News and notes from each week of NASCAR racing using a Las Vegas oddsmaking perspective
Monday, March 17, 2014
Auto Club Speedway Track Facts: 2014 Auto Club 400
Will we see the No. 2 & 88 battle again in Fontana like at Las Vegas?
At Auto Club Speedway:
·Groundbreaking for California Speedway, as Auto Club Speedway originally was known, took place in November 1995.
·The first race was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West race won by Ken Schrader on June 21, 1997.
·The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 22, 1997 and won by Jeff Gordon.
·September 2004 was the first night race and that also was the first year both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series ran two races in a season there.
·The track name was changed to Auto Club Speedway (ACS) in February 2008.
·There have been 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Auto Club Speedway, the track hosted one NSCS race a season from 1997-2003, then two races per season from 2004-2010. In 2011 the track returned to a single-race season.
·128 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club; 106 in more than one.
·Three drivers have participated in all 24 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, and Bobby Labonte.
·Joe Nemechek won the inaugural Coors Light pole (1997) with a speed of 183.015 mph (39.341 secs.).
·15 drivers have poles at Auto Club Speedway, led by Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch with three each.
·Denny Hamlin (2011, 2012), Kurt Busch (2006 sweep) and Jamie McMurray (2010 sweep) are the three drivers to win consecutive poles at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin has won the last two poles at ACS and could become the first in series history to win three-in-a-row at Auto Club.
·Youngest ACS pole winner: Kyle Busch (2/27/2005 – 19 years, 9 months, 25 days).
·Oldest ACS pole winner: Mike Skinner (4/30/2000 – 42 years, 10 months, 2 days).
·14 different drivers have won at ACS, led by Jimmie Johnson (five). Three other drivers have multiple wins: Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth each have three wins, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch each have two.
·Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Auto Club Speedway with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven and Stewart Haas Racing with two. .
·California-native Jimmie Johnson became the first and only driver to win from the pole at Auto Club Speedway in 2008.
·Only two ACS races have been won from the front row both by six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championJimmie Johnson, fall of 2008 (pole); and the fall of 2007 (second-place).
·Nine of the 24 (37.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway have been won from a top-five starting position.
·13 of the 24 (54.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
·Seven of the 24 (29.2%) races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
·The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 31st, by Matt Kenseth in the spring of 2006.
·The most proficient starting position at ACS is pretty random. Three starting positions (third, ninth and 24th have produced three winners each.
·Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Auto Club Speedway with five; followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon with four.
·Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-five finishes at Auto club Speedway with 12; followed by Jeff Gordon(10), Matt Kenseth (eight) and Carl Edwards (eight).
·Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth lead the series in top-10 finishes with 14; followed by Carl Edwards (13) and Tony Stewart (12).
·Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finish at ACS with a 5.737;
·Jimmie Johnson (5.7)and Carl Edwards (8.4) are the only two only active drivers with an average finish in the top 10 at Auto Club Speedway.
·There have been two green-white-checkered finishes at Auto Club Speedway: 2005 (250/254) and 2006 (250/251).
·Carl Edwards posted his first NSCS Coors Light pole at Auto Club Speedway on September 4, 2005. Kyle Busch won his first pole (2/27/05) and first series win (9/4/05) at ACS in 2005.
·Greg Biffle (4/28/02) and J.J. Yeley (9/5/04) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Auto Club Speedway.
·Jimmie Johnson posted his first series career win at Auto Club Speedway on April 28, 2002.
·Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to win consecutive races at Auto Club Speedway (fall of 2009 – spring of 2010).
·12 of the 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Auto Club Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jeff Gordon (1997 – inaugural event) and Jimmie Johnson (2002) are the only drivers to win at ACS in their first appearance.
·Tony Stewart competed at Auto Club Speedway 18 times before winning in the fall of 2010; the longest span of any the 14 winners. Only Stewart (18) and Kevin Harvick (17) have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Auto Club Speedway.
·Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte lead the series with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Auto Club Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 24.
·Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway was the (3/27/2011) race won by Kevin Harvick with a MOV of 0.144 second over Jimmie Johnson.
·Three reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions have gone on to win at Auto Club Speedway the following season: Tony Stewart (2012), Jeff Gordon (1999) and Jimmie Johnson - the only one to do it multiple times(2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
·Two drivers have won and Auto Club Speedway race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season: Jeff Gordon (1997) and Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
·Two female drivers have competed at Auto Club Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick. **Note:Robinson first attempted to qualify for the race at ACS on 4/29/2001 but failed to make the event.
·Only three car numbers have produced three or more Auto Club Speedway NSCS wins:
Car Number – Drivers – (Years)
oNo. 48 – Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010)
oNo. 17 – Matt Kenseth (2006, 2007 and 2009)
oNo. 24 – Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999 and 2004)
NASCAR in California
·There have been 135 NASCAR Sprint Cup races among 15 different tracks in California.
·Auto Club Speedway has hosted the second most NSCS events among active California tracks.
Riverside International Raceway
Auto Club Speedway
Ontario Motor Speedway
California State Fairgrounds
Bay Meadows Race Track
Willow Springs Speedway
Santa Clara Fairgrounds
NASCAR in California
·428 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as California.
·36 drivers from California have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series. 24 of the 36 California native NASCAR winners have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.