2 RUSTY WALLACE Dropped from 6th to 8th in the point standings after suffering a blown motor at Talladega two weeks ago...marked his first DNF of the season and snapped a streak of three straight top 10 finishes...having a strong campaign...
2 RUSTY WALLACE
Dropped from 6th to 8th in the point standings after suffering a blown motor at Talladega two weeks ago...marked his first DNF of the season and snapped a streak of three straight top 10 finishes...having a strong campaign thus far, however, with 2 poles (Rockingham and Martinsville), 1 win (Bristol), 4 top-10 and 3 top-5 efforts...Rusty is driving a brand new car this weekend (PC-22).
6 MARK MARTIN
Martin grabbed the NWC points lead for the first time in 2000 after Talladega and comes into this race with a 24-point edge over Bobby Labonte...has one win this year (Martinsville), which tied him for 17th-place on the all-time NWC win list at 32 with the late Fireball Roberts ...all of his 32 wins have been in a Ford, ranking him 3rd behind Ned Jarrett (43) and Bill Elliott (40) on the all-time Ford win list...won this race in 1998...Martin will be running JR-55 this weekend, a car that has posted 5 top 10 finishes in its last 6 starts ...has 2 races this season to its credit (3rd at Vegas and 9th at Darlington).
9 STACY COMPTON
Has qualified for all 9 races this season, but is still looking for his first top 20 finish...has been strong in qualifying of late, making the field in first round three straight races...has a brand new car this weekend, one in which he tested here last week.
11 BRETT BODINE
Looks to regain some of the momentum he had prior to Talladega when he qualified first round in four of the previous five events (16th in Atlanta, 24th in Bristol, 25th in Texas, 4th at Martinsville)...did not make the field at Talladega marking the 3rd time that has happened in 2000...hopes to make the race with the car he had at Las Vegas...did not qualify for that event, but the car tested better here than the team's Atlanta car, which finished 16th earlier this year.
12 JEREMY MAYFIELD
Maintained his 9th-place spot in the point standings after a 14th-place finish at Talladega, a race in which he was second with 6 laps to go... has been on a hot streak of late with three top-10 finishes in the last 4 races... could be even higher in points if it weren't for 2 races (lost 4th gear at Atlanta and finished 28th and then got hit from behind at Darlington and finished 34th)...that Darlington car has been fixed and will run this weekend.
13 ROBBY GORDON
Gordon returns to his home state hoping to make this race for the first time...attempted to qualify in 1997 while driving for Felix Sabates, but damaged his primary car prior to qualifying and did not make the field... this will mark the team's second race with Yates Engines after running Pro Motors the first 8 weeks...this will also mark Jerry Baxter's third week as crew chief after taking over for Fred Graves...running new Flintstones paint scheme the next two races...Gordon tested here last week and will use the same car he finished a season-best 13th with at Las Vegas.
16 KEVIN LEPAGE
Suffered a setback at Talladega when he failed to make the field...as a result he dropped from 24th to 29th in the NWC standings...despite missing one race, he still has more points than 4 other drivers who have competed in all 9 events to date...qualified in top 5 at Atlanta (5th) and Darlington (2nd) and had his best weekend of the season at Texas where he qualified 2nd and finished 5th...Lepage has the same car he finished 11th with at Las Vegas and 10th with at Atlanta after qualifying 5th... "That's why it's here," said crew chief Pat Tryson.
17 MATT KENSETH
Assumed the top spot in the race for rookie of the year after his 18th-place finish at Talladega...leads Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by two points coming into this weekend's race...has 4 top-15 finishes in 9 races this year with his best being 6th-place at Darlington...has an impressive Busch record at California having qualified and finished in the top five in the three previous events held here, including a win last season...will be racing the same car he had at Vegas (finished 14th) and Darlington (finished 6th)...
21 ELLIOTT SADLER
Looking to turn around a recent string of bad luck...did not qualify for the last race at Talladega, the first race he has missed in his short NWC career...that came on the heels of a freak injury at Texas in which a shredded tire came up through the floorboard and caused a severe laceration on his left shoulder...that car has been repaired and will be in action this weekend...Chris Rice has been hired as the team's new shock specialist, replacing Newt Moore who was hired as crew chief for the 75...Rice was Sadler's crew chief when he ran late model stocks and most recently worked with Buckshot Jones in the Busch Series.
26 JIMMY SPENCER
Spencer and his Big Kmart team have shown signs of coming around in recent weeks...comes into the weekend a season-high 20th in points after gaining 5 spots from his 5th-place run at Talladega two weeks ago...team now has four top-20 efforts in the last six races...has one top-five here at California when he finished 5th in the inaugural event here in 1997...Spencer will be driving the same car he had at Rockingham (finished 26th) and Bristol (finished 18th) this year.
28 RICKY RUDD
Suffered his first finish outside of the top 25 after getting caught up in that multi-car accident at Talladega... finished 27th after suffereing major front-end damage...as a result he dropped out of the top-10 in points for the first time since Daytona...comes into this weekend 11th after being a season-high 7th two races ago...Rudd will have a car that has not raced this season.
32 SCOTT PRUETT
Pruett has made 6 of the 9 races this season, but qualifying has been a case of feast or famine...has qualified in first round 5 times (including the outside pole in Atlanta and 3rd spot at Texas)...started 15th and finished 20th at Talladega, marking his 2nd top-20 finish of the year (Daytona 19th)...led for the first time in his NWC career at Texas when he moved to the front on lap 4 and held it until lap 17...sat on the pole here in the final CART race of 1999...tested here a couple of weeks ago and will run the same car he had at Atlanta when he qualified 20th and finished 41st.
66 DARRELL WALTRIP
After making the field on speed for three straight races, Waltrip was forced to use a provisional at Talladega...as a result he is out of provisionals until the tour reaches Sears Point in June...has been in all 9 races with his best finish being 24th at Martinsville...has had success in his career in California having posted 5 wins at Riverside from 1979-86...has the same car he ran at Texas and Las Vegas.
75 WALLY DALLENBACH
The restructuring of Darwin Oordt's Galaxy Motorsports team over the break as Newt Moore was hired as crew chief...he takes over for Walter Giles, who served in that role on an interim basis since Bristol...Moore has previous experience as a crew chief for Kenny Wallace (Filmar Racing), Robert Pressley (Jasper Motorsports), and most recently with Melling Racing in '99...had worked this season as shock and chassis specialist for the Wood Brothers...Dallenbach is coming off a season-best 16th-place finish at Talladega...has a brand new car this weekend.
77 ROBERT PRESSLEY
Pressley comes into the weekend 25th in points, a major improvement considering this team struggled much of last year and spent all but four weeks in 35th place or lower... has finished 30th or worse only twice in 9 events after having 14 such finishes in '99...has qualified in first round 6 times in the last 7 races...will also be driving a brand new car this weekend.
88 DALE JARRETT
Jarrett comes into the weekend 6th in the point standings after a 17th-place finish at Talladega two weeks ago...has had his share of difficulty here at California...had an accident in qualifying for the '98 race and was forced to a backup, and then had to fight back last year from a flat tire to finish 5th...the car Jarrett will run this weekend qualified 6th and finished 7th at Las Vegas earlier this year...it's also the same car that he dominated with in winning at Michigan and Indianapolis last season.
90 ED BERRIER
Berrier and the Hills Bros. Coffee team have struggled to make races lately...qualified at Texas, but has missed five of the last seven events overall...have made two of the last three, however, including Talladega where he started 23rd and finished 28th...hopes to have the same luck he had at Texas with this same car...started 18th and finished 35th after blowing a motor.
94 BILL ELLIOTT
Elliott's season-long resurgence continued at Talladega as he qualified on the outside pole...he was in the top five in the closing laps before being shuffled out and finishing 15th... finished 8th Martinsville, marking his fourth top-10 finish of 2000...had only 2 top-10s in all of 1999... has qualified in the top 10 six times in nine races... has a brand new car this weekend and it's been named "Hot Rod Harry" by the team...evidently it stems from the fact everyone on the team is jokingly referred to as Harry.
97 CHAD LITTLE
After a season-best 6th-place showing at Atlanta in March, Little has cooled somewhat...has only two top-15 finishes in the five races since then, but is still comfortably in the top 20 in points...comes into the weekend 16th after being a season-high 11th after Darlington...this car has been somewhat of a good luck charm for Little, who has had great success with it at Atlanta...has posted four top-10 finishes in the last five Atlanta races with this car, including a 6th-place showing earlier this year.
99 JEFF BURTON
Burton was in the thick of things at Talladega, but he got shuffled out of the draft late and finished 12th...currently 5th in the NWC standings, but could be much higher if not for an engine problem at Rockingham (32nd) and cut tire at Atlanta (43rd)...has overcome those problems, however, and has gained 8 spots in the standings over the last 5 races...has gone from 13th after Atlanta to 5th coming into this weekend...has the same car he won with at Las Vegas earlier this year...car also posted a win last year in the Southern 500 at Darlington.