BUSCH: California Speedway news 2004-08-02

32 Days until NASCAR invades Southern California NASCAR STARS HEADED TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The stars of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the NASCAR Busch Series will be making their second Southern California appearance September 3-5 at ...

32 Days until NASCAR invades Southern California

NASCAR STARS HEADED TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The stars of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the NASCAR Busch Series will be making their second Southern California appearance September 3-5 at California Speedway. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup superstars Jeff Gordon, current points leader Jimmie Johnson and reigning series Champion Matt Kenseth will take to the 2-mile, D-shaped oval for the Inaugural "Finish Under the Lights" Pop Secret 500 on Sunday, September 5. Gordon was first to the checkered flag during the Auto Club 500 in May. Busch Series front-runners Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch will look to solidify their points positions with strong runs during the Target House 300, Saturday's featured attraction. Truex finished 13th in May's Stater Bros. 300 presented by Gatorade after running out of gas in the closing laps and Busch finished seventh.

JOHNSON WINS AT POCONO: While many drivers struggled during the Pennsylvania 500 on Sunday, Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag to claim his 10th career win. Ironically, all of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet victories have came at superspeedways, including his first ever NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory at California Speedway in 2002. Johnson led 124 laps and finished 2.138 seconds ahead of Mark Martin, who finished second. Kasey Kahne finished third to pick up his sixth top-3 finish of the season. Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Robby Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Jeremy Mayfield and Elliott Sadler finished fourth through tenth, respectively.

CHASE FOR THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP: Johnson's victory garnered him the leader bonus, worth $90,000 for winning a race as the points leader, and further strengthened his points lead with a total of 3040 points. Jeff Gordon's top-5 finish at Pocono moved him to the second position (232 points back). Dale Earnhardt Jr. fell to third (-267), Matt Kenseth moved up one spot to fourth (-417) and Tony Stewart fell one position to fifth (-434). Elliott Sadler's tenth place finish moved him up two spots to the sixth position (536) as Kurt Busch dropped one spot to seventh (-559). Ryan Newman (-568), who previously was in the tenth position, is followed by Bobby Labonte (-574) and Kevin Harvick (-620) for eighth through tenth, respectively.

FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: With six races to go before the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" gets underway, there are several drivers clamoring to get into the top-10 so they aren't on the outside looking in. According to NASCAR, there are 24 drivers with a mathematical shot at getting into the top-10, but only 10 will be in the chase. This could place a large bulls eye on Kevin Harvick's bumper, as he sits in the 10th position. Jeremy Mayfield sits 11th in the standings with 2380 points, just 40 points out of 10th. Other drivers reaching for the chase include Kasey Kahne (-69 points out), Mark Martin (-89 points out), Dale Jarrett (-103 points out) and Jamie McMurray (-133 points out). Casey Mears, Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin, Terry Labonte and Rusty Wallace sit 16th through 20th in the hunt, respectively, and all within 300 points of 10th place. Any of these racers, whether it is Mayfield or Wallace, who have both won at California Speedway, or another racer, could get into the chase. The Pop Secret 500 will play an important role in shaping the final 10 as it is the pentiultimate event before the chase begins.

BIFFLE TAKES CHECKERS IN COLORADO: Greg Biffle, who led only 23 laps of the 250-lap race at Pikes Peak, took home his fourth win this season on Saturday, July 31 in the Goulds/ITT Inds. Salute to Troops 250 by Dodge. The 2002 NASCAR Busch Series champion began his ascent to victory after a caution period on Lap 215, moving from the 11th spot to pass Jason Leffler on Lap 228. Biffle won earlier this year at California Speedway, claiming the Stater Bros. 300 presented by Gatorade. Stacy Compton finished second followed by Jason Leffler, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr., rounding out the top five, respectively.

TRUEX OUT FRONT IN NBS TITLE HUNT: With his recent win, Greg Biffle, moved up two positions in the point standings to fifth, now 408 behind points leader Martin Truex Jr. Although, Kyle Busch's (-142) 17th place finish secured his second place in the point standings, it weakened the point difference between him and Truex. Ron Hornaday (-373), Jason Leffler (-379), Biffle (-408), David Green (-421), Jason Keller (-445), Bobby Hamilton Jr. (-493) and Mike Bliss (-709) sit third through 10th, respectively.

FANS SPEAK: California Speedway is looking for favorite memories from its local fans here at the speedway, whether it's in the parking lot, grandstand, infield or pit row - we want to know. Jog your brain and tell us what makes this track your track. Include a picture if possible; a picture is worth a thousand words. Please send your stories and pictures to California Speedway, Fans Story, 9300 Cherry Avenue, Fontana, CA 92335. Stories and pictures will not be returned unless a self addressed stamped envelope is provided.

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for the NASCAR event at California Speedway during Labor Day weekend are available by calling 1-800-944-RACE [7223]. Prices for Sunday's Inaugural "Finish Under the Lights" Pop Secret 500 race are $105 and $65. For Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series Target House 300, tickets are $50 and $40, while Friday's Chevy Trucks Pole Day tickets are just $10. Tickets can be purchased on the speedway's website at www.californiaspeedway.com.

RIDE THE TRAIN TO THE SPEEDWAY: Reserved seats on the specially chartered trains to California Speedway for the Inaugural "Finish Under the Lights" Pop Secret 500 can be purchased through the speedway's ticket office by calling 800-944-RACE [7223] or logging onto www.californiaspeedway.com.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Jason Keller , Jason Leffler , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Stacy Compton , Casey Mears , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , David Green , Kasey Kahne , Mike Bliss , Martin Truex Jr. , Clint Bowyer , Elliott Sadler , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin