution on lap 70 when #19-Sadler spun in turn 2. 7th caution out for more rain on lap 82. Another red flag as of 9:12pm/et, cars are on pit road getting covered and the race is on hold. Car are impounded until the race starts, tonight or Monday morning.
    2:00am/et: After all that waiting, the track still has weepers and NASCAR decided to postpone the race until 1:00pm/et [10:00am/local].
    1:00pm/et Monday, Feb 25th: as of 1:00pm/et the engines are started and they cars took to the track FOX and MRN are airing the race LIVE. Teams were allowed to Adjust air pressure, re-prime oil system and re-tape noses of the cars. So far #99-Earnhardt Jr., #96-Yeley made pits stops before the green. #48-Johnson, who is leading, says there are some weepers still around the track. Green flag at 1:09pm/et on lap 90.
    Green flag pit stops started lap 122, with the leader, #48-Johnson came in, #2-Busch ran out of gas about a 1/2 lap before his stop, he coasted in, but lost a lap.
    On lap 134, #31-Burton scraped the wall off turn 3, pancaking the right side, causing the 8th caution
    On lap 149, #55-Waltrip spun, banged the wall with the rear of the car. On lap 155, #12-Newman, who was running 2nd, went high in turn 1, scraped the wall a tad, drove on, no caution and recovered in 5th place. On lap 167, #44-Jarrett lost a right rear tire, leaving debris on the track causing the 10th caution, one from the record which is 11 [done twice], Johnson came in leading, but came out 8th, #24-Gordon came out of the pits leading during the 10th caution. On lap 179, #45-Petty slowed and headed to the garage. On lap 210, #34-Andretti came in and headed to the garage burt came back out, 4 laps down.
    On lap 220, #70-Mayfield smacked the wall bringing out the 11th [tied for the most ever] caution. All the drivers made what they hope is their final pit stop, #99-Edwards came in leading, #48-Johnson came out first, Edwards came out 4th. #99-Edwards took the lead on lap 236, he and Johnson are fighting side-by-side. With 12 laps to go, #26-McMurray got high and loose and slid, fighting #9-Kahne for 9th, no contact or damage, but McMurray fell back to 13th. Edwards is now driving away and opened up 1.2 second lead with 10 laps to go. After the white flag, #44-Jarrett lost a tire for the final caution, but once the caution comes out, the race is over, no green-white-checkers. #24-Gordon lost his engine just after the caution came out and held on to 3rd.

    Lucky Dogs [lap back]: #17-Kenseth [1st caution]
    no one a lap down that is on the track [2nd caution]
    #41-Sorenson [3rd Caution, still 9 laps down]
    none reported [I figured #41-Sorenson again]
    #70-Mayfield [5 th Caution, still 8 laps down]
    #78-Nemechek [6th Caution]
    #41-Sorenson [7th Caution, still 8 laps down]
    #19-Sadler [8th caution]
    #2-Busch [9th caution]
    #43-Labonte [10th caution]
    #66-Riggs [11th caution]
    none with 10 or less laps to go [12th caution]

  • NASCAR defends postponing races at Calif: NASCAR officials felt they were always on the brink of getting the Auto Club 500 resumed late Sunday night at Auto Club Speedway but finally had to give up battling the weepers and dew at about 1:55am/et. NASCAR spent 4 hours, 42 minutes trying to dry the track. “The places that got dry, by the time [workers] got back to them on another lap, 20 minutes or so later with another set of dryers, it had already picked up moisture again,” a dejected NASCAR Vice President Robin Pemberton said as the cars were being rolled into the Sprint Cup Series garage. “It was dew basically. The weepers will always be an issue – at a lot of race tracks that we go to, we have that from time to time. But even just on the regular surface, it was quite wet.” A chorus of boos rang from the few thousand fans who had waited out the rain. NASCAR had spent about four hours drying the track. “It quit raining, and we owe it to the fans who are here to try to do our best to get the show in,” Pemberton said. “Many times it’s only an hour, an hour and a half to try to dry the race track, and we worked at it 4 1/2 hours and still couldn’t get it dry. … Tonight, it just didn’t work out. We could have stayed after it and maybe have gotten it in another couple of hours and [the East Coast] could have watched us while they ate breakfast. But that wasn’t going to be fair, either. You just try. You try, you think you’re making a dent in it, and it just went south on us.” Another issue was that NASCAR already had postponed the Nationwide Series event to Monday. “Trying to put on two shows tomorrow isn’t going to be easy either, but we’re going to do it,” Pemberton said Sunday night. “To try to get one show in today is what our goal is going to be.” Pemberton knows NASCAR will receive criticism for waiting so long before postponing the event. “You can be upset at us for trying if you want to be, and that’s fair, but we’re always going to put our best foot forward,” Pemberton said. “With the lights here and everything, we thought we could get it pulled off, and it didn’t work.”(SceneDaily)(2-25-2008) Comment here

  • Rain at Calif? the track is dry, cars are on the track, #55-Waltrip had a loose oil line and left oil on the track on the pace laps, he started at the end of the pack, the race took the green flag at 6:32pm/et. The Nationwide race is still scheduled for an hour after the Cup race. Follow the weather in Fontana CA at or the Weather Channel

news and links

  • Race Coverage of the Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway is re-scheduled for Monday, February 25, 2008.
    TV: Fox in Hi-Def at 1:00pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio on the NASCAR page - Racecast and Chat.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Thursday, February 28 at 12:00pm/et and;
    HDNET, Thursday, February 28 at 11:30pm/et

  • Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway Pit Stall Selections

  • Happy Hour practice for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over. Drivers were on the track for about 30 minutes before rain washed out the rest of the session. The results:
    #24-Gordon 179.569
    #99-Edwards 179.180
    #16-Biffle 178.909
    #8-Martin 178.891
    #17-Kenseth 178.820
    slowest: #45-Petty 173.536 & #34-Andretti 173.469
    most laps run: #11-Hamlin 19
    incidents: #43-Bobby Labonte scraped the wall a couple minutes into the session. Just minor sheetmetal damage.
    See the speeds on the Calfornia Practice Speeds Page.(2-23-2008)

  • Friday practice and Qualifying for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway has been cancelled due to rain/wet track and the field will be be set by the rules book, top-35 in 2007 owners pts, one 2007 race winner, two past champs, three who in the top 35 in 2008 owners pts, then two by 2008 race attempts [ties broken by 2008 owners pts pos]. So #2-Busch [won a race in 2007], then #44-Jarrett and #21-Elliott in by the past champ, then #83-Vickers, #00-Reutimann and #55-Waltrip who are in the 2008 top 35 of owners pts, then #34-Andretti and #78-Nemechek [1 attempt, 40th and 41st in 2008 owners pts]. Five teams/driver who will not make the race are: #84-Allmendinger, #49-Schrader, #10-Carpentier, #27-Skinner and #08-Lamar. See my Qualifying Order/Results page for the unofficial lineup.(2-22-2008)

  • Qualifying Order for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is posted. for the first time, Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the seassion, once the top-35 drivers are done. The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #16-Greg Biffle, the final top-35 driver scedhuled is #07-Clint Bowyer. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #00-David Reutimann, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #27-Mike Skinner. See the full qualifying order on my California Qualifying Page.(2-22-2008)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Friday, February 22, 2008 at 6:40pm/et.
    TV: SPEED - 6:30pm/et
    Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page.
    Qualifying Re-Air: 11:00pm/et on SPEED

  • Entry List for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of 2007 owners points (2008 race attempts/owners pts standings in parens):
    #00-David Reutimann (1/18)
    #08-Burney Lamar (1/53)
    #2-Kurt Busch [Past Champ 1](1/2 switched with #77)
    #10-Patrick Carpentier (1/48)
    #21-Bill Elliott [Past Champ 3](1/45)
    #27-Mike Skinner (1/51)
    #34-John Andretti (1/40)
    #44-Dale Jarrett [Past Champ 2] (1/17)
    #49-Ken Schrader (1/46)
    #55-Michael Waltrip (1/28)
    #78-Joe Nemechek (1/41)
    #83-Brian Vickers (1/13)
    #84-A.J. Allmendiner (1/44)
    removed from the entry list:
    #37-Kevin Lepage (1/49)
    #60-Boris Said (1/47)
    #87-Kenny Wallace (1/43)
    In the event qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 2,44,21,83,00,55,34,78
    missing the race would be [5]: #'s 84,49,10,27,08
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's California Entry List

  • What happens if qualifying gets rained out?
    If it is the first five races of the season, the previous season OWNERS points are used:

    #1) - Previous season Owner Points [position 1-35][top 35 teams do NOT need to attempt ALL the races]
    #2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
    #3) - ALL Past Sprint 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 [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

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

  • 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 2007 Past Champions Provisional Page for more.


  • 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 13 with a best finish of 4th in 1999 & 2001
    Las Vegas 0 for 9 with a best finish of 2nd in 2000
    Talladega 0 for 18 with a best finish of 2nd [6 times] in 2001,2002,2005,2006
    Darlington 0 for 15 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.(10-7-2007)

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

  • Feb 2007 Race Winner: #17-Matt Kenseth, 138.451, started 25th

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

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

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

  • Feb 2007 Pole Sitter: #24-Jeff Gordon, 185.735, finished 2nd

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

  • Most Wins: 3 - Jeff Gordon

  • Most Poles: 3 - 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, 9/7/2007

  • 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: 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: 8 - Ford

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

  • Races won from starting pos 1: 0 [of 15] 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: 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: 2
  • Races won from starting pos 31: 1
  • Races won from the top 5: 2 of 15
  • Races won from the top 10: 7 of 15

    • There have been 15 Sprint Cup races at California Speedway since the track opened in 1997.
    • Joe Nemechek won the Coors Light Pole for the inaugural race at California Speedway in 1997. Greg Sacks broke Nemechek’s short-lived, track-qualifying record in the second round of qualifying.
    • Jeff Gordon won the inaugural race at California on June 22, 1997. He has since won two more – in 1999 and 2004.
    • There have been 11 different Coors Light Pole winners, led by Kurt Busch (three) and Jeff Gordon (two). Qualifying was canceled in 1999.
    • Eleven different drivers have posted victories. Jeff Gordon (three), Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth (two) are the only multiple race winners there.
    • Rick Hendrick has won six races at California, more than any other car owner.
    • Eight of the 15 races at California were won from outside the top-10 starting positions.
    • Matt Kenseth won the 2006 Auto Club 500 from the 31st starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started at California.
    • There have been no caution-free or shortened races at California.
    • There have been two green-white-checkered finishes at California: 2005 fall and 2006 spring.
    • Mark Martin has seven top-10 finishes, including one victory, in 14 races at California. He also failed to finish three times. One of Martin’s DNFs was his first top10 – he ran out of gas on the final lap of the inaugural race in 1997, yet still finished 10th.
    • There have been 119 Sprint Cup races in California


    Pole Winners

    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

    9/2007: Jimmie Johnson, #48-Chevy, 131.502, started 2nd
    2/2007: Matt Kenseth, #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, #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


    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
    #07-Clint Bowyer DirecTV #07 Team Schemes Page
    #6-David Ragan AAA Insurance #6 Team Schemes Page
    #8-Mark Martin Principal Financial Group #8 Team Schemes Page
    #10-Patrick Carpentier Charter not...yet
    #17-Matt Kenseth Carhartt #17 Team Schemes Page
    #18-Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries #18 Team Schemes Page
    #19-Elliott Sadler Best Buy / U2 #19 Team Schemes Page
    #21-Bill Elliott Little Debbies #21 Team Schemes Page
    #24-Jeff Gordon DuPont Chromax not...yet
    #40-Dario Franchitti Target [white] #40 Team Schemes Page
    #41-Reed Sorenson Energizer Batteries #41 Team Schemes Page
    #42-Juan Pablo Montoya Juicyfruit #42 Team Schemes Page
    #43-Bobby Labonte Hamburger Helper “My Hometown Helper” #43 Team Schemes Page
    #45-Kyle Petty Wells-Fargo #45 Team Schemes Page
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy Drink #88 Team Schemes Page
    #99-Carl Edwards Dish Network #99 Team Schemes Page

  • Special scheme for Labonte at Calif: This weekend at California Speedway #43-Bobby Labonte will run a special paint scheme for the Hamburger Helper “My Hometown Helper” Program; the nationwide initiative lends a “helping hand” to local groups making a difference in their community.(Petty Racing PR)(2-21-2008)

  • Different look for the #10 at Calif: Patrick Carpentier in the #10 Charter Dodge Charger seeks to make his fourth career start. The #10 will feature the purple and yellow paint scheme of Charter Communications for the Fontana race. Carpentier will be one of the few drivers in the field that have experience in both stock cars and open wheel at the 2-mile oval. He has raced there in both the Champ Car Series and the IRL. The #10 Charter Dodge Charger test at California Speedway this past January. Being outside the top-35 in owner points, Carpentier will have to qualifying for this race on time. He will battle 16 "go or go homers" for the eight open qualifying spots.(GEM PR)(2-20-2008)

  • U2 on the hood of the #19 at Calif: The #19 Best Buy Dodge of Elliott Sadler will feature the "U2 3D" concert movie on its hood, sides and decklid at California Speedway this weekend. Filmed in South American during their Vertigo Tour in front of 90,000 fans, "U2 3D" continues the band's use of modern technology. With this endeavor, they once again raised the bar in creating the first digital, multi-camera real time production of its kind. The film opens February 22nd in IMAX Theaters.(GEM PR)(2-20-2008)

  • Special scheme for Blaney at California: Dave Blaney's #22 Cat Camry will feature a special "Cat Paving Products" paint scheme this weekend. The design, which features Cat Paving Products machines on both sides of the car and the trunk lid, also has a "highway" look that is integral in the scheme. The equipment depicted on the #22 car for this event represents various stages of the paving process from start to finish. The PM-200 Cold Planer is used for the removal of asphalt and concrete pavements prior to re-surfacing. In addition to preparing the surface for new asphalt, a key new feature is that it has low exhaust emissions - exceeding all emission regulations for off-road applications. The AP655D is a new track-type asphalt paver which handles a wide variety of paving projects - from new construction, to resurfacing - such as the recent repaving of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif, which was done by working around-the-clock and completed in less than 15 days.(BDR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #22 Team Schemes page.(2-20-2008)

  • Skinner in the #27, with Bad Boy Mowers: Mike Skinner will run the #27 Bill Davis Racing Toyota at California Speedway, running one of two Toyota Camrys the team tested last month at the two-mile speedway [by Jacques Villenueve]. The #27 Toyota will feature the decals of Bad Boy Mowers this weekend in Fontana. Bad Boy Mowers, a Batesville, Arkansas-based company, began in 1998 with the sole purpose of producing the Bad Boy zero-turn commercial lawn mower.(BDR PR)(2-20-2008)

  • DIRECTV back on the #07 car: Clint Bowyer's #07 Chevy will feature DIRECTV colors this weekend at California Speedway. DIRECTV's corporate headquarters are in El Segundo, Calif., just 68 miles west of California Speedway. Jack Daniel's, the team's customary primary sponsor, will be featured on the car's lower-rear quarter panels and deck lid.(RCR PR)(2-20-2008)

  • Kenseth going for 3 in a row at Calif: #17-Matt Kenseth, attempting to win the Auto Club 500 for a third-straight year, is the all-time leader in NASCAR wins at California Speedway, posting six wins total; four in the Nationwide Series and two in the Sprint Cup Series. Kenseth will run the Carhartt paint scheme on Sunday for the first of four times this season. He won this event last year in the Carhartt scheme, marking the first time Kenseth had won a Cup event in a paint scheme other than DEWALT. The other three Carhartt races in ‘08 are Michigan in June, Loudon in Sep., and Charlotte in Oct.(Roush Fenway Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(2-20-2008)

  • McMurray back in regular scheme:Jamie McMurray will pilot the #26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion for the first time this season. This will be McMurray’s first time in 2008 back in his Crown Royal purple and gold paint scheme. The #26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion will run a special decal on the rear quarter panel this weekend in support of “Dress for Success,” which is a program to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(2-20-2008)

  • Principal Financial Group expands sponsorship of DEI: The Principal Financial Group, the nation's 401 and employee benefits leader, announced its expanded relationship with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI). The Principal has agreed to a multi-race primary sponsorship involving DEI's #8 Chevy, co-driven by Mark Martin and Aric Almirola and the #01 Chevy driven by Regan Smith during the 2008 Sprint Cup Series. The Principal will also serve as an associate sponsor on both cars for the entire Sprint Cup season. "Rookie-of-the-year" candidate #01-Regan Smith will drive the Principal Financial Group Chevrolet Feb. 17 at the Daytona 500 and again July 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Mark Martin will represent The Principal in the #8 Chevrolet at California Speedway February 24 in what will be Martin's 700th career Cup Series start. This marks the third season for The Principal as Sprint Cup Series team sponsor, and the second year that Mark Martin and Regan Smith will race in the Principal Financial Group colors. The Principal first joined NASCAR in Aug. 2006 with MB2 Motorsports [Ginn Racing then DEI].. For more information, visit PR)(2-15-2008) Comment here

  • 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

    Race Festivities:
    Grand Marshal: actor Brad Garrett
    Command to start engines: Brad Garrett
    Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman
    Invocation: MRO's Jeff Hamilton
    National Anthem: Kina Grannis, the winner of the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl”
    Military Flyover: T-38's 87th FTS Laughlin AFB

  • Track Homepages: Auto Club Speedway

  • ESPN's NASCAR Track Guide: Auto Club Speedway

  • Last Year: see the Sept California Race Info page

  • Last Year: see my Feb California Race Info page

  • California Speedway to change name: In a landmark development within the motorsports industry, California Speedway will announce a deal with the Automobile Club of Southern California for the naming rights to the 11-year-old track. The agreement is for 10 years, but no financial terms have been released. According to industry sources, the deal is estimated to be worth between $50 to $75 million. "This will redefine track licensing," said Speedway president Gillian Zucker, who will preside over today's press conference along with Tom McKernan, president and CEO of the Auto Club. "It's a powerful platform, very unique. This will be more than a signage and media deal." Under the terms of the agreement, the official name of the track that first opened in 1997 will be the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. The Auto Club already had a presence at the Fontana facility. Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is the Auto Club 500 and the Speedway's drag strip was christened the Auto Club Dragway in 2007.(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(2-21-2008) Comment here

  • Pepsi to sponsor Aug race at Calif: California Speedway has announced a multi-year agreement with Pepsi to serve as the title sponsor for the Speedway’s fall Sprint Cup Series Race. The race which traditionally takes place at the end of the Labor Day weekend and this year will run on August 31, 2008 will now be known as the Pepsi 500. In addition to its role as the title sponsor of the race, Pepsi will continue to serve as the “official soft drink and non-alcoholic beverage provider” of the Speedway, a designation the brand has held since 1997. The Pepsi 500 Weekend, featuring the Camping World 300 Presented by (Nationwide Series race) and the Pepsi 500 (Sprint Cup Series race) will take place at California Speedway over the weekend of August 29-31, 2008.(California Speedway site)(2-20-2008)

  • George Thorogood to perform at California: George Thorogood and the Destroyers will headline the Miller Lite Rock ‘n Racing show during the 2008 Auto Club 500 weekend at California Speedway. The band will take the stage on Saturday, February 23rd after the San Bernardino County 200 (Truck Series) and Stater Bros. 300 (Nationwide Series) races. The concert is presented by Miller Lite, the official beer sponsor of California Speedway. George Thorogood and the Destroyers join an entertainment lineup for the Auto Club 500 Weekend that also features Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top who will be performing a special concert prior to Sunday’s race. To purchase tickets to the Auto Club 500 weekend at California Speedway, call 800-944-RACE.(2-18-2008)

  • ZZ Top will perform a special concert at California Speedway: Legendary blues rock trio ZZ Top will perform a special concert on Sunday, February 24, during the pre-race festivities at California Speedway’s 2008 Auto Club 500, Speedway President Gillian Zucker announced today. The concert will be free to all those in attendance for the 2008 West Coast Premiere of NASCAR. Fans who have pit passes for the race will be able to view the concert from the best seats in the house, on the track itself. To purchase tickets to the Auto Club 500 and ZZ Top’s pre-race concert at California Speedway, please call 800-944-RACE or log on to Speedway)(1-29-2008)

  • California looking for Oct date in 2009: NASCAR officials will release the 2008 Sprint Cup schedule in the near future, and it promises to offer little change. But in 2009, things might be different. California Speedway president Gillian Zucker said there seems to be "some energy around exploring alternate dates" for the Labor Day weekend race at her two-mile oval in Fontana and "we will keep on doing all we can to encourage that." The weather for this year's Sharp AQUOS 500 earlier this month was oppressive with temperatures hovering around 110 degrees. She has said she would like to hold the track's second race in October, which would put it in the Chase for the Championship, and bringing NASCAR's playoff spectacle to its biggest market would make a lot of sense, wouldn't it? Even though the track hasn't sold out for a NASCAR race in quite some time, the speedway again will play host to two Cup races next season, the first being in February and the second on the same steamy weekend in September. Just in case NASCAR officials keep their schedule the way it is, Zucker said she is adding more shady areas on the outside of the track, misters and air-conditioned places for fans to hang out before the race.(Orange County Register)(9-20-2007)

  • 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 Series: Left-side -- 575, Right-side -- 575;
    Craftsman Truck: Left-side -- 400, Right-side -- 400

    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 (Sprint Cup).

    Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will be running the same tire codes at California this weekend, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while those for the Craftsman Truck Series will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the first time that Goodyear has brought either of theses two tire codes to the race track . . . 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.


  • 700th career start for Martin: Mark Martin will make his 700th career Sprint Cup start this weekend when the green flag drops at California Speedway, becoming only the 13th driver in NASCAR history to reach the milestone. The Principal Financial Group will serve as the sponsor of the #8 Chevrolet and will feature a paint scheme that showcases a special 700th-start logo in tribute to Martin's accomplishments. Martin started his first Cup race on April 5, 1981 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. He started fifth and finished 27th. During pre-race ceremonies at California Speedway, the Principal Financial Group and DEI will present Martin with a commemorative green flag emblazoned with the same 700th start logo that will appear on DEI's #8 Principal Financial Group Chevy. Following the race, this same green flag will be signed by Martin and auctioned on e-bay with proceeds benefitting the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. If Martin, who is running a partial schedule of 24 point races in 2008, stays on schedule he will end the year with 722 Cup starts.(DEI PR)(2-20-2008) 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
Jayski's Silly Season Main Page

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