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Auto Club Speedway: History

Auto Club Speedway:

History

  • Groundbreaking for California Speedway, as Auto Club Speedway was originally known, took place in November 1995.
  • The first race at Auto Club Speedway 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 at Auto Club Speedway 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 of 2008.

Starts

  • There have been 26 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 Auto Club Speedway returned to a single race season.
  • 141 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club; 116 in more than one.
  • Jeff Gordon leads the series in starts at Auto Club Speedway with 26.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers in start at Auto Club Speedway with 23 starts.
  • Chris Buescher (2015), Kevin Conway (2010), J. Yeley (2004), Shane Hmiel (2004), Greg Biffle (2002) and Mike Dillon (1998) all made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at Auto Club Speedway.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average starting position at Auto Club Speedway with a 9.476.

Poles

  • Joe Nemechek won the inaugural Coors Light pole (1997) with a speed of 183.015 mph (39.341 secs.).
  • 16 drivers have poles at Auto Club Speedway, led by Kurt Busch with four.

 

Poles

  • Denny Hamlin (2012, 2013), Kurt Busch (2006 sweep) and Jamie McMurray (2010 sweep) are the three drivers to win consecutive poles at Auto Club Speedway.
  • 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).
  • Three active drivers have posted their first NSCS Coors Light pole at Auto Club Speedway: Carl Edwards (9/4/2005) and Joe Nemechek (6/22/1997). Kyle Busch won his first pole (2/27/05) and first series win (9/4/05) at ACS in 2005.

Wins

  • 15 different drivers have won at ACS, led by Jimmie Johnson (five). Three other drivers have multiple wins at Auto Club Speedway: Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth each have three wins, Tony Stewart has 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, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske each have two.
  • California-native Jimmie Johnson became the first and only driver to win from the pole at Auto Club Speedway in 2008.
  • Only two of the 26 (7.6%) ACS races have been won from the front row both by six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, fall of 2008 (pole); and the fall of 2007 (second-place).
  • Nine of the 26 (34.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway have been won from a top-five starting position.
  • 14 of the 26 (53.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Seven of the 26 (26.9%) 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.
  • Youngest ACS winner: Kyle Busch (09/04/2005 – 20 years, 4 months, 2 days).
  • Oldest ACS winner: Rusty Wallace (04/29/2001 – 44 years, 8 months, 15 days).
  • Jimmie Johnson (2002) and Kyle Busch (2005) posted their first series career win at Auto Club Speedway.

 

Wins

  • Jimmie Johnson (fall of 2009 – spring of 2010) and Kyle Busch (2013, 2014) are the only drivers to win consecutive races at Auto Club Speedway.
  • 12 of the 15 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 15 winners. Only Stewart (18) and Kevin Harvick (17) have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Auto Club Speedway.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Auto Club Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 23.
  • 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 driver to do it multiple times (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
  • Two drivers have won at Auto Club Speedway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season: Jeff Gordon (1997) and Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
  • Only three car numbers have produced three or more Auto Club Speedway NSCS wins:

Car Number – Drivers – (Years)

  • 48 – Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010)
  • 17 – Matt Kenseth (2006, 2007 and 2009)
  • No. 24 – Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999 and 2004)

 

Additional Finishing Position

  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Auto Club Speedway with five; followed by 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 (nine), Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch (eight each).
  • Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson lead the series in top-10 finishes with 15 each; followed by Carl Edwards (14) and Tony Stewart (13).
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finishing position at ACS with a 6.762.
  • Jimmie Johnson (6.8), Carl Edwards (8.7) are the only two active drivers with an average finish inside the top 10 at Auto Club Speedway.

 

 

 

Track / Specific Event

  • There have been four green-white-checkered finishes at Auto Club Speedway: 2005 (250/254), 2006 (250/251), 2014 (200/206), 2015 (200/209).
  • Since the advent of electronic scoring (1993) 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.
  • The NASCAR Sprint Cup race at ACS has only been postponed to another date due to weather once – the 2008 February race – Scheduled date: 2/24/08; Actual Date: 2/25/08.
  • Coors Light Pole Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather at ACS only once – 1999 event.
  • Four of the last five races at Auto Club Speedway that have not ended under caution have had a margin of victory that is less than a second.

Female Competitors

  • 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 a race at ACS on 4/29/2001 but did not qualify for the event.
Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Season Driver Rating
Danica Patrick 22 19 2015 71.1
Danica Patrick 27 14 2014 63.9
Danica Patrick 40 26 2013 44.2
Shawna Robinson 43 42 2002 N/A

 

NASCAR in California

  • There have been 137 NASCAR Sprint Cup races among 15 different tracks in California.
  • Auto Club Speedway has hosted the second most NSCS events among active California tracks.
Track Name City NSCS
Riverside International Raceway Riverside 48
Sonoma Raceway Sonoma 27
Auto Club Speedway Fontana 26
Ontario Motor Speedway Ontario 9
California State Fairgrounds Sacramento 6
Carrell Speedway Gardena 4
Ascot Stadium Los Angeles 3
Bay Meadows Race Track San Mateo 3
Marchbanks Speedway Hanford 3
Oakland Stadium Oakland 3
Redwood Speedway Eureka 2
Willow Springs Speedway Lancaster 2
Capitol Speedway Sacramento 1
Merced Fairgrounds Merced 1
Santa Clara Fairgrounds San Jose 1
  • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race held in California was at Carrell Speedway on April 8, 1951 the event was won by Marshall Teague.

 

NASCAR in California

  • 434 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as California.
  • 39 drivers from California have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; 25 of the 39 California native NASCAR winners have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Driver NSCS NXS NCWTS
Jeff Gordon 93 5 0
Jimmie Johnson 76 1 0
Kevin Harvick 32 46 14
Marvin Panch 17 0 0
Ernie Irvan 15 3 0
Dick Rathmann 13 0 0
Dan Gurney 5 0 0
Eddie Gray 4 0 0
Parnelli Jones 4 0 0
Eddie Pagan 4 0 0
Robby Gordon 3 1 0
Ray Elder 2 0 0
Danny Letner 2 0 0
Marvin Porter 2 0 0
AJ Allmendinger 1 2 0
Dick Brooks 1 0 0
Marvin Burke 1 0 0
Jim Cook 1 0 0
Lou Figaro 1 0 0
Danny Graves 1 0 0
Johnny Mantz 1 0 0
Casey Mears 1 1 0
Bill Norton 1 0 0
John Soares 1 0 0
Danny Weinberg 1 0 0
Ron Hornaday Jr 0 4 51
Kyle Larson 0 3 1
Jason Leffler 0 2 1
David Gilliland 0 1 0
Ryan Reed 0 1 0
Joe Ruttman 0 1 13
Boris Said 0 1 1
Mike Skinner 0 1 28
Matt Crafton 0 0 11
Cole Custer 0 0 2
Tyler Reddick 0 0 2
Justin Lofton 0 0 1
Scott Speed 0 0 1
Brandon Whitt 0 0 1

 

 

NASCAR Pre-Race Loop Data Leaders At Auto Club Speedway
Driver Rating Jimmie Johnson 119.4
Average Running Position Jimmie Johnson 6.044
Closers Carl Edwards 3.2 avg. spots gained
Fastest Driver Early In The Run Jimmie Johnson 175.538 mph
Fastest Driver Late In The Run Jimmie Johnson 170.482 mph
Fastest Laps Run Jimmie Johnson 13.1% (510)
Fastest On Restarts Jimmie Johnson 171.854 mph
Green Flag Passes Dale Earnhardt Jr 1,487
Quality Passes Jimmie Johnson 827
Green Flag Speed Jimmie Johnson 172.526 mph
Laps Led Jimmie Johnson 21.9% (855)
Laps In The Top 15 Jimmie Johnson 93.2% (3,635)
*Loop Data was established in 2005  

 

 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Milestones
       
Drivers Has Needs Milestones
Jimmie Johnson 76 1 Break tie with Dale Earnhardt for 7th on all-time wins list
Matt Kenseth 36 1 Tie Bobby Isaac and Tim Flock for 18th on all-time wins list
Kevin Harvick 32 1 Tie Fireball Roberts for 22nd on all-time wins list
Denny Hamlin 27 1 Tie Rex White for 25th on all-time wins list
Jimmie Johnson 34 1 Tie Ned Jarrett for 19th on all-time poles list
Denny Hamlin 23 1 Tie Alan Kulwicki for 28th on all-time poles list
Ryan Newman 215 1 Tie Sterling Marlin for 29th on all-time top 10s list
Jimmie Johnson 17,855 145 To become ninth NSCS driver all-time to lead 18,000 laps
       
Track Specific Milestones    
       
Drivers Has Needs Milestones
Denny Hamlin 3 1 Tie Kurt Busch for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series most poles (4) at Auto Club Speedway

 

03/19/2016 - Posted by | ARCHIVES

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