NASCAR comes to California

Jimmie Johnson (48) beat out the competition to earn a victory at the NASCAR Pepsi 500 and take the lead in the point standings. Photo by Seth Rubinroit

The Chase for the Sprint Cup came to California for the first time ever last week when the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana hosted the Pepsi 500. The race, nationally televised on ABC, was the fourth of 10 Sprint Cup races, and, entering the race, Mark Martin held an 18-point lead in the standings over three-time defending champion, Jimmie Johnson. Undeterred, Johnson went on to win the race, earning a 12-point lead over Martin. Jeff Gordon finished second, Juan Pablo Montoya third and Mark Martin came in fourth.

“I think California is definitely an exciting place for sports, and being in Southern California, close to L.A., is huge,” David Ragan, driver of the #6 UPS car, said. “It’s a fast race track and very wide, so it’s an exciting 500 miles.”

The Chase continues on Friday when the drivers visit the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. to be broadcast at 7 p.m. on ABC.