Scores & Stats
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Auto Club 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, February 24th
SITE: California Speedway, Fontana, California
TRACK: 2-mile banked paved speedway
ANNUAL: 12th
TELEVISION: FOX
RADIO: MRN/SIRIUS Satellite
START TIME: 4:16 p.m.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Matt Kenseth
RUNNER-UP: Jeff Gordon
POLE SITTER: Jeff Gordon (Finished 2nd)
LAPS: 250
MILES: 500
QUALIFYING RECORD: 188.245 m.p.h. (Kyle Busch, 2005)
RACE RECORD: 155.012 m.p.h. (Jeff Gordon, 1997)
TOTAL PURSE: $6,065,926 (2007 figure)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $342,316; 2nd - $249,011; 3rd - $212,811 (2007 figures)
 
2007 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Matt Kenseth256Clint Bowyer6
2Jeff Gordon17Kurt Busch18
3Jimmie Johnson238Tony Stewart11
4Jeff Burton89Kyle Busch12
5Mark Martin310Brian Vickers15
2007 Auto Club 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 138.451 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 36 minutes, 41 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.679 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 37 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 28 among 12 drivers
POLE WINNER: Jeff Gordon (187.735 m.p.h.)
Past Auto Club 500 Winners (car) and Speed
2007 -- Matt Kenseth (Ford) -- 138.451 m.p.h.
2006 -- Matt Kenseth (Ford) -- 147.852 m.p.h.
2005 -- Greg Biffle (Ford) -- 139.697 m.p.h.
2004 -- Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet) -- 137.268 m.p.h.
2003 -- Kurt Busch (Ford) -- 140.111 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet) -- 150.088 m.p.h.
2001 -- Rusty Wallace (Ford) -- 143.118 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jeremy Mayfield (Ford) -- 149.378 m.p.h.
1999 -- Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet) -- 150.276 m.p.h.
1998 -- Mark Martin (Ford) -- 140.220 m.p.h.
1997 -- Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet) -- 155.012 m.p.h. (race record)
 
NOTE: Formerly called California 500 (1997-1999), NAPA Auto Parts 500
(2000-02).
 
Last Race Results
RACE: Daytona 500 (February 17th)
SITE: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
MILES: 500
LAPS: 202
WINNER: Ryan Newman
RUNNER-UP: Kurt Busch
THIRD: Tony Stewart
FOURTH: Kyle Busch
FIFTH: Reed Sorenson
POLE WINNER: Jimmie Johnson (Finished 27th)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 16 minutes, 30 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 152.672 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: .092 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 7 for 23 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 42 among 16 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Johnson (Pole), Waltrip 1-2, Johnson 3, Hamlin 4-5, Stewart 6-13,
Hamlin 14-16, J. Gordon 17-19, Hamlin 20-37, Blaney 38, J. Gordon
39, Ky. Busch 40-48, Hamlin 49-54, Ky. Busch 55-64, Hamlin 65-67,
Ky. Busch 68-74, Sorenson 75-76, Ky. Busch 77-80, J. Gordon 81,
Sorenson 82-84, Ku. Busch 85-93, Ky. Busch 94-107, Kenseth 108,
Biffle 109, Ky. Busch 110-119, Newman 120, Biffle 121, Waltrip
122, Newman 123, Ky. Busch 124-151, Bowyer 152, Biffle 153-157,
Ky. Busch 158-161, Earnhardt 162-168, Kahne 169, Stewart 170,
Earnhardt 171-172, Stewart 173-177, Earnhardt 178-180, Bowyer
181-183, Newman 184-188, Burton 189-197, Stewart 198-199, Newman
200.
Auto Club 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00David Reutimann (Zephyr Hills, FL)Toyota/TBA
01Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/DEI
1Martin Truex Jr (Mayetta, NJ)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Kellogg's-CARQUEST
6David Ragan (Kannapolis, NC)Ford/So.Cal Insurance
07Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/Direct TV
7Robby Gordon (Cerritos, CA)Ford/Jim Beam
08Burney Lamar (West Sacramento, CA)Dodge/Millstar/Rhino's Drink
8Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Chevrolet/The Principal
9Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Dodge/Budweiser
10Patrick Carpentier (Quebec, Canada)Dodge/Charter
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Express
12Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Dodge/Alltel
15Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Quaker State
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M
17 *Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Carhartt
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Interstate
19Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Dodge/Best Buy
20Tony Stewart (Rushville, IN)Toyota/Home Depot
21Bill Elliott (Dawsonville, GA)Ford/Little Debbie
22Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Toyota/Caterpillar
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Dupont
26Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Ford/Crown Royal
27Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA)Toyota/TBA
28Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/TBA
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Shell/Pennzoil
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/AT&T Mobility
34John Andretti (Indianapolis, IN)Chevrolet/Makoto
37Kevin Lepage (Shelburne, VT)Chevrolet/TBA
38David Gilliland (Torrance, CA)Ford/FreeCreditReport.com
40Dario Franchitti (Edinburgh, Scotland)Dodge/Dodge Journey
41Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Dodge/Target
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Columbia)Dodge/Wrigley's Juicy Fruit
43Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Dodge/Cheerios/Betty Crocker
44Dale Jarrett (Hickory, NC)Toyota/UPS
45Kyle Petty (Trinity, NC)Dodge/Wells Fargo
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
49Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO)Dodge/QTrax.com
55Michael Waltrip (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
60Boris Said (Carlsbad, CA)Ford/No Fear
66Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/State Water Heaters
70Jeremy Mayfield (Owensboro, KY)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
77Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Mobil 1
78Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
84A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Toyota/Red Bull
87Kenny Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/AMP Energy/Nat. Guard
96J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/DLP HDTV
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Dish
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last seven years)
Driver2001200220032004200520062007
Matt Kenseth17th20th9th4th26thWonWon
Jeff Gordon2nd16th11thWon30th13th2nd
Jimmie Johnson---Won16th2nd2nd2nd3rd
Mark Martin40th5th17th11th7th9th5th
Kurt Busch13th2ndWon23rd3rd16th7th
Tony Stewart4th29th41st16th17th43rd8th
Ryan Newman---14th42nd3rd9th20th12th
Joe Nemechek20th25th32nd28th39th27th14th
Greg Biffle---13th18th33rdWon42nd15th
Kevin Harvick25th35th29th9th6th29th17th
Bobby Labonte22nd34th2nd5th13th31st28th
Carl Edwards------------5th3rd29th
Dale Jarrett24th6th37th24th11th17th32nd
Dale Earnhardt Jr3rd36th6th19th32nd11th40th
Michael Waltrip43rd10th7th32nd38th36th---
 
Mover of the Week
Kurt Busch - Started in 43rd position and finished 2nd
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jimmie Johnson
Darkhorse - Carl Edwards
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Dale Earnhardt Jr) - Finished 9th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Kurt Busch) - Finished 2nd
 
NOTES:
Dominating. That's the only word that can describe Matt Kenseth last year at California Speedway. Kenseth, who became the first back-to-back winner of this race, led seven times for a whopping 133 laps to capture his 15th career Sprint Cup title. Pole sitter Jeff Gordon, who finished less than a second behind, led for just two laps.

Gordon is a three-time winner of this race, including the inaugural year in 1997. Gordon, however, has only three top-10 finishes in his last seven appearances here.

In 2006, Matt Kenseth crossed the finish line just 0.338 of a second ahead of Jimmie Johnson for his 11th career Sprint Cup title and first of that year. Kenseth, who led four times for a total of 40 laps, reclaimed the lead on lap 219 of the 251-lap event and held on for the win. Greg Biffle, who led for a race-high 168 laps, finished 42nd due to engine problems, while pole sitter Kurt Busch finished 16th.

After winning in 2002, Jimmie Johnson has recorded a 16th place finish in 2003, three consecutive runner-up finishes and a third last season.

California Speedway has the distinction of laying claim to the world's fastest two-mile oval. During the 2001 Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota CART Championship Series qualifying, Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran set a new speed record with an average lap of 241.428 m.p.h. That speed topped Mauricio Gugelmin's mark of 240.942 m.p.h. set here in 1997. The speedway is 52 miles east of Los Angeles and 60 miles west of Palm Springs. During the 1997 season the speedway accommodated 80,000 fans with an eventual seating capacity of 107,000. The total cost of the project was approximately $120 million.

The pole sitter has never captured this event in its 11-year history. The number three position has won this race twice while the 31st position is the furthest any driver has come from to win (2006). When Rusty Wallace captured this race in 2001, he became the oldest winner at California Speedway (44 years, 8 months and 15 days).

Dale Earnhardt Jr has just a pair of top-10 finishes in seven career starts at California Speedway, both of which have come in his odd-year appearances. He finished third in 2001 and added a sixth in 2003.

Brad Garrett, from "Everyone Loves Raymond" and "Til Death," will serve as the Grand Marshal.

The next race in the Sprint Cup championship is the UAW-Dodge 400 on March 2nd at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as Jimmie Johnson defends his title.

02/19 18:02:24 ET

As of February 19, 2008, at 06:02 PM ET

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