A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT ESPN’S LIVE NASCAR COVERAGE

By JOE DONATELLI and CHRIS M.FONTANA, Calif. _ Living in Los Angeles, we’ve spent a little time on the sets of television shows. You can always count on a few things at TV tapings, and one of them is the punishing heat of studio lights. Those lights are the reason why, when audience members attend their first taping of, say, The Late Show with David Letterman in New York, they are surprised at how cold the room is. The director keeps the temperature low because no one wants to watch actor ...

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STEWART BACK IN THE CHASE WITH WIN

After three weeks of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Tony Stewart had dug himself quite the hole in his pursuit of his third NASCAR championship. Despite having a strong car and leading late, Stewart ran out of gas coming to the white flag in the Chase opener in Loudon. A mediocre run at Dover and a fourth place finish in Kansas put Stewart back to 10th in the Chase, 127 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. That number got a lot smaller on Sunday, after Stewart was able to earn his first win at th ...

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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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VIDEO: CALIFORNIA PREVIEW

J.J. Yeley and Rowdy.com preview the Pepsi Max 400 at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. They talk about the track, why drivers like it, why fans don't and who will be the man to beat.  Rowdy Race Preview with JJ Yeley: Fontana - Watch more Funny Videos ...

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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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DRIVERS AFFECTED BY RACE LENGTH CHANGES

 I read the recent news that the lengths of two of the Western races have been changed. You can find the details here. The basic summary is: The first Phoenix race is getting longerThe second Fontana race is getting shorterOf course the main question on my mind is which drivers will these changes affect the most? Let's consider all of the drivers who have raced in at least five of the last ten events at Phoenix or Fontana. (My analysis will exclude less-experienced drivers like Joey Loga ...

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DANICA’S FIRST RACE

In case you were wondering, "When is Danica's first race?", Danica Patrick made it official this morning, announcing that she will run her first Nationwide race on Feb. 20 at Auto Club Speedway. Patrick also will run the Feb. 6 ARCA opener at Daytona, but does ARCA really count? (Joke! It's a great series.) Patrick is skipping the Nationwide race in Daytona (which is filled with Cup regulars) for fear of complete and utter annihilation. Patrick to make NASCAR debut at California (AP ...

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