Numbers Game: Analyzing The Auto Club 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2007) -- This is NASCAR's Manifest Destiny. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series moves West this week for Sunday's running of the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, and a town...
Numbers Game: Analyzing The Auto Club 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2007) -- This is NASCAR's Manifest Destiny.
The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series moves West this week for Sunday's running of the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, and a town known for glitz and glamour will instead be marked by speed and sound.
Celebrities and drivers will rub elbows in the Los Angeles market -- Fontana, Calif. -- as the ever-maturing California Speedway will undoubtedly once again provide some of the fastest racing on the circuit.
The track first started featuring NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing in 1997 and as popularity grew, so did California Speedway's need for another race. In 2004, the track was awarded a second race -- the second one under the lights, a perfect setting for Hollywood magic.
Driver Rating at California
Matt Kenseth 110.1
Greg Biffle 108.0
Kasey Kahne 106.9
Carl Edwards 106.7
Kyle Busch 104.6
Jimmie Johnson 103.6
Mark Martin 103.4
Denny Hamlin 101.1
Tony Stewart 100.3
Kurt Busch 94.5
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005 and 2006 races (4 total) at California.
Selected Driver Highlights
Note: NASCAR's scoring loops began collecting data for statistical purposes in 2005. That is why the Loop Data statistics in this release cover the last four races.
Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)
Defending Auto Club 500 champion
One win, three top fives and six top 10s at California Speedway
Average finish of 11.6 at California
Has led 246 laps at California, fifth-most all-time
Average Running Position of 7.518 in the four previous races at California, best of any driver
Has a Driver Rating of 110.1 over the previous four California races, best of any driver
Third-fastest driver on the California frontstretch over the past four races
Second-fastest Green Flag Speed over the past four California races
Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ameriquest Ford)
One win, two top fives and two top 10s at California
Though finishing 41st at this event last year, led the most laps with 168
Second-best Driver Rating at 108.0 over the last four races at California
Highest number of Fastest Laps over the last four races with 130
Fastest Green Flag Speed over the last four races
Over the last four races, has the most Laps Led (230)
Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
Three wins (most of any driver), six top fives and six top 10s at California
Average finish at California is 11.8, which ranks him seventh among all drivers
Has led 455 laps at California, most of any driver
Second-most Green Flag Passes (339) over the past four races
Third-highest number of Quality Passes -- passes of cars running in the Top 15 under a green flag -- with 203
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)
One win and four top fives
Average finish at California is 8.0
Has led 104 laps at California, 10th-most of any driver
Average Running Position of 8.693, third-best of any driver over the past four races
Sixth-best Driver Rating of 103.6 over the past four California races
Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)
One win (last September), three top fives and four top 10s at California
Led 130 laps in last September's race
Third-best Driver Rating here of 106.9 over the last four races
Fastest Driver on the Frontstretch and in Turn 4 over the past four races
Third-most Fastest Laps Run here over the past four races with 67
Most Quality Passes here over the past four races (230)
Fastest Speed in Traffic over the past four races
Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford)
Four top fives and six top 10s
In six races, never finished lower than fifth
Has a fourth-best Average Running Position of 8.997
Fastest driver in Turn 2 over the past four races
Second-fastest driver on the Frontstretch, the Backstretch and Turn 4 over the last four races
Second-most Quality Passes (207) over the past four races
Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
One win and three top fives
Won both Budweiser Pole awards last season
Only driver to have won multiple poles (2) at California
Driver Rating of 94.5, 10th best over the past four races 732 laps in the Top 15 over the past four races here, eighth-best
Mark Martin (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet)
2One win, three top fives and six top 10s here
Six-straight top 15 finishes here
Has led 271 laps here, second most of any driver
Has a Driver Rating of 103.4 over the past four races here, seventh-best
Jamie McMurray (No. 26 Crown Royal Ford)
Three top fives and five top 10s here
Prior to last September's finish of 20th here, McMurray had four straight top-10 finishes
Average finish of 8.9
Driver Rating of 86.8, 12th-best over the past four races 531 laps in the Top 15 over the past four races, 13th-best
Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet)
Three top fives and five top 10s
Finished ninth last time at California
Led 185 laps, seventh-best
Driver Rating of 100.3, ninth-best over the past four races
Fourth-best Speed in Traffic over the past four races
There have been 13 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at California Speedway since the track opened in 1997.
Matt Kenseth is defending Auto Club 500 champion. Kasey Kahne won last September's race.
There have been 10 different winners in the last 10 races at California. Seven of the last 10 races at California Speedway have been won from starting positions outside the top 15, including this event last year when Matt Kenseth won from the 31st starting position. It was the deepest starting position of a California race winner.
Two races at California have been run beyond the 250-lap scheduled distance: 2005 Sony HD 500 (254 laps) and 2006 Auto Club 500 (251).
Rick Hendrick has posted five wins at California Speedway, the most of any car owner. Those five wins were scored by Jeff Gordon (three), Jimmie Johnson (one) and Kyle Busch (one).
Roush Fenway Racing has posted four victories here: Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth.
11 different drivers have won the Budweiser Pole in the 12 qualifying races at California (only Kurt Busch is a repeat winner)
Carl Edwards has posted five straight top-10 finishes at California
Kurt Busch has three straight top-five starts at California
Kyle Busch has three straight top-10 finishes at California
In his only two starts at California, Denny Hamlin has started in the top 10
Kasey Kahne has three straight top-five finishes (two straight top-five finishes)
Matt Kenseth has three straight top-five finishes
Mark Martin has six straight top-15 finishes