JGR aiming for ninth straight Nationwide win at California
Fontana, CA (Sports Network) - Joe Gibbs Racing has been unstoppable in Nationwide Series competition at Auto Club Speedway for the last five years.
One of JGR's drivers has won the previous eight Nationwide races at this two- mile racetrack. Kyle Busch holds the record for most wins in the series here with five. All of Busch's victories have come within the past seven races.
Joey Logano won at California in October 2009 and again in March 2012. Logano drove a Nationwide car for JGR from 2008-12. Tony Stewart took the checkered flag for the spring race here in 2008 when he was driving for Gibbs.
Driving the No. 54 Toyota for JGR, Busch has won two of the first four Nationwide races this year. Crew chief Adam Stevens is guiding Busch's efforts in the series. Stevens served as Logano's crew chief when Logano won at California one year ago.
"Having Adam to work with as a crew chief, he's really good," Busch said. "He's learned from a lot of good peers at Joe Gibbs Racing and under some good tutelage. I think it pays dividends into his hands and where he can go in the future too. He has done a good job building this team, and our communication and how we work together, it's paying off."
While Busch is running a limited Nationwide schedule, Brian Vickers and Elliott Sadler are driving in the series full-time for JGR this season. Vickers sits fifth in the point standing after back-to-back third-place finishes at Las Vegas and Bristol.
Sadler came to Bristol tied for second in points, but after finishing 36th, he dropped to 10th in the rankings. He suffered engine failure early in the race.
"Last week at Bristol was definitely disappointing," Sadler said. "We're ready to get back at it in California. I really like this track, because it's pretty wide and fast. I won here in 2004 in the Sprint Cup Series, and I'm looking forward to getting back there this weekend."
Brad Keselowski will join Busch as those Sprint Cup regulars competing in this race.
Forty-two teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Royal Purple 300.
Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, March 23. Race: Royal Purple 300. Site: Auto Club Speedway. Track: 2-mile oval. Start time: 5 p.m. ET. Laps: 150. Miles: 300. 2012 Winner: Joey Logano. Television: ESPN. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.
03/21 17:25:46 ET