NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Auto Club 400 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, March 23
SITE: Auto Club Speedway -- Fontana, Calif.
TRACK: 2-mile oval
CAPACITY: 90,988 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 18th
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
QUALIFYING TIME: Friday, March 21/7:40 p.m. ET
RUNNER-UP: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
POLE WINNER: Denny Hamlin (finished 25)
LAPS: 200
MILES: 400
QUALIFYING RECORD: Kyle Busch, 2005 (188.425 mph)
RACE RECORD: Jeff Gordon, 1997 (155.012 mph)
2013 Finish
1Kyle Busch46Greg Biffle2
2Dale Earnhardt Jr157Matt Kenseth5
3Joey Logano68Paul Menard27
4Carl Edwards249Kasey Kahne16
5Kurt Busch1010Ryan Newman20
2013 Auto Club 400 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 135.351 mph
TIME OF RACE: 2 hrs., 57 mins., 19 secs.
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 35 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 17 among 8 drivers
POLE WINNER: Denny Hamlin (187.451 mph)
Past Auto Club 400 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2013 -- Kyle Busch (4) -- Toyota -- 135.351 mph
2012 -- Tony Stewart (9) -- Chevrolet -- 160.166 mph (rain-shortened)
2011 -- Kevin Harvick (24) -- Chevrolet -- 150.849 mph
2010 -- Jimmie Johnson (7) -- Chevrolet -- 141.911 mph
2009 -- Matt Kenseth (24) -- Ford -- 135.839 mph
2008 -- Carl Edwards (9) -- Ford -- 132.704 mph
2007 -- Matt Kenseth (25) -- Ford -- 138.451 mph
2006 -- Matt Kenseth (31) -- Ford -- 147.852 mph
2005 -- Greg Biffle (5) -- Ford -- 139.697 mph
2004 -- Jeff Gordon (16) -- Chevrolet -- 137.268 mph
2003 -- Kurt Busch (16) -- Ford -- 140.111 mph
2002 -- Jimmie Johnson (4) -- Chevrolet -- 150.088 mph
2001 -- Rusty Wallace (19) -- Ford -- 143.118 mph
2000 -- Jeremy Mayfield (24) -- Ford -- 149.378 mph
1999 -- Jeff Gordon (5) -- Chevrolet -- 150.276 mph
1998 -- Mark Martin (3) -- Ford -- 140.220 mph
1997 -- Jeff Gordon (3) -- Chevrolet -- 155.012 mph
NOTE: Formerly called California 500 by NAPA (1997-1999), NAPA Auto Parts 500
(2000-02), Auto Club 500 (2003-10). Race changed from 500 to 400 miles
in 2011.
Last Race Results
RACE: Food City 500 (March 16)
SITE: Bristol Motor Speedway -- Bristol, Tenn.
MILES: 268.1
LAPS: 503
WINNER: Carl Edwards
RUNNER-UP: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
THIRD: Aric Almirola
FOURTH: Tony Stewart
FIFTH: Marcos Ambrose
POLE WINNER: Denny Hamlin (finished 6)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hrs., 11 mins., 23 secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 84.051 mph
CAUTION FLAGS: 12 for 95 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 20 among 12 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Hamlin 1, Keselowski 2-41, Logano 42-53, Johnson 54-97, Kenseth
98-119, Ku. Busch 120, Kenseth 121-152, Ku. Busch 153-178,
McMurray 179-188, Ku. Busch 189, Bowyer 190-194, Ky. Busch
195-267, Kahne 268-277, Hamlin 278, Kahne 279-284, Kenseth
285-333, Hamlin 334, Kenseth 335-396, Hamlin 397, Harvick
398-425, Edwards 426-503.
Auto Club 400 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/McDonald's
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Ford/Wurth
3.Austin Dillon (Welcome, NC)Chevrolet/Cheerios
4.Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Jimmy John's
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Time Warner Cable
7Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Chevrolet/Pilot/Flying J
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy/Get Found
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Express
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Rush Truck Centers
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/Peak
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M Aerospace
17Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Branch, MS)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
18 *Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Interstate Batteries
20Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Toyota/Dollar General
22Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Ford/AAA of Southern California
23Alex Bowman (Tucson, AZ)Toyota/Dr. Pepper
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
26Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Toyota/TBA
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Duracell
30Parker Kligerman (Westport, CT)Toyota/TBA
31Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/SK Hand Tools
33Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Chevrolet/Whitetail
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Taco Bell
35David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Ford/MDS Transport
36Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Chevrolet/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Love's Travel Stops
40Landon Cassill (Fairfax, IA)Chevrolet/Square HD/Nabi Inspire
41Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, CA)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Farmland
44J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Phoenix Warehouse
47A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Chevrolet/Charter
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
51Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt Professional
55Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
66Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/TBA
77Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Ford/TBA
78Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Ryan Truex (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/Borla Exhaust
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/National Guard
98Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Chevrolet/Trench Storing Company
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Subway
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Kyle Busch23109431432Won
Dale Earnhardt Jr3211404039321232
Joey Logano------------26525243
Carl Edwards5329Won713654
Kurt Busch316713561795
Greg BiffleWon4215154101166
Matt Kenseth26WonWon5Won74167
Kasey Kahne40438912349149
Ryan Newman920121028365710
Jeff Gordon301323220182611
Jimmie Johnson22329Won21012
Kevin Harvick629178382Won413
Tony Stewart1743878913Won22
Brad Keselowski---------------21261823
Denny Hamlin---121141629391125
Clint Bowyer---1461919871335
Mover of the Week
Tony Stewart - started 37 and finished 4
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jimmie Johnson
Last Week's Pick to Win (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) - finished 24
The Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway is the fifth race on the 2014 Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Formerly known as California Speedway, the groundbreaking for this 2-mile oval took place in November 1995. The first race there was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event won by Ken Schrader on June 21, 1997.

This track has 14 degrees of banking in all four of its turns as well as 11 degrees of banking on the frontstretch and 3 degrees on the backstretch. The length of the frontstretch is 3,100 feet, and the backstretch measures 2,500 feet.

ACS has been on the Sprint Cup schedule each year since 1997. Jeff Gordon won the inaugural race there 17 years ago.

There have been 24 Sprint Cup races held at Auto Club Speedway. The track hosted one Cup race each season from 1997-2003 and then two events per season from 2004-10. ACS returned to a single-race season three years ago.

Jimmie Johnson, who hails from nearby El Cajon, Calif., holds the track record for most wins with five. Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth have the second most victories there with three each, followed by Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch with two wins apiece. Johnson also leads all drivers with the most top-five finishes (12) at this track.

Johnson is the only driver to win from the pole at Auto Club Speedway, doing so on Aug. 31, 2008.

Rick Hendrick has the most car owner wins at this track with nine, followed by Jack Roush with seven.

Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin hold the track record for most poles at ACS with three each. Hamlin has won the pole for the last two races there.

Three drivers have competed in all 24 Cup races at ACS: Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Gordon. Burton and Labonte are not competing in this year's race there.

The closest margin of victory for a Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway occurred in 2011 when Kevin Harvick beat Johnson to the finish line by 0.144 seconds.

Two drivers who are competing in this weekend's race made their first career Cup starts at this track: Greg Biffle (April 28, 2002) and J.J. Yeley (Sept. 5, 2004).

Three drivers entered in this race claimed their maiden poles in the series there: Joe Nemechek (June 1997), Kyle Busch (February 2005) and Carl Edwards (September 2005).

Johnson and Kyle Busch are those drivers who scored their first career Cup victories at Auto Club Speedway. Johnson's inaugural win came on April 28, 2002. Busch won there on Sept. 4, 2005.

Kyle Busch is the youngest driver to win a Cup race at Auto Club Speedway. He won the fall event there in '05 when he was 20 years, 4 months and 2 days old. When Rusty Wallace was 44 years, 8 months and 15 days old, he became the oldest driver to win at this track on April 29, 2001.

The next race is the March 30 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Jimmie Johnson is the defending race winner.

03/18 14:27:02 ET

As of March 18, 2014, at 02:27 PM ET
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