The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Folio: Auto Club 500 by Kim DeHaven -- Friday February 23, 2007

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Frontstretch Folio: Auto Club 500

Kim DeHaven · Friday February 23, 2007

 

The Nextel Cup Series heads to Fontana this weekend for a star studded event at the California Speedway. The Auto Club 500 is the second race of the 2007 Nextel Cup season and will be broadcast live on Sunday, February 25th at 3 pm ET on Fox, with radio coverage by MRN affiliates nationwide. Competitors will make 250 circuits for 500 miles around the 2 mile D-shaped oval in their quest for the checkered flag.

Records and Facts
Ryan Newman holds the record for the fastest lap at California Speedway, posting a qualifying lap with a time of 38.414 seconds and a speed of 187.432 mph to win the pole for the 2002 running of the NAPA Auto Parts 500. Kurt Busch is the only repeat pole winner at the track, earning both just last year.

Jeff Gordon holds the record for the most victories at California Speedway with three. He won the inaugural event in 1997, 1999, and again in 2004.

Gordon also holds the record for the fastest race at Fontana. He attained the record of 3 hours, 13 minutes, 32 seconds with an average speed of 155.012 mph on June 22, 1997.

Rusty Wallace is the oldest driver to grace California Speedway's victory lane. He was 44 years, 8 months, 15 days old when he won the NAPA Auto Parts 500 on April 29, 2001. The youngest winner was Kyle Busch, who was 20 years, 4 months, 2 days old when he won the Auto Club 500 on September 4, 2005.

More Incentive To Win
The total purse for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway is $6,065,926, a $136,622 increase from last year.

Race Festivities
Grand Marshal (Gives the command to start engines): Actor Kevin Costner
Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: Actor Rick Schroeder
National Anthem: Bob McKnight

Quotable
“I'm very proud of my team. We're ready for California. All three Evernham Motorsports cars should be very competitive this weekend, as our speedway program is solid. We had a great test at Las Vegas and will be taking that same car to California. Getting off to a good start this season was a priority for our team. Just like last week, we'll all pull together and utilize our strengths - determination and dedication." -Elliott Sadler

"One down and four to go.” -Joe Nemechek, referring to the number of races before he hopefully finds himself in position to have an automatic qualifying berth

"It's a great track for racing, and we're obviously anxious to get there and see where we are with our downforce program. Going into this year, we knew we had a lot of work to get ready and that the downforce program was going to be important for this team because it is a new team.” -Dale Jarrett

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Recent articles from Kim DeHaven:

2009 Season Review: Elliott Sadler
Driver Review : Regan Smith
Driver Review : Tony Raines
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