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Pop Secret 500

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Title: Pop Secret 500  
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Subject: Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Kenny Wallace, Bill Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton, Jason Leffler, Joe Nemechek, Dave Blaney
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Pop Secret 500

The Pepsi Max 400 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held annually at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. It was the second of two Sprint Cup Series races held at the Auto Club Speedway (the other being the Auto Club 500) and in 2009 and 2010 it was run in October as part of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.[1]

The event was first held in 2004, added as part of the NASCAR Realignment, and many race fans have not embraced its introduction. From its inception until 2008 the race was run on Labor Day weekend, which was previously the traditional date of the Southern 500 at Darlington, and in the Inland Empire in 1970s, the former California 500 United States Auto Club Marlboro Championship Trail race. The 2005 race was famous for Kyle Busch becoming the youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner ever(then known as the NEXTEL Cup Series).

As part of the most recent round of realignment in NASCAR Auto Club Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, and Atlanta Motor Speedway agreed to switch dates, with the Atlanta race moving from its traditional fall date to Labor Day weekend and becoming known as the Labor Day Classic 500. The realignment returns the Labor Day weekend race to the southern United States and gives California its first late season race since the final running of the Winston Western 500 at Riverside International Raceway in 1987. The AMP Energy 500 at Talladega will move into the race date vacated by Atlanta, with the Pepsi 500 moving into Talladega's former October date.

The Pepsi 500 name was used in August 2008, with Pepsi taking title sponsorship from Sharp. This announcement was made via the speedway's website, Pepsi has been the official soft drink sponsor of the speedway since 1997, before Auto Club Speedway became part of International Speedway Corporation, owner of several circuits on the NASCAR schedule. This was done despite ISC signing a contract with Coca-Cola to replace Pepsi as the official soft drink sponsor of its racetracks in 2008 (the contract is slowly being phased in).

Parts of the film Herbie: Fully Loaded were filmed during the 2004 race. NASCAR announced on January 13, 2010 that the would be shortened 100 miles.[2] NASCAR then announced that, due largely to poor attendance, the 2010 running of this race would be the last as Auto Club Speedway returns to a single date on the Sprint Cup schedule.[3]

Past winners

Year Date Driver Team Manufacturer Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
Laps Miles (km)
2004 September 5 Elliott Sadler Robert Yates Racing Ford 250 500 (804.672) 3:53:47 128.324 Report
2005 September 4 Kyle Busch* Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 254* 508 (817.546) 3:43:32 136.356 Report
2006 September 3 Kasey Kahne Evernham Motorsports Dodge 250 500 (804.672) 3:27:40 144.462 Report
2007 September 2 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 250 500 (804.672) 3:48:08 131.502 Report
2008 August 31 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 250 500 (804.672) 3:36:03 138.857 Report
2009 October 11 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 250 500 (804.672) 3:28:28 143.908 Report
2010* October 10 Tony Stewart* Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 200 400 (643.737) 3:01:53 131.953 Report
  • 2005: Race extended due to a Green-white-checker finish where Kyle Busch became the youngest Nextel Cup Series Race winner for 3 in a half years.
  • 2010: First event to only be 400 miles/200 laps in length. Tony Stewart scored his first win at Auto Club Speedway in his 19th start at the track, leaving with only Darlington and Las Vegas as the tracks he has failed to win at along with Kentucky.

Multiple winners (drivers)

# Wins Driver Years Won
3 Jimmie Johnson 2007, 2008, 2009

Multiple winners (teams)

# Wins Team Years Won
4 Hendrick Motorsports 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009

Manufacturer wins

# Wins Manufacturer Years Won
5 Chevrolet 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
1 Ford 2004
Dodge 2006

Television broadcasters

Year Network Lap-by-lap Color commentator(s)
2010 ESPN Marty Reid Dale Jarrett
Andy Petree
2009 ABC Jerry Punch
2008 ESPN
2007 Rusty Wallace
Andy Petree
2006 NBC Bill Weber Benny Parsons
Wally Dallenbach
2004 Allen Bestwick


External links

  • NASCAR Commentators Crews and Networks
  • NASCAR's Chase Hits ESPN High, Still Trails Previous Years (UPDATED)
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