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Press Snoop: NASCAR in California.

the latest news from around the world, courtesy of press snoop Lynne Huntting


It was bright and beautiful at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma CA for the first day of the Dodge/Save Mart 350 weekend. The weather was, warm, sunny with a breeze - a breeze with attitude. The schedule included NASCAR Nextel Cup and Southwest Series; the Motorock Trans-Am Series, under the umbrella of Champ Car; and Legend cars.

In the morning session, one might have thought the Nextel Cup T&S monitor was broken because it sat there with JEFF GORDON/No.24 Dupont Chevrolet on top almost the entire two-hour session, with a best time of 95.060 mph.

There are 17 each for Chevrolet and Dodge, and ten Fords entered. There are several one-off road racers on track for this, the first of the two road races on the 36-race Nextel Cup schedule. Making his NASCAR debut is KLAUS GRAF of Germany in No.59 SEM/Colour Horizons Dodge, run by the BAM team, the same team for which KEN SCHRADER/No.49 Schwan's Home Service Dodge races. Graf has a long and varied road racing resume. He was nineteenth overall, after running as high as sixteenth. MORGAN SHEPHERD/No.89 Racing With Jesus Dodge was the only driver of the 44 entrants who wasn't on track - when last seen, the crew was still applying decals on the car.

JIM INGLEBRIGHT of nearby Fairfield CA is another of the one-off drivers, racing for RICHARD CHILDRESS in No.30 AOL Chevrolet. Earlier in the week the team was experiencing carburetion problems with the car, but those were resolved and Inglebright was on track for the morning session and was thirty-seventh fastest.

JIMMY SPENCER is sitting out this Cup race, due to lack of sponsorship, not choice.

BORIS SAID of Carlsbad CA is running all three races this weekend. Probably the only reason he's not in a Legends car is that he couldn't fit is 6'4 "+ frame into the small car. He's on pole for the Southwest Series race with a time of 77.853/92.020 mph, not a record. STEVE PETTY still holds the record with a time of 1:11.782/97.746 mph, set on 24 June 2000. He is one of the three drivers not making the cut, as he has no provisionals. He was forty-second of 43 drivers who turned times.

There was no podium conference after the SWS Qualifying session. Said had to get to the Cup garage to get in line for qualifying as he was P29 in the qualifying order, out of 44 cars.

Second through fifth are DAVID GILLILAND/No.88 RaceCarFans.com Pontiac (son of NASCAR veteran BUTCH GILLILAND, one of the original Craftsman Truck drivers), BURNEY LAMAR/No.1 Groeniger/Tri-C Chevrolet, BRYAN GERMONE/No.89 Generations of Sonoma/Golden State Lumber Chevrolet, and KEVIN HARVICK/No.92 Snap-On Tools Chevrolet, who was right behind Said in line for Cup qualifying.

Points leader, CRAIG RAUDMAN/No.2 HPS Mechanical Chevrolet will start nineteenth.

JIM INGLEBRIGHT/No.0 Big O Tires Chevrolet will start ninth in the Southwest race. He is P41 for Cup qualifying.

BEN WALKER/No.16 Camacho's Cantina Chevrolet blew his engine big time in the Esses, which led to a long delay during qualifying for cleanup. He made the field on a Provisional, based on Owner's Points.

Three drivers won't make the field for Saturday's 64-lap race: Petty, CURTIS LANSING/No.15 Little Germany Chevrolet and VINCE LITTLE/No.42 Bad Attitude Apparel Chevrolet.

Those making the field with provisionals of one kind or another (Owner/Driver/Past Champion/Southeast or Time): NICK JOANIDES/No.75 Colorfast Jackson Race Cars Chevrolet (Q39); RICHARD JOHNSON/No.47 Radcap Chevrolet (Q45); DOUG McCOUN/No.34 Rodgers Trucking Chevrolet (Q37); RUDY REVAK/No.86 Symmetry Group Chevrolet (Q38)-local road racers who has run this one race every year for the past ten years; and TODD SOUZA/No.6 Money By Design Chevrolet (43).


Related Pictures

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Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports 2002. [GM Racing]
Boris Said`s Team Centrix Financial Chevrolet
Jimmy Spencer missed his first Daytona 500 since 1995 after getting involved in an accident during the Gatorade 125s
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finishes in fifth place, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finishes in 33rd place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, who led for 87 laps,  was involved in a multi-car incident on the last lap. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, captures the Daytona 500 pole for the second time in his career Sunday, February 15, 2015 after posting the fastest qualifying time for next Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, who has said this is his last full season of racing, has won the Daytona 500 three times. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second and will also start from the front row. (Photo by HHP/David Tulis for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, captures the Daytona 500 pole for the second time in his career Sunday, February 15, 2015 after posting the fastest qualifying time for next Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, shown with his team and crew chief, Alan Gustafson, said this is his last full season of racing. Gordan has won the Daytona 500 three times. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second and will also start from the front row. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, after capturing the Daytona 500 pole for the second time in his career Sunday, February 15, 2015. Gordon posted the fastest qualifying time for next Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Daytona Beach, Florida, which he has won three times. He has said this is his last full season of racing. Johnson qualifies second and will also start from the front row.(Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, captures the Daytona 500 pole for the second time in his career Sunday, February 15, 2015 after posting the fastest qualifying time for next Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Daytona Beach, Florida. Gordon, who has said this is his last full season of racing, has won the Daytona 500 three times. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second and will also start from the front row. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during qualifying for the 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, his crew chief, Alan Gustafson, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and his crew chief, Chad Knaus, pose with the Daytona 500 Pole Award and Front Row Award after qualifying for the pole position and front row for the 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 2nd position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined on the front row by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, won the pole position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined by Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS on the front row. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place Sunday, November 9, 2014 in the final Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Gordon just missed out being in the Championship 4 finale next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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