So the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway in Fontana, California was this past weekend and there were many highlights. There’s a lot to cover so lets get to it.

– R&B singer Brian McKnight sang the national anthem and was absolutely wonderful! He wasn’t pitchy at all, unlike Country duo Big and Rich at Daytona.

– Actor Kevin Costner’s announcement of “Gentlemen, start your engines” thoroughly sucked. I think they should have actor/hottie Matthew McConaughey do it every week. He was the Grand Marshal of the Daytona 500 in 2005 and he kicked butt in delivering those most famous words in motor sports. It’s not that big a deal really but it’s so nice to have someone spice it up a little. McConaughey is total character and if you’ve seen his work in the movie “Dazed and Confused” you know what I mean.

– Even though it was completely disheartening to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. leave the race early due to engine problems, it was very funny to watch him take a bow after managing to keep his car from hitting the wall. See Teresa, he can do both — be a race car driver AND a personality!

– On the other hand it wasn’t funny at all to watch David Reutimann after his car crashed into the wall late in the race. It was obvious that he was hurt watching him slumped in his seat and then slow to finally pull his window net down. Apparently the g-force impact from the crash was among the hardest ever recorded. Now there’s one record book I wouldn’t want to be a part of. But most importantly Reutimann was able to walk away from it all and is doing ok now.

– After Jeff Gordon finished 2nd on Sunday he headed over to the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton’s in West Hollywood with his pregnant wife (and NON-Supermodel) Ingrid Vandebosch.


Jeff Gordon and his wife Ingrid Vandebosch arrive at the annual Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton’s in West Hollywood, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Brian McKnight sings the national anthem prior to the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Donal Miralle/Getty Images)

Aren’t his eyes gorgeous? And they perfectly match his sponsor’s colors

J.J. Yeley is ready to practice his No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet at California Speedway on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Reutimann (00) slides to a stop after a crash in turn 4 at the California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. , Sunday,Feb. 25, 2007. (AP Photo/Dave Waters)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. bows to the crowd after spinning out and missing the wall in Turn 4 at the California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007. (AP Photo/Dave Waters)

A skull design decorates the back of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s helmet in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Auto Club 500 in Fontana, Calif., Friday, Feb. 23, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Avery)