BUSCH: NASCAR roars into California Speedway

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...

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, 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.

EARNHARDT JR WINS TWICE IN ONE WEEKEND AT BRISTOL: Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag at Bristol and made his second visit to Victory Lane on Saturday night to become the first driver to win both the Busch and Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway in the same weekend. The driver of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet dominated the 500-lap race leading 295 laps for his first NEXTEL Cup Series victory at Bristol beating Ryan Newman to the finish line by 4.390 seconds. After several weeks of bad luck for Jimmie Johnson he was able to make a come back and finished third. Jeff Burton gave the RCR No. 30 AOL Chevrolet team its first top-5 finish of the season with a fourth place showing and Elliott Sadler finished fifth in the Sharpie 500.

CHASE FOR THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP: As the chase continues California will play a prominent role in who will be part of the top-10 when the chase begins. Despite his black flag penalty, which was a contributing factor to his fourteenth finish, Jeff Gordon still leads the pack with 3,380 points. Johnson's (-24) top-five finish secured his spot in second place while Earnhardt Jr. (-75), Tony Stewart (-185) and Matt Kenseth (-224) round out the top-5, respectively. While Kurt Busch (-329), Sadler (-361), Kevin Harvick (-457) and Bobby Labonte (-461) still sit third through ninth, respectively, Ryan Newman's (-462) second place finish moved him back into the top-10 moving from thirteenth to tenth.

FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: With only California Speedway and Richmond International Raceway races remaining 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 six drivers with a mathematical shot at getting into the top-10, and with an iry twist, drivers sitting in the eighth through 15th position have only 50 points separating them from one another. This has placed three larger than life bulls eyes on the bumpers of Harvick, Labonte and Newman. They have a mild lead over 11th in the points Kasey Kahne (-26). Mark Martin (-35) sits dead even with Jeremy Mayfield (-35) as they are 12th and 13th, respectively. Dale Jarrett (-45) and Jamie McMurray (-45) are also yearning to get into the top-10. The Pop Secret 500 will play an important role in shaping the final 10, as it is the pentiultimate event before the Chase begins.

TWO-TIME NASCAR BUSCH SEREIS CHAMPION WINS FROM THE POLE: Dale Earnhardt Jr., who started from the pole, led a race-high of 125 laps and took the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway beating fellow NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth on Friday, August 27th. The 13th and last caution of the evening came out with one lap to go, allowing both Kenseth and Kevin Harvick to catch Earnhardt Jr. With a green-white-checkered restart, Kenseth was able to pass Harvick, who finished fourth, while Kyle Busch finished third and David Green finished fifth.

TRUEX STILL OUT FRONT IN THE BUSCH SERIES TITLE HUNT: Although there was a mix of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series drivers in the Food City 250 the race didn't seem to mix up the point standings very much. Martin Truex, Jr., who finished seventh in Friday's race, still leads the points with 3,634. Busch (-78), Jason Leffler (-432), Greg Biffle (-518) fill the second, third and fourth places, respectively, while David Green's (-541) top-five finish moves him up a spot to fifth in the points. Jason Keller (-558) moved up a spot to sixth, Ron Hornaday (-579) dropped two points to seventh and Bobby Hamilton Jr. (-738), Mike Bliss (-805) and Ashton Lewis (-961) round up the top-10, 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.

NEW PIT PASS RULES: California Speedway recently announced enhancements to its NASCAR Pit Pass which will go into effect for the Inaugural "Finish Under the Lights" Pop Secret 500 weekend. A QUICK GLANCE OF PIT RULES:

Friday and Saturday:
* Minimum of age 18
* Shoulders and legs must be covered
* No open-toed shoes
* Pits stay open all day Friday
* Pits will close on Saturday 60 minutes before the start of the Target House 300
* Gates open at 7 a.m.

* No age requirement,
* No dress code,
* Pits will close 60 minutes before the start of the Pop Secret 500,
* Gates open at 11 a.m.

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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