NOTES FROM THE PEPSI MAX 400 AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY

FONTANA, Calif. _ All Left Turns was track-side for Sunday's Pepsi Max 400 at the Auto Club Speedway. Here's a peak at the events that took place around the track on Sunday. In appreciation of Halloween, racing fans came dressed as empty seats. That or there were just a lot of empty seats.Denny Hamlin's marriage to the bottom of the race track was one of 69 NASCAR-themed weddings that took place. Seventeen couples tied the knot at the track with Michael Waltrip as Best Man and Miss Sprint ...

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NOTES FROM SUNDAY’S RACE AT THE AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY

Also in appreciation of Halloween, Mark Martin came dressed as 2009 Mark Martin with a sixth place finish.Based on the audience's reaction at driver introductions Meg Whitman, candidate for Governor of California, will loose the election (she was boisterously boo'd), but Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo would win the Governorship in a landslide (she was heartily cheered).According to number of flags flown from RVs in the infield. The most popular drivers are: Jeff Gordon, Pirates, Jimmie Johnson ( ...

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CALIFORNIA HIT HARD BY LOSS OF 2011 RACE

Southern California has been reeling from the aftershocks of devastating racing news.  The ground shook with astonishment as NASCAR stripped the California Speedway of one its annual races and took away its Chase of the Cup race (replacing it with a race in late March). A place typically known for keeping it's cool, totally lost it.  Many think of Southern California as a celebrity-obsessed, vapid wasteland of sunshine, but underneath the self-tanner and aviator sunglasses beats t ...

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FONTANA PROVIDES STAGE FOR RCR RESURGENCE

Richard Childress Racing must be feeling that stomach knot unwind after the Cup Series race Sunday. Largely uncompetitive for 2009, the new season is off to a strong start. RCR stepped into the spotlight and held a starring role.The Childress organization left Daytona one year ago with strong showings and a positive outlook. That was about the last positive energy the racing team had for several months. Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Casey Mears struggled on the racetrack week afte ...

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NASCAR’S MOST POPULAR DRIVER

 FONTANA, Calif. _ Who is the most popular driver in NASCAR? There is only one way to find out. (Actually, there are many ways to find out, and most methods don’t involve eating giant turkey legs or giving away heart-shaped chocolates. But for the purposes of this article…) There really was only one way to find out.  With NASCAR on the West Coast for the second race of the season, All Left Turns hit Auto Club Speedway in search of the answer to the question, &ldquo ...

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LUCK WINS RACES, NOT CHAMPIONSHIPS

Since his move to the Cup Series in 2002, Jimmie Johnson has recorded 48 victories and four straight championships thanks to fast race cars, great calls from crew chief Chad Knaus and a touch of luck. Sunday’s victory at the Auto Club Speedway was no exception. The dominant car on the day, Johnson’s race nearly took a turn for the worse when a caution flew as his team completed work on pit road. Able to beat race leader Jeff Burton to the pit exit, Johnson avoided losing a lap and wh ...

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JIMMIE JOHNSON WINS AUTO CLUB 500

FONTANA, Calif. _ Jimmie Johnson held off Kevin Harvick in the closing laps of the Auto Club 500 to collect his second straight win at his home track and the 48th of his career. The defending Sprint Cup champion led 101 laps, more than twice as many as any other driver. His seemingly never-ending run of good luck continued Sunday. Or, as Harvick put it, "They have a golden horseshoe stuck up their ass."  Johnson caught a big break on his last stop when he pitted right before a ...

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NASCAR VS. THE OLYMPICS

NASCAR faces stiff competition this weekend and needs to step it up to appeal to the fans who might flip over to the Olympics. The Great American Race couldn't hold a candle to its Olympic counterpart. (The first four days of the Olympics garnered over 28 million folks each night while only 13.3 million fans tuned in for great racing and potholes).This Sunday, the Olympics will feature Ski Cross, Biathlon, Ice Dancing, Canada vs USA Hockey and Women's Curling.  Here are a few simple changes ...

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AUTO CLUB 500 ODDS

Wow, did I screw up at Daytona.If anyone doubted this pick column concept was for the sake of fun and merriment, just look at my Daytona debacle from last week.In hindsight, I should have stayed away from any driver associated with Whopper Man,  jumped off Harvick’s lower odds and put my money on Clint Bowyer (same driver/better money maker if he won) and Jamie McMurrary, whom I will now dub Captain Restrictor Plate.What could have been was a $300 payout and $250 in profit. What did h ...

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As TV Viewership Increases, NASCAR’s Share Declines

According to The Nielsen Company, people are watching more TV than ever. Unfortunately, that isn't working to NASCAR's advantage. At least not yet. According to The Nielsen Company's "Three-Screen Report," the average American is now watching 151 hours of TV every month, up almost four percent over the same period the year before.While that number paints an unfathomably bleak picture of the "average American" -- people, please: 151 hours?!? That's damn-near ...

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