TV Schedule Oct. 8-10

Sprint Cup drivers heed the green flag at the
Auto Club 500 in February. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

NASCAR steps into the bright lights of California as the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series make their second stop of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

This marks Race #4 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Auto Club's fall Cup race was shortened to 400 miles from 500 this year, but in 2011 the track will return to hosting a single Cup event in the spring. Fontana will be replaced in the Chase lineup next year by Chicagoland Speedway.

The 2-mile D-shaped oval has 14-degree banking in the turns, 11 degrees on the frontstretch and 3 degrees on the backstretch. The long straightaways allow drivers to reach maximum speeds heading into the turns. Because of the wide racing surface, cars will get spread out and there are usually few cautions. It's also difficult to pass here, so pit stops will be key. The 500-mile races have taken their tolls on engines, so while 100 miles was shaved from the race, engine maintenance and performance will still play an important role in winning this event.

Defending Cup fall race winner is Jimmie Johnson, who also won in the spring. Can Johnson turn his success here into a three-peat? Joey Logano won at Auto Club last fall in the Nationwide Series, but his teammate Kyle Busch won in the spring and will be looking to sweep here.

The following is a schedule of track events and television coverage this weekend at Fontana. All times are in Eastern Standard Time (events without a channel listed will not be televised):

Friday, Oct. 8:
2 p.m. NNS Practice, SPEED
3 p.m. NSCS Practice, ESPN2
4:30 p.m. NNS Final Practice, SPEED
6:30 p.m. NSCS Qualifying, ESPN2
8 p.m. Petty Blue, CMT
8:30 p.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2 (reruns at 12:30 a.m.)
8:30 p.m. Trackside at Auto Club, SPEED. Guests: Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman. (reruns at 11 p.m.)

Saturday, Oct. 9:
11:30 a.m. NNS Qualifying, SPEED
1:30 p.m. NSCS Practice
2:50 p.m. NSCS Final Practice
4 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN2
4:30 p.m. NNS: Camping 300, ESPN2. Green flag: 4:46 p.m. (reruns at 3:30 a.m.)
7:30 p.m. NASCAR Smarts, SPEED
8 p.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED

Sunday, Oct. 10:
9 a.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
10:30 a.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED
11 a.m. NASCAR Smarts, SPEED
11:30 a.m. NASCAR in A Hurry, SPEED
12 noon NASCAR RaceDay, SPEED
2 p.m. NSCS Countdown, ESPN
3 p.m. NSCS: Pepsi 400, ESPN. Green flag: 3:16 p.m. (reruns at 3 a.m. on ESPN2)
8 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED (reruns at 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. Monday)
10 p.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
11 p.m. Stafford: NASCAR Whelen Modified Race, (taped Oct. 3), VS
TV Schedule Oct. 8-10 TV Schedule Oct. 8-10 Reviewed by Rebecca Kivak on Friday, October 08, 2010 Rating: 5