2007 Sharp AQUOS 500
|Race 25 of 36 in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season|
Track map of the speedway at Auto Club Speedway AKA California Speedway
|Date||September 2, 2007|
|Location||Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.0 mi (3.23 km)
|Distance||250 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures up to 107.6 °F (42.0 °C); wind speeds up to 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)|
|Average speed||138.857 miles per hour (223.469 km/h)|
|Driver||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Kyle Busch||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree|
The 2007 Sharp AQUOS 500 was the 25th race of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, and was held on Sunday, September 2, 2007, at California Speedway near Fontana, California, 50 miles east of Los Angeles. After this race, only one more race will remain before the field is set for the 2007 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, and through the Bristol race, five drivers - Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth. Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart - have clinched spots in NASCAR's "playoff series".
The new race sponsor was announced on August 8, 2007, replacing Sony HD. Like its predecessor, Sharp Aquos is a brand of high-definition television set. It was also announced that Stevie Wonder would be the grand marshal, commanding the start of the engines of the 43 cars to start the race.
- For the third straight race, the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet had a different driver since the team released Kenny Wallace. This time, Joe Nemechek qualified the car (30th position) after Scott Wimmer and Sterling Marlin had failed the previous two weeks.
- Kyle Petty returned for this race in the Petty Enterprises #45 Dodge after missing two weeks due to his broken hand.
- Ricky Rudd celebrated his 900th career start in Cup Series racing, and his former crew chief, Michael McSwain announced he will retire after the season is completed.
- The entry list for this race consisted of 46 cars, the lowest number for any NEXTEL Cup race this year. Part of the reason is that Front Row Motorsports has suspended operations and closed its #37 team. That team made only three of 24 races during the season and had no continuing sponsorship. (Yum! Brands sponsored select races.)
- Jeff Burton's #31 car continued its Formula One-style subliminal advertising look as the AT&T Mobility decals were frozen because of the court order against the firm because of a lawsuit against NASCAR because of violations of the grandfather clause. (AT&T, however, continued to sponsor the in-car camera shots on ESPN.)
- Ryan Newman ran a Kodak paint scheme. His Alltel sponsorship is now in jeopardy because shareholders earlier in the week approved the sale of the firm to two private equity partners, potentially breaking the grandfather clause between Alltel and NASCAR.
- Hall of Fame Racing, the team owned by former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, was purchased by Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jeff Moorad.
- Wonder gave the command, as mentioned earlier. Also, Island Records recording artist Melissa Etheridge sang "The USA National Anthem" and two B2 Stealth bombers were in the flyover.
- The air temperature was 107.6 °F or 42.0 °C at the green flag time of 5:15 p.m. Pacific time. At the time, southern California was in the midst of a heat wave that would last for at least eight days.
Kurt Busch won his first pole of the season, edging out Jimmie Johnson by .001 of a second. It was the second such narrow loss by Johnson, who lost by the same margin to J.J. Yeley at Michigan two weeks earlier.
Kyle Busch dominated the race, leading 97 of 250 laps to take home the 10 bonus points for leading the most laps. However, it was his teammate, Jimmie Johnson (from nearby El Cajon, California) who took charge and held off a charging Carl Edwards for his series high fifth victory of the year and an automatic spot in the 2007 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. Also clinching spots were Kyle Busch and Jeff Burton. Martin Truex, Jr. and Clint Bowyer will clinch spots by starting the next race, the Chevy Rock and Roll 400. Ricky Rudd was injured in an accident during the race, separating his shoulder, and missed several races with Mike and Kenny Wallace subbing for him.
Top ten results:
|1.||#48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2.||#99||Carl Edwards||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|3.||#5||Kyle Busch||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4.||#31||Jeff Burton||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|5.||#8||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||Dale Earnhardt Incorporated|
|6.||#1||Martin Truex Jr.||Chevrolet||Dale Earnhardt Incorporated|
|7.||#17||Matt Kenseth||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|8.||#83||Brian Vickers||Toyota||Team Red Bull|
|9.||#2||Kurt Busch||Dodge||Penske Racing|
|10.||#9||Kasey Kahne||Dodge||Gillett Evernham Motorsports|