* Former champions carry "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" momentum to California DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2005) -- Four former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champions arrive at California Speedway with momentum on their side. The 2002...
* Former champions carry "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" momentum to California
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2005) -- Four former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champions arrive at California Speedway with momentum on their side.
The 2002 champion and current points leader Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet) arrives at the 2-mile track riding a wave of 10 consecutive top-10 finishes complimenting five wins so far this year. Stewart has spent more laps and miles leading races so far this year than anyone else. Entering the SONY HD 500 this weekend, Stewart has led 1,190 laps which are equivalent to 1,785.41 miles.
Reigning series champion Kurt Busch (No. 97 Smirnoff Ice Ford) enters the California event with two wins so far in 2005 and a seventh-place position in the Race to the Chase.
Four-time series champion Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) returns to his native state with an aggressive mind set, after breaking into the top 10 of series points coming out of last week; Gordon advanced from 12th to 10th place in the standings following a sixth-place finish last week at Bristol.
The 2003 series champion, Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Ford) jumped four positions, from 15th to 11th, with his first win of the season Saturday night at Bristol to suddenly burst into contention for a berth in the 2005 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. He's only 11 points behind Gordon, making 10th place a vulnerable place to be.
All four drivers may have momentum going for them, but who has the best history heading into California?
Despite his 30th-place finish in February's Auto Club 500, Gordon is the track's all-time leading NASCAR NEXTEL Cup winner with three victories. Busch won there in 2003. Kenseth's best California finish is third, while Stewart's best effort is fourth.