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    Friday, February 20
    6:30 am NSCS Garage Opens

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    9:45 am NCWTS Stater Bros. 300 Practice

    11:00 am NSCS Rookie & Spotter Meeting, Drawing for Qualifying Order

    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm NSCS Auto Club 500 Practice

    1:40 pm NCWTS San Bernardino County 200 Qualifying

    3:40 pm NSCS Auto Club 500 Qualifying

    5:45 pm NNS Stater Bros. 300 Final Practice

    6:30 pm NSCS Garage Closes

    Saturday, February 21
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    9:35 am NNS Qualifying

    12:00 pm NSCS Garage Open

    11:30 am NCWTS San Bernardino County 200 Driver Introductions

    12:00 pm NCWTS San Bernardino County 200 Qualifying Race

    2:15 pm - 4:00 pm NSCS Auto Club 500 Final Practice

    4:15 pm NNS Stater Bros. 300 Driver Introductions

    4:45 pm NNS Stater Bros. 300 Race

    Sunday, February 22
    6:00 am - Parking Lots Open to Public

    10:00 am Garage Opens

    1:00 pm NSCS Driver/Crew Chief Meeting

    2:30 pm NSCS Auto Club 500 Driver Introductions

    3:00 pm NSCS Auto Club 500 NSCS Race


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    Purse/Race Awards

    2009: $6,192,388
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    THE RACE: Auto Club 500

    NASCAR Sprint Cup Race #2 of 36 for the 2009 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, February 22, 2009 in Fontana, CA

    • Title Sponsor: Auto Club/AAA

    • Track: Auto Club Speedway

    • Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 6:15pm/et

    Television Coverage/Re-air/TV Team

    • Television Coverage: FOX 5:00pm/et

    • SPEED's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 3:30pm/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace

    • Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
      Thursday, February 26 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED

    • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

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

    • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

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

    Radio Coverage/Shows/ Team

    Practice Dates/Times/TV

    • Practices: Friday, February 20, 3:00 - 4:30pm/et, TV-SPEED

    • Happy Hour 'Final' practice: Saturday, February 21, 5:15 - 7:00pm/et, TV-SPEED

    Qualifying Information/Times/TV

    • Qualifying Draw: Friday, February 20, 2:00pm/et

    • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-42, Friday, February 20 at 6:40pm/et, TV-SPEED, re-air on SPEED 11:00pm/et;
      AND live via radio at MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio.

    news and links

    • Kenseth wins at California: #17-Matt Kenseth won the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway for his second win in a row, his third at Fontana, and the 18th of his career. He is the first driver to win the season's opening two races since Jeff Gordon in 1997. #24-Gordon was second followed by #18-Busch, #16-Biffle, #2-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #99-Edwards, #14-Stewart, #48-Johnson, and #83-Vickers. #88-Earnhardt, Jr. blew an engine and finished 39th. #29-Harvick also blew and engine and finished 38th, the first time he was not running at the end of a race in 82 races. There were 19 lead changes among 11 drivers and 5 caution flags for 43 laps. Four of the cautions were caused by light rain showers.
      See race results, laps led and more on the California Race Results page
      See drivers and owners points standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Daytona page.(2-22-2009)

    • UNOFFICAL Driver Points Standings [after California race 2 of 36]:
      1) Matt Kenseth 385 [2 wins]
      2) Jeff Gordon 304 -81
      3) Kurt Busch 294 -91
      4) Tony Stewart 294 -91
      5) Greg Biffle 268 -117
      6) Clint Bowyer 266 -119
      7) Michael Waltrip 264 -121
      8) David Ragan 262 -123
      9) Carl Edwards 260 -125
      10) Juan Pablo Montoya 256 -129
      11) Elliott Sadler 248 -137
      12) David Reutimann 248 -137
      13) A J Allmendinger 241 -144
      14) Reed Sorenson 238 -147
      See drivers and owners points standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Daytona page.(2-22-2009)

    • Racing Resources Says …
      * Matt Kenseth won the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. He became just the fourth driver to win the Daytona 500 and then the next race of the season. He joined Richard Petty (1973), Cale Yarborough (1977) and Jeff Gordon (1997). Kenseth is the fifth driver to win the first two races of the season. (Marvin Panch (1957), Bob Welborn (1959), David Pearson (1976), Jeff Gordon (1997).
      * This was Kenseth's third victory at Auto Club Speedway. He also won this race in 2006 and 2007. Kenseth ties Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson for the most wins at Auto Club Speedway.
      * Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer has won the first two races of his Cup career. Blickensderfer has won the past four races that he was a crew chief. (He was the crew chief for Carl Edwards in the Nationwide Series for his wins at Phoenix and Homestead to end last year.)
      * Race-winner Kenseth led the most laps in the race; he led three times for 84 laps, including the final 38 laps. This is the third time Kenseth has scored back-to-back victories (Michigan/Bristol '06 and Rockingham/Las Vegas '04). He started 24th. His other two victories in California came from starting 31st and 25th.
      * This was the seventh victory for Roush Fenway Racing at California, tying Hendrick Motorsports for the most wins by an team here. Roush Fenway has won the past five February races at Auto Club Speedway.
      * This marks Roush Fenway's 15th NASCAR win at Auto Club Speedway. (Cup: 7, Nationwide: 6, Trucks: 2)
      * A team has won the first two races of the season eight times in the series -- most recently by Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2001 -- but only three times in the past 32 seasons.
      * The most races a team has won to start the season is three, done twice: Petty Enterprises (1962) and Peter Depaolo Racing (1957).
      * Jeff Gordon finished second for the fourth time to Kenseth. It was also his third second-place finish since he last won; at Lowe's in October, 2007, 43 races ago.
      * Kyle Busch finished third, Busch won both the Nationwide and Truck Series races at California. Busch currently leads both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series points standings. Busch did not lead the race Sunday.
      * Kevin Harvick (38th) ended an 81-race streak of running at the finish that began at Kansas in October 2006. Harvick's last DNF came at Dover on Sept. 24, 2006, where he finished 32nd due to engine failure. His DNF on Sunday was also an engine failure. Clint Bowyer, with 75 consecutive RAF, now has the longest current streak.
      * The top 10 consisted of three Fords, three Chevrolets, three Toyotas and one Dodge.
      * Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart joined Matt Kenseth with top-10 finishes in the first two races of the season.(ESPN)(2-24-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Auto Club Speedway:
      * Matt Kenseth won the Auto Club 500, his 18th victory in 330 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      * This is his second victory and second top-10 finish in 2009. The last driver to win the first two races of a season was Jeff Gordon in 1997.
      * This is his third victory and 11th top-10 finish in 15 races at Auto Club Speedway.
      * Jeff Gordon (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 18 races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2009. Gordon led 64 laps in the Auto Club 500 and moved to seventh on the all-time laps led list with 19,899.
      * Kyle Busch (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 10 races at Auto Club Speedway. Busch came up short is his bid for a second weekend record, finishing third in the Auto Club 500. Busch, who won the NASCAR Camping World Truck and NASCAR Nationwide Series races on Saturday, however, posted the best overall finish for a triple race weekend.
      * Joey Logano (26th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      * Matt Kenseth leads the point standings by 81 points over Jeff Gordon.
      * Kevin Harvick failed to finish the Auto Club 500, ending a streak of 81 consecutive races competed without a DNF - the longest in NASCAR Sprint Cup history. Harvick's last DNF prior to tonight came at Dover in September 2006. This is just his 14th DNF in 288 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Harvick's Richard Childress Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer, assumes the longest active streak of running at the finish with 75.
      (NASCAR Statistics)(2-15-2009)

    • Auto Club 500 Penalty Report:
      Car#, Lap Issued, Reason, Flag, Penalty, Lap Assessed
      #43, 43, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Y, tail end, 46
      #44, 84, Lug nut(s) not installed, G, pit, 87
      #7, 144, Lug nut(s) not installed, Y, pit, 145
      #82, 170, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Y, tail end, garage
      #99, 171, Lug nut(s) not installed, Y, pit, 172
      #77, 172, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, Y, tail end, 177
      tail end - Tail end of the longest line
      (NASCAR Statistics)(2-22-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at California: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: no driver down a lap
      Caution 2: none, no one on track a lap down
      Caution 3: #55-Waltrip, 15th
      Caution 4: #83-Vickers, 10th
      Caution 5: #9-Kahne, 12th

    • Race Coverage of the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, February 22, 2009.
      TV: FOX at 6:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 5:00 pm/et
      Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio on the ESPN's Racecast and Chat.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      SPEED, Thursday, February 26 at 12:00pm/et;

    news and links

    • Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway Pit Stall Selections

    • Earnhardt changing transmission: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. complained about transmission issues during practice and his team planned to change it after Saturday's practice.(Roanoke Times)(2-22-2009)
      AND have confirmed with Hendrick Motorsports that the team did change transmissions and will fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag of the Auto Club 500.(2-22-2009)

    • Happy Hour practice for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is over, the fastest:
      #48-Johnson 179.582
      #11-Hamlin 178.280
      #26-McMurray 178.055
      #5-Martin 177.567
      #16-Biffle 177.445
      slowest: #34-Andretti 173.281 #66-Blaney 172.961
      notes: #43-Sorenson broke something in the right front on his first lap and put the car in the wall. He will have to go to a backup.
      #88-Earnhardt Jr. complained of the car jumping out of gear with a possible transmission problem.
      See speeds, ave speeds, laps run and more on my California Practice Speeds Page.(2-21-2009)

    • Vickers will have to change engine: Brian Vickers thought he finally had some good news to override the controversy of the past week. The 25-year-old Red Bull Racing driver won the pole for Sunday's Auto Club 500, barely beating heavily favored Jimmie Johnson. But, about an hour after taking the sixth pole of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career with a lap of 183.429 mph, Vickers found out his team would have to change the engine in his No. 83 Toyota, sending him to the back of the 43-car field.(Associated Press)(2-20-2009)

    • Vickers on pole at California: #83-Brian Vickers won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Auto Club 500 with a lap of 183.439mph for his 6th career pole. #48-Johnson was second fastest followed by #26-MuMurray, #2-Busch, #16-Biffle, #24-Gordon, #00-Reutimann, #44-Allmendinger, #82-Speed, and #18-Busch.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #44-Allmendinger, #14-Stewart, #66-Blaney, #71-Gilliland, #36-Riggs, #28-Kvapil, #41-Mayfield, and #87-Nemechek.
      The five drivers who failed to qualify: #64-Todd Bodine, #37-Raines, #51-Starr, #09-Markin, and #73-Garvey.
      See the qualifying results, starting lineup, pole progression and more on my California Starting Lineup/Qualifying Page.(2-20-2008)

    • California Qualifying Fast Facts:
      * Brian Vickers won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Auto Club 500 with a lap of 39.250 seconds, 183.439 mph.
      This is his sixth pole in 174 Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is Vickers’ third pole on a two-mile track. He won the pole for the 2004 fall race at Auto Club Speedway as well as at Michigan International Speedway last August. Vickers has started from the front row at Auto Club Speedway on three previous occasions.
      This is his second pole in 11 races at Auto Club Speedway.
      Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2009 and his eighth in 13 races at Auto Club Speedway. This is the eighth time Johnson as started from the front row at Auto Club Speedway. He was the pole-sitter for both of last year’s races.
      Jamie McMurray (third) posted his first top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. McMurray’s best previous Auto Club Speedway start was 12th in the spring of 2004. It is his first top-10 start in two races this season.
      Scott Speed (ninth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
      This is his first race at Auto Club Speedway. AJ Allmendinger (eighth) was the fastest of the drivers required to make the field on time.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-20-2009)

    • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
      Toyota: #83-Vickers, 183.439, starts 1st
      Chevy: #48-Johnson, 183.164, starts 2nd
      Ford: #26-McMurray, 182.653, starts 3rd
      Dodge: #2-Busch, 182.556, starts 4th

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Friday, February 20, 2009 at 6:40pm/et.
      TV: SPEED - 6:30pm/et
      Radio: MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page
      Qualifying Re-Air: 11:00pm/et

    • Qualifying Order for the Auto Club 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 #18-Busch, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #42-Montoya. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #41-Mayfield, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #09-Menard. See the full qualifying order on my Auto Club 500 Qualifying Page.(2-20-2009)

    • First Practice: for the Auto Club 500 is over, the fastest:
      #48-Johnson 181.571
      #24-Gordon 180.873
      #16-Biffle 180.696
      #00-Reutimann 180.569
      #39-Newman 180.365
      slowest: #73-Garvey 170.867 & #51-David Starr 170.052
      notes: #20-Logano scraped the wall about 5 minutes into the session, but only minor damage. #51-David Starr looks to have lost an engine 20 minutes into the session. #24-Gordon scraped the right rear of the car about an hour into practice, but only minor damage.
      See speeds, ave speeds, laps run and more on my California Practice Speeds Page.(2-20-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Auto Club Speedway:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #28-Travis Kvapil, 15th
      #44-A.J. Allmendinger, 16th
      #14-Tony Stewart [PC1], 17th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 26th
      #71-David Gilliland, 36th
      #41-Jeremy Mayfield, 40th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 41st
      #36-Scott Riggs, 42nd
      these drivers would miss the race if theings stayed the same:
      #37-Tony Raines, 44th
      #64-Todd Bodine, 45th
      #09-Sterling Marlin, 46th
      #73-Mike Garvey, 47th
      #51-David Starr, 48th

    • The Entry List for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of 2008 owners points (top 35 locked in thru race five of 2009):
      #09-Sterling Marlin (46/1 attempts 2009)
      #14-Tony Stewart [past champ 2005](7/1)
      #28-Travis Kvapil (42/1)
      #36-Scott Riggs (25/1)
      #37-Tony Raines (49/1)
      #41-Jeremy Mayfield (41/1)
      #44-A.J. Allmendinger (3/1)
      #51-David Starr (53/1)
      #64-Todd Bodine (55/1)
      #66-Dave Blaney (24/1)
      #71-David Gilliland (48/1)
      #73-Mike Garvey (50/1)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (44/1)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 14,44,66,36,41,28,87,09
      missing the race would be [5]: #'s 71,37,73,51,64
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's California Entry List.(2-16-2009)

    • Racing Resources Says …Sprint Cup Series
      * Matt Kenseth won the 51st running of the Daytona 500.
      * This was the fourth rain-shortened Daytona 500. The previous rain-shortened 500s: 1965,133 laps; 1966, 198 laps; and 2003, 109 laps. Sunday's race ran 152 laps. The last rain-shortened Cup race was at Loudon last June.
      * Kenseth became the 33rd different winner of the Daytona 500, scoring his first victory in 10 starts in this prestigious race. It was his first restrictor-plate victory. His previous best finish at Daytona was a third-place finish in July 2008. That third-place was also his previous best restrictor-plate finish in 36 restrictor-plate races.
      * Kenseth posted his 17th career Sprint Cup victory in his 329th career start. Roush Fenway's previous best finish in the 500 was second three times: Jeff Burton (2000) and Kurt Busch (2003 and 2005).
      * Kenseth was winless in 2008, with his last Sprint Cup win coming at Homestead in November 2007. He led once in Sunday's 500 for the final seven laps.
      * Kyle Busch led the most laps in the race, leading twice for 88 laps.
      * Kevin Harvick finished second.
      * Ford posted its 11th victory in 51 Daytona 500s. Chevrolet has 20 500 victories, while Dodge has four.
      * Scott Speed (35th) was the highest-finishing rookie contender among the two rookies who raced. Speed started 38th.
      * Michael Waltrip (seventh) was the highest-finishing Toyota.
      * There were five first-time starters in this year's 500: AJ Allmendinger (third), Marcos Ambrose (17th), Aric Almirola (30th), Speed (35th) and Joey Logano (43rd).
      * The top 10 consisted of four Dodges, three Chevrolets, two Fords and one Toyota.(ESPN Monday Rundown)(2-16-2009)

    • What happens if qualifying AND the qualifying races gets rained out?

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

      #1) - Previous season Owner Points [position 1-35][teams do NOT have have to attempt all races]
      #2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
      #3) - Past Nextel Cup Champions not in by 1 or 2
      #4) - Current season Owner Points [Top 35][not in by rules 1-3]
      #5) - Current season race attempts ties broken by current owners points standings [not in by rules 1-4]

    • Single File Restarts with 20 laps to go: NASCAR will use single-file lineups for restarts with 20 laps remaining in all three national series this year, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said today. The previous rule called for single-file restarts with only 10 laps remaining. All other restarts had lapped cars on the inside lane. NASCAR is still allowing for the first driver one-lap down [Lucky Dog] to get back on the lead lap until there are 10 laps left in the race. Pemberton said the rule was to allow the leaders more room to race following a caution in the waning laps. “We’ve been talking to the crews, teams and drivers and we felt like it was a time to make a change,” Pemberton said. “We haven’t taken away the lucky dog and haven’t hurt anybody from getting a lap back.”(SceneDaily)(2-12-2009) Comment here

    • 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.

    • Qualifying Rules/Notes/News page

    • Jayski's - 2009 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 Nextel Cup Series [NNCS]. NASCAR revamped the system by simplifying the procedure with teams no longer accruing provisionals throughout the season to gain entry into the starting fields. While starting positions one through 42 in the NNCS still will be determined by qualifying speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 35 positions of the NNCS OWNER [not Driver] championship points that have entered the event prior to the entry deadline [usually 13 days before the day of the race] one of those starting positions in the field, providing they have made an attempt to qualify [which usually means the team at least practiced and made an effort to qualify].
      The remaining seven positions [36-42] will be assigned to those drivers with the fastest qualifying speeds whose car owners are not among the top 35. The final starting position [43rd] – the champion’s provisional – can be utilized by a car owner whose driver is a current or past Nextel Cup champion who participated as a driver during the current of previous season and was entered in the event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline.
      If there is more than one series champion vying for the position, it will be given to the most recent series champion. If the final provisional starting position – 43rd in the Nextel Cup – is not filled by a current or past series champion, it will be assigned to the next eligible car owner according to qualifying results.
      Through the first five races of the season for the Nextel Cup, the top 35 in the NNCS of the previous owner championship points entered in the event prior to the entry deadline will be assured one of the 42 starting positions in the field, provided they have made an attempt to qualify. From the sixth race on, the current owner championship points will be used to determine the top 35 each race week. In the event that conditions prevent qualifying from being run, starting positions will be assigned according to the respective series’ current Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)
      Simple: so the field is set by speed to where the 7th fastest non-top 35 driver is on speed. The any drivers in the 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 Nextel 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.
      See my 2009 Past Champions Provisional Page for more.


    • Three Race Tracks Tony Stewart has never won a Cup race at: There are three current race tracks the Cup Series runs on that #20-Tony Stewart has not won at [a Cup race]:
      California 0 for 15 with a best finish of 4th in 1999 & 2001
      Las Vegas 0 for 10 with a best finish of 2nd in 2000
      Darlington 0 for 16 with a best finish of 4th in 2001 & 2002
      Stewart had not won at Talladega until Oct 5, 2008 on his 20th try, he had six 2nd place finishes there before the win.
      Stewart has won at 19 of 23 tracks he has raced on, didn't win at Rockingham which is no longer active for Cup racing.(10-5-2008)

    • August 2008 Race Winner: #48-Jimmie Johnson, 138.857, started 1st

    • February 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

    • 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

    • August 2008 Pole Sitter: #48-Jimmie Johnson, 180.397, finished 1st

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

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

    • Oldest Pole Winner: Mike Skinner, 42 years, 10 months, 2 days, 4/30/2000

    • Youngest Pole Winner: Kyle Busch, 19 years, 9 months, 25 days, 2/27/2005

    • Most Wins: 3 - Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth

    • Most Poles: 3 - Kurt Busch

    • Most Top 5s: 8 - Jeff Gordon

    • Most Top 10s: 8 - Jeff Gordon

    • 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: 10 - Ford

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

    • Races won from starting pos 1: 1 [of 18] 5.6%
    • 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: 2
    • Races won from starting pos 25: 2
    • Races won from starting pos 31: 1
    • Races won from the top 5: 7 of 18
    • Races won from the top 10: 9 of 18

    • At Auto Club Speedway:
      • Groundbreaking for California Speedway, as Auto Club Speedway was originally known, took place in November 1995 as a joint project between Kaiser Ventures Inc. and Penske Speedway Inc.
      • The first race at Auto Club Speedway was a NASCAR Camping World Series, West 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 Series race was held on Oct. 19, 1997, won by Todd Bodine.
      • The first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race was won by Mike Bliss on Oct. 18, 1997.
      • September 2004 was the first night-race at Auto Club Speedway and that was also the first year there were two races a year for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series.
      • 2005 was the first time the first California race was a tripleheader with all three of NASCAR’s national series competing.
      • The track name was changed to Auto Club Speedway in February 2008.
      • There have been 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway since the track opened in 1997.
      • Five drivers have competed in all 17 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Joe Nemechek and Kyle Petty.
      • Joe Nemechek won the pole for the inaugural race in 1997.
      • There have been 12 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. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson (three) along with Matt Kenseth (two) have won multiple races there.
      • Rick Hendrick has won seven races, more than any other car owner.
      • Eight of the 17 races were won from starting positions outside the top 10; only one has been won from the pole.
      • Matt Kenseth won the 2006 Auto Club 500 from the 31st starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.
      • There have been no caution-free or shortened races.
      • There have been two green-white-checkered finishes at California: 2005 fall (254) and 2006 spring (251).
      Mark Martin has seven top-10 finishes, including one victory, in 15 races at California. He also failed to finish three times. One of Martin’s DNFs was his first top 10. He ran out of gas on the final lap of the inaugural race in 1997, yet still finished 10th.


      Pole Winners
      2/2009: Brian Vickers, #83-Toyota, 183. 183.439, finished 10th
      8/2008: Jimmie Johnson, #48-Chevy, 180.397, finished 1st
      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
      2/2009: Matt Kenseth (3), #17-Ford, 135.839, started 24th
      8/2008: Jimmie Johnson (3), #48-Chevy, 138.857, started 1st
      2/2008: Carl Edwards, #99 Ford, 132.704, started 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
      #5-Mark Martin Carquest/Kelloggs #5 Team Schemes Page
      #11-Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight #11 Team Schemes Page
      #17-Matt Kenseth Carhartt #17 Team Schemes Page
      #18-Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries #18 Team Schemes Page
      #19-Elliott Sadler Best Buy #19 Team Schemes Page
      #43-Reed Sorenson Charter Communications none...yet
      #44-A.J. Allmendinger Charter Communications none...yet
      #48-Jimmie Johnson Lowe's / Kobalt Tools #48 Team Schemes Page
      #77-Sam Hornish Jr. Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) #77 Team Schemes Page
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy Drink/MtnDew #88 Team Schemes Page

    • Haas Automation scheme for Newman: So, how does a Hoosier claim the California track as home? The answer lies in #39-Ryan Newman’s affiliation with newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing as the driver of the #39 Chevy. The team is co-owned by two time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Oxnard, Calif.-based Haas Automation, the largest CNC tool manufacturer in the western world. The company’s 1 million square-foot facility in Oxnard employs 1,200 people, and is the largest, most modern machine tool manufacturing operation in the United States. This weekend, Haas Automation will also adorn the hood of Newman’s black #39 Chevy. Newman, who has one pole and four top-10 finishes in 12 career Sprint Cup starts at Auto Club Speedway, including a 10th-place effort last February, is hoping to post a solid showing for his co-owner and sponsor in their own backyard.(Stewart-Haas Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my #39 Team Schemes page.(2-19-2009) Comment here

    • Hornish to have AAA scheme at Calif: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing #77 Auto Club Dodge Charger, will debut the Auto Club of Southern California paint scheme this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The Automobile Club of Southern California and its affiliated clubs (AAA) have joined the Penske Racing partner family as primary sponsor of the #77 car for three events in 2009 and as co-primary for an additional two races. On Thursday, February 19, Hornish will visit the Auto Club headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., to meet with employees and kick off the race weekend at Auto Club Speedway.(Penske Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my #77 Team Schemes page.(2-19-2009)

    • Special Decal for Harvick at Calif: The #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy driven by Kevin Harvick will feature a special decal on the deck lid this weekend for the running of the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway. The Mater Dei High School (Evansville, Indiana) name will be featured on the deck lid of the Richard Childress Racing machine in honor of the 2008 Shell Eco-marathon Americas winning student team. The Shell Eco-marathon, held at Auto Club Speedway each April, invites teams of students to design and build the most energy-efficient vehicle powered by either conventional or alternative fuels. The students from Mater Dei High School set a record for fuel efficiency during the 2008 competition with a rating of 2,843 miles per gallon. The team claimed a $10,000 prize for their victory and also beat the overall mileage record that was set in 2007 by Cal Poly.(RCR PR)(2-19-2009)

    • Interstate Batteries returns for 2009: #18-Kyle Busch and Interstate Batteries are back for another season in the Sprint Cup Series. Busch is scheduled to run the scheme six times in 2009: California [Feb], Texas [Apr], NHMS [June], Daytona [July], Mischigan [Aug] and Dover [Sept]. See an image on my #18 Team Schemes page.(12-22-2008) Comment here

    • AAA sponsoring Hornish in select 2009 races: Penske Racing announced the establishment of a multi-year agreement for its Sprint Cup Series program with the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) and its affiliated clubs. Starting in 2009, the Auto Club will be displayed as primary sponsor for select events on the Penske Racing South #77 Dodge, driven by three-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series. Hornish will debut the #77 Auto Club Dodge in February at the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif. In addition, the motor club will serve as primary sponsor of the #77 Car in Sprint Cup Series events at Kansas Speedway in October and Texas Motor Speedway in November, and as co-primary sponsor for Hornish and the Car #77 team, alongside Penske Truck Rental, at the April Talladega Superspeedway and June New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sprint Cup Series races.(Penske Racing PR)(11-11-2008) 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
      Grandstand seating capacity: 92,000 Opened: 1997

      Race Festivities/Officials:
      Grand Marshal: House" star Hugh Laurie
      Command to start engines: House" star Hugh Laurie
      Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: Actress Angie Harmon
      Invocation: Jeff Hamilton, MRO
      National Anthem: Little Big Town
      Military Flyover: F-18s, VFA 22, Lenore 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 Speedway

    • Last Year: see my February 2008 Race Info page

    • Last August: see the August 2008 Race Info page

    • Auto Club Speedway happy with turnout: Despite fears that the economic recession, the Academy Awards telecast and other factors might limit attendance to 60,000 or fewer, NASCAR estimated that the race drew about 78,000 people to the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway [seats 92,000] -- 8,000 more than it said attended the Fontana race last Labor Day weekend. Auto Club Speedway, like many tracks nationwide, had cut prices on some seats in response to the economic pressure. "The turnout was awesome, I'm so thrilled with the crowd," said track President Gillian Zucker. "It clearly shows how passionate Southern California is about NASCAR. That even in this kind of an economy that the crowd is that big says an awful lot."(Los Angeles Times)(2-23-2009)

    • Actress Angie Harmon named Honorary Starter for Auto Club 500: Auto Club Speedway announced that husband and wife duo Angie Harmon, best known for her starring role as Assistant District Attorney 'Abbie Carmichael' on NBC's Emmy-Award winning drama Law & Order and former New York Giants defensive back Jason Sehorn will serve as Honorary Starter and Honorary Race Official, respectively, for the Auto Club 500 this Sunday, February 22nd.(Auto Club Speedway PR)(2-21-2009)

    • Metrolink charter train service available to Auto Club Speedway: Since the very first race in 1997, Auto Club Speedway has partnered with Metrolink to provide Southern Californians direct train service to the speedway’s NASCAR races. The tradition continues on Sunday, February 22nd for the Auto Club 500 – the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR, with Metrolink operating three charter trains from Oceanside, Oxnard and Lancaster and virtually all stops in between. Charter train tickets are $20-$35, depending on station boarding location. The Speedway trains stop at a specially constructed station just off the back straight-away at the race track. From there, it’s a free tram service taking fans to the grandstand area. Trains depart Auto Club Speedway one hour after the checkered flag. Metrolink riders can bring food and non-alcoholic beverages on board the train. Items are not permitted to be stored at the Speedway train station, however Auto Club Speedway allows carry-in items including one soft side bag / cooler, no larger than 6x6x12 inches, that may contain ice. For a complete list of approved carry-in items, please visit The Auto Club Speedway trains are charters, regular Metrolink tickets are not valid. The charter train tickets are sold only at Auto Club Speedway and are mailed out prior to the race. To purchase race and train tickets or for information on the Auto Club Speedway charter train schedule, call Auto Club Speedway at (800) 944-RACE (7223), or visit PR)(2-17-2009)

    • "House" star Hugh Laurie grand marshall at Auto Club Speedway: Emmy-nominated actor Hugh Laurie, the brutally honest doctor who combines an unconventional approach to his cases with flawless instincts in FOX's hit medical drama, "House" will serve as Grand Marshal for the Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 22. As Grand Marshal, Laurie’s role at one of the largest single-day sporting events in California, will be to give the command of “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines,” to the 43-car field of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event televised on FOX. To purchase tickets for as low as $35, visit the new or call 800-944-RACE (7223).(Auto Club Speedway)(2-16-2009)

    • Concerts at Auto Club Speedway on race weekend: Gavin Rossdale, who is currently enjoying the success of his Top 40 hit single “Love Remains the Same,” will perform a pre-race concert prior to the Auto Club 500, NASCAR’s 2009 West Coast Premiere, at Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 22. Rossdale will perform four songs including his hit single “Love Remains the Same,” as well as hits from his days as the front man for the rock group Bush.
      AND Rev Theory, currently on tour with Theory of a Deadman and Ten Second Epic, will perform Saturday Feb. 21 and Sunday, Feb. 22 at the Auto Club Speedway Opportunity, California FanZone as part of the festivities surrounding the Auto Club 500 Weekend. Rich Luzzi, Julien Jorgensen, Dave Agoglia, Matt McCloskey and Ricky Lixx will rock the stage with their signature hard rock music at a post race concert Saturday (Feb. 21) in the Opportunity, California FanZone following the Stater Bros. 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and again Sunday, prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Auto Club Speedway call 800-944-RACE for tickets.(ACS PR)(2-16-2009)

    • Little Big Town to Perform National Anthem at Auto Club 500: Grammy-nominated Little Big Town will kick off NASCAR's West Coast Premiere – the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 22 by performing the National Anthem before thousands of fans and a national television audience. Also, celebrities from Band from TV are scheduled to rock the Auto Club Speedway Opportunity, California FanZone Stage for the West Coast Premiere of NASCAR - the Auto Club 500 on Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 11am. With almost two million dollars raised thus far through various performances that include The TV Guide Emmy Party, special concerts for Netflix, Ford and Docker's, appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and American Idol Gives Back, shows at The Mohegan Sun Casino and The Comedy for a Cure, Band from TV takes great pride in that fact that they donate every single cent of profit to charity. Greg Grunberg supports the Epilepsy Foundation of America, James Denton works with Donate Life, Bob Guiney supports The Art of Elysium, Adrian Pasdar works with The Rush Epilepsy Center, and Jesse Spencer supports The Indiana University-Kenya Partnership. While all talented actors, the band is truly about celebrating music, living the rock and roll dream and having fun while supporting worthy causes. To purchase tickets for the Auto Club 500 weekend call 800-944-RACE (7223), or visit for more information.(ACS PR)(2-9-2009)

    • 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)

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


      Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials (Sprint Cup & Nationwide);
      Goodyear Wrangler Speedway Radials (Camping World Truck)

      Number of Tires:
      Sprint Cup: Left-side – 1,500, Right-side – 1,500;
      Nationwide: Left-side – 575, Right-side – 575;
      Camping World Truck: Left-side – 325, Right-side – 325

      Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4132; 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 of these NASCAR series will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tire codes at California this weekend, though those for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be branded "Goodyear Eagle,' while those for the Camping World Trucks will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . last season, Cup and Nationwide teams ran this same combination at Kansas, while teams in all three series ran this right-side code (D-4150) with a different left-side code here at California . . . the new left-side code at California features a softer sidewall construction than the one run at the track in 2008 . . . this particular construction was integrated with good success into several other Goodyear tire codes last season . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at California . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.


    • Farmers Insurance to sponsor Kvapil at California: Yates Racing announced that Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, will sponsor Travis Kvapil and the #28 Ford Fusion in the February 22nd Sprint Cup Series race at Fontana, California. "It’s another great opportunity for the #28 team and Yates Racing to have Farmers Insurance on board for next weekend’s race at Fontana,” said Yates Racing driver Travis Kvapil. “Yates and Ford Racing have a great intermediate track program which gives us a lot to look forward to next weekend at Fontana.”
      “This is an exciting first for Farmers and we are pleased to sponsor Travis Kvapil in next Sunday’s Sprint Cup race,” commented Kevin Kelso, Farmers Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “The Farmers Insurance family of 21,000 employees and 26,000 agents from coast-to-coast are long time fans of NASCAR. We will all be cheering for Yates Racing and a big win for Travis Kvapil.” The #28 Farmers Insurance Ford Fusion will debut next Friday, February 20th during opening practice of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race weekend at Fontana, Calif. For more information about Farmers Group, visit Racing PR)(2-17-2009) Comment here

    • Gunselman, Bodine's start new Cup team: Journeyman driver Larry Gunselman is the latest to make an attempt at the Cup Series dream in 2009 as the Washington native has formed a team for himself and a pair of veteran brothers, Geoff and Todd Bodine. Gunselman, who won races in the old Winston West Series and its most popular driver award in 1996 before traveling east in 2000 to seek his racing fortunes, is the principal in the team that will field #64 Toyotas. He said Wednesday morning he's backed by a group of investors who are new to the sport and is still seeking primary sponsorship. "Right now we're looking at running for purse money while we try to come up with sponsorship dollars," Gunselman said. "The more sponsor dollars you get, the harder you can run. I tell people all the time, if you don't have money, you've got to race smart, and you can race hard if you do have money." If a team had been able to make all 36 Cup races last season and finish in the least-paying position, it would have won $2,880,640 in purse money. Gunselman has six Camrys -- three each that were purchased from Bill Davis Racing and Red Bull Racing -- and Wednesday he'd just come from the NASCAR R&D Center with his crew chief "for as long as I can keep him," former champion Doug Richert, and the second chassis they'd had certified. Gunselman, who has previous Cup team ownership experience from when he fielded the #98 Mach 1 Motorsports cars in 2004 with Chris Edwards, made 26 of 36 races and finished 39th in the owner standings, said to start the season attempting the races was critical. "There are so many people out of work out there right now that I believe the whole industry is going through a major correction factor -- the whole economy of the United States is going through a correction factor at the moment," Gunselman said. "There's an opportunity for a guy who's willing to go out there and take advantage of an opportunity and find a good group of people who really want to race, and we've got that. I think the current economic conditions are going to weed a lot of people out of our sport that didn't get in it for the right reason to begin with, and the real racers are going to figure out a way to survive and come out of this economic situation still involved in the sport."
      While the team wasn't sure who'd be in its car for Speedweeks, when the #64 will attempt to make the Daytona 500 as a "go-or-go-home" car, Gunselman said Todd Bodine would definitely drive at Fontana and Las Vegas, the second and third races on the schedule. Bodine is the 2006 Truck Series champion, who also has 15 wins in the Nationwide Series and 228 Cup starts, with five poles, seven top-five and 21 top-10 finishes. Geoff Bodine, who won the 1986 Daytona 500, 18 Cup races, six in the Nationwide Series and hundreds of Modified races -- but who hasn't made a NASCAR national touring start since 2005, when he made eight starts in the Nationwide Series, may run at Daytona. Gunselman, 48, most recently made spot starts in all of NASCAR's national tours -- including 20 in the '08 Nationwide and Truck series.( Comment here

    • Kvapil to run at least first five races..then: Yates Racing is committed to running the first five Sprint Cup races with #28-Travis Kvapil, with any races of the season beyond that still to be determined, team general manager Max Jones said Thursday. Jones said he hopes that sponsorship can be found, much like the team did last year when it ran an unsponsored car in several races and had several occasional primary sponsors. While optimistic that recent talks with potential sponsors will come through, Jones said the team doesn’t intend to run the team unsponsored the entire year. Kvapil’s crew chief will be Ben Leslie, who will also continue in his position as Ford Racing’s NASCAR field manager. Todd Parrott was going to be Kvapil’s crew chief, but he – and his entire team – is going to work with #96-Bobby Labonte, whose Hall of Fame Racing team will be operated by Yates Racing in a deal announced last week. Kvapil will have no points to fall back on in getting into the first five races. His points from 2008, when he finished 23rd in the driver standings, went to #98-Paul Menard, who brought sponsorship to the team.(SceneDaily)(1-23-2009) Comment here

    • Menard to get owners pts from other Yates team UPDATE 38 to 96; 28 to 98: from a NASCAR Press Conference at Daytona for the Fanfest. NASCAR Ramsey Poston asked the questions: Has any determination been made at Yates what the point affiliation will be for your team? Are you going to start from scratch? Are you going to get one of the other cars on points, and is there more concern or more excitement about starting out the year with a totally new bunch and how critical is it going to be to gel quickly with that group?
      PAUL MENARD [#98 Menard's Ford]: As far as I know we're getting points so we'll be locked in. I'm not sure if it's #28 or #38 points, but one of them will slide over.(NASCAR PR)(1-17-2009)
      UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing today the #96 Ford Fusion and Bobby Labonte as the manufacturers’ wild card entry into the famed Budweiser Shootout following NASCAR’s rule change on Friday. “The #96 joined the Ford family at the right time,” said Hall of Fame Racing Co-Owner, Tom Garfinkel. “We’re pleased to get Hall of Fame and into the Shootout and have an early chance to start working towards solid top-five and top-10 finishes this season. We are pleased to be working with Bobby Labonte and Yates Racing and look forward to seeing this combination of talent come together for the first time in the Shootout.” Labonte and the #96 will also receive Yates Racing points from the #38, piloted by David Gilliland in 2008. The transfer will put the #96 in 27th position going into the Daytona 500 in February. Yates Racing’s #98 Menards Ford Fusion will start the 2009 season in 23rd position after a points transfer from the #28. Paul Menard will drive the machine for the full 2009 season. Travis Kvapil will start the season as a fresh entry in the #28 Yates Racing Ford. Sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Jon Sands with Yates Racing at 704-720-4621.(Yates Racing PR)(1-19-2009) Comment here

    • See the 2009 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.

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