Saturday, March 25, 2017

Final Fontana Driver Ratings: 2017 Auto Club 400

Six-time California winner Jimmie Johnson is using back-up chassis, but it looked great in Saturday's practice. 
Micah Roberts' Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Ratings
Auto Club 400
Auto Club (California) Speedway
Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 3:50 pm ET

RATED DRIVER     ODDS            PRAC 1 QUALIFIED  PRAC 2  PRAC 3
 1. Kyle Larson (7/1)           1st       1st      22nd       5th
2014 runner-up in rookie year; runner-up in past three races (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix)
 2. Martin Truex Jr (10/1)   11th       4th        7th       2nd
No top-5s in 16 starts; best 10-consecutive lap avg in practice 3. Won at Las Vegas.
 3. Chase Elliott (7/1)         12th     13th       2nd       1st
Sixth-place in first start last year; 2nd best 10-consecutive lap avg in practice 3.
 4. Kevin Harvick (6/1)         3rd       7th        6th       8th
2011 winner, runner-up past two years. Chassis; second at Charlotte, Darlington, won at Kansas.
 5. Jimmie Johnson (10/1)  24th      37th       4th      16th
Six-time winner, including last season; 2nd best 10 consecutive lap avg in practice 2.
 6. Joey Logano (7/1)          5th      35th      12th       6th
Career-best third in 2013, fourth last season; sixth at Atlanta and fourth at Las Vegas.
 7. Erik Jones (30/1)           18th     14th       1st        4th
Third-place in 2015 Xfinity Series race; best 10-consecutive lap avg in practice 2.
 8. Denny Hamlin (20/1)      2nd       2nd      18th      19th 
Career-best third twice, including last season; looks to be the best among Gibbs cars.
 9. Brad Keselowski (7/1)   10th       3rd        5th      13th 
2015 winner after finishing 18th or worse in first six starts; ninth last season.
10. Matt Kenseth (15/1)       8th       6th       13th       7th
Three-time winner, the last coming in 2009 with Roush Racing; 19th or worse past two years.
11. Jamie McMurray (50/1)   4th      8th       14th      20th   
Three top-5s in 24 starts, the last coming in 2005; he practiced as well as teammate Larson.
12. Ryan Blaney (25/1)        7th      19th        8th       3rd
35th in first Cup start last season, but practiced extremely well; finished seventh in Las Vegas.

Note: Good handicapping references to apply are results from Atlanta and Las Vegas this year, as well as last fall's Michigan race which used new low downforce package that is used now.

Opening odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sports book director, has been setting auto racing odds in Las Vegas since 1994.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr makes 600th Cup start Sunday at California

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 20/1 to win at Fontana.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Fontana
“I love running against the fence just like Kyle (Larson) at Fontana. I think we kind of watch each other and learn a little bit from each other when we get in races where you can do that. Everybody kind of does it differently. If you like running up there, you certainly look out for the other guys that are good at it and see what they are doing and how they are getting around the track.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS, will visit the Auto Club Speedway media center at 12:35 p.m. local time on Friday, March 24.

600 STARTS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will hit a milestone Sunday at Fontana, California, with his 600th career NASCAR Cup Series start. Earnhardt’s first Cup start came at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1999 while driving for the family-owned Dale Earnhardt Inc. team. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native ran five races that season with a best finish of 10th. He won two races in his 2000 rookie season – one at Texas Motor Speedway and another at Richmond International Raceway. The 2017 campaign marks Earnhardt’s 18th full-time year in Cup competition (2000-2017). He has amassed 26 career victories, including the 2004 and 2014 Daytona 500s. His 26 wins tie him for 29th on NASCAR’s all-time list. He also has 13 pole positions and eight non-points wins (five in the Daytona 500 qualifying Duels, two in The Clash and one in the NASCAR All-Star Race). Additionally, Earnhardt has been voted by fans as NASCAR’s most popular driver for 14 consecutive years. A decal commemorating his 600 starts will be placed on the B-posts and the front of the hood of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS this weekend.

LOOKING FOR A WIN: Earnhardt has two runner-up finishes at the Fontana speedway, but has yet to earn his first victory there. The 42-year-old veteran earned an 11th-place result in the 2016 event and hasn’t finished outside of the top 12 in his last six visits to the two-mile oval. According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics since 2005, Earnhardt leads all active drivers in green-flag passes at the California racetrack with 1,630. He ranks sixth in both average speed late in a run (169.908 mph) and fastest laps run (114).

QUALIFYING IMPROVEMENT: The No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS team has made it to the final round of qualifying in three of four events this season, giving Earnhardt and the team an average starting spot of 8.75. Through the first four races of 2016, Earnhardt’s average starting position was 16.25. The significant improvement in qualifying is a result of a revamped goal-setting strategy from No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives and Earnhardt.

AXALTA RETURNS: This weekend’s race marks the second of 13 races in 2017 where Axalta Coating Systems will be the primary sponsor for Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet SS. Axalta has a stretch of four primary races in a row, including last weekend’s event at Phoenix and the upcoming races at Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. The bright, neon yellow-and-red “Flash Point” paint scheme on the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS was designed by artist Sam Bass.

2017 Season

  • 23rd in standings
  • 4 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 0 top-10 finishes
  • 8 laps led

Career

  • 599 starts
  • 26 wins
  • 13 pole positions
  • 148 top-five finishes
  • 252 top-10 finishes
  • 8,195 laps led

Track Career 

  • 24 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 5 top-five finishes
  • 7 top-10 finishes
  • 28 laps led

Jimmie Johnson owns Fontana, goes for seventh win

Jimmie Johnson won last season at Fontana; he's 10/1 to win Sunday.
Jimmie Johnson on why Fontana is special to him:
"To say California is a special place to me is an understatement. As a driver you never forget your first Cup Series win. The wins that have followed have been so great, too. I'm so fortunate. Last year's win in the Lowe's/Superman car was epic, and it's just always nice to come 'home.'"

Johnson on racing at Fontana:
"California just suits my driving style. The worn-out surface plays into our wheelhouse, and it's just fast. It should be another great race and I always look forward to this one."

Johnson on the key to success at Fontana:
“Auto Club Speedway is such a tricky track. Of course, you want to have the long-run speed. We do have those long green-flag runs and the lane moves all over, so you want that versatility in your car. But, I think every team’s goal is about finding the right balance to preserve the tires and to try to have more long-run speed than the short run.”

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS, will visit the Auto Club Speedway media center at 8:45 a.m. local time on Friday, March 24.

PHOENIX RECAP: Sunday afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway, Jimmie Johnson notched his first top-10 finish of the 2017 season, his 20th career top-10 at the one-mile oval. Johnson is now 16th in the point standings heading into the fifth race of the season.

FONTANA STATS: According to NASCAR loop data since 2005, Johnson has the series-best driver rating in Fontana, California, with a score of 119.7. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator. Johnson also has a series-best finishing position of 6.1 in that time span.

ONE YEAR AGO: Johnson, a native of El Cajon, California, piloted the No. 48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS to his sixth NASCAR Cup Series race win at Auto Club Speedway – three more than any other driver – when he claimed the checkered flag in the 20th annual race at the track on March 20, 2016.

WALK OF FAME INDUCTION: For the sixth time, Johnson will be inducted into Auto Club Speedway’s Walk of Fame. The ceremony will take place on Friday, March 24, at 9:20 a.m. local time outside the track in the Fan Zone at Gate B. Ticket holders are able to watch the Walk of Fame induction as Johnson will place his feet in cement commemorating his win last season.

CALIFORNIA LOVE: In only his 13th Cup Series start, Johnson won his first career Cup race on April 28, 2002, in his home state of California. The rookie from El Cajon started fourth, led 62 laps and cruised to his first victory NASCAR’s most elite series. Fifteen years and 80 wins later, Johnson is still piloting the Lowe’s Chevrolet with Chad Knaus as his crew chief, and he is now seventh on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list.

HELMET OF HOPE: Voting continues for the 2017 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope campaign until April 14. The campaign will award $125,000 to five non-profit organizations in May. The program, which began in 2008, allows fans and consumers across the country to nominate their favorite education-focused charities, including parent-teacher associations, to receive a $25,000 grant, a Blue Bunny ice cream party and special recognition on Johnson’s race helmet. Nominations will be accepted at www.helmetofhope.org and 10 semifinalists will be selected from the nominations. The public vote to choose the final five grant recipients will take place from May 5 to 12. Johnson will wear the Helmet of Hope during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 13.
 
 

2017 Season

  • 16th in standings
  • 4 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 28 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 547 starts
  • 80 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 218 top-five finishes
  • 331 top-10 finishes
  • 18,474 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 22 starts
  • 6 wins
  • 1 pole position
  • 13 top-five finishes
  • 16 top-10 finishes
  • 980 laps led
 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NASCAR California Notes: 2017 Auto Club 400

Point leader Kyle Larson is the talk of the Cup Series.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Auto Club 400
The Place: Auto Club Speedway
The Date: Sunday, March 26
The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: FOX, 3:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400 miles (200 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 60),
Stage 2 (Ends on lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on lap 200)


Larson Leads Points Standings Following Third Straight Runner-Up Finish
There’s a new sheriff in town as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series closes out its West Coast swing with Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX).

Kyle Larson has ascended to the top of the points standings following his third consecutive runner-up showing last Sunday at Phoenix. It’s the latest in the season a Chip Ganassi Racing car has led the standings since Sterling Marlin’s Coors Light Silver Bullet led the field in 2002.

Larson is the first NASCAR Drive for Diversity alumnus to lead the points standings.

He is followed in the standings by Brad Keselowski (-6), Chase Elliott (-13), Martin Truex Jr (-31) and Joey Logano (-49). Ryan Blaney (-57), Kevin Harvick (-61), Jamie McMurray (-65), Kurt Busch (-79) and Kasey Kahne (-79) round out the top 10.

The No. 42 Chevrolet driver is the 16th different driver to finish runner-up in three consecutive races. The feat has been achieved 25 times – most recently by Carl Edwards (2011 playoffs). Larson is the first in series history to accomplish the feat in the first four races of a given season.

Four drivers have finished runner-up four consecutive times in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Mark Martin (1998), Harry Gant (1985), Darrell Waltrip (1983) and Richard Petty (1964). No driver has finished runner-up in five straight races.

At 24 years and seven months old, Larson is the sixth-youngest points leader in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history – 1. Kyle Busch (22 years, 10 months, 2008) 2. Jeff Gordon (23 years, 11 months, 1996), 3t. Jeff Gordon (24 years, four months, 1995) 3t. Joey Logano (24 years, four months, 2014), 5. Kurt Busch (24 years, six months, 2003) 6. Larson

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Set For 600th Start
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will become the 25th driver in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history to make 600 or more starts when he hits the track for Sunday’s Auto Club 400.

The 25 drivers with 600 or more starts comprise less than one percent (.009%) of the total number of NASCAR drivers to make at least one start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (2,537).

Only one active driver boasts more than 600 starts (Matt Kenseth, 618).

In his 599 previous Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career starts, Earnhardt has posted 26 wins, including two Daytona 500 victories (2004, 2014), 148 top fives, 252 top 10s and 13 Coors Light poles.

He las led 8,195 laps and has completed 170,689 laps. His career average starting position is 16.0 and his career average finishing position is 15.6.

Winning In The Sun: Newman Breaks 128-Race Winless Drought At Phoenix
Ryan Newman turned in a gutsy performance Sunday when he stayed out on old tires for overtime and pulled away to victory in the two-lap shootout at Phoenix. The checkered flag snapped a 127-race winless streak for Newman who last visited Victory Lane on July 28, 2013 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Newman’s victory also marked the first for Richard Childress Racing since Kevin Harvick won at Phoenix on Nov. 10, 2013 – 112 races ago.

Newman sits 11th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings (83 markers below Kyle Larson) and claims five playoff points.

In 552 career starts, Newman owns 18 wins, 106 top fives, 226 top 10s and 51 poles.

Suarez And Jones Post Career-High Finishes

Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones posted career-best finishes of seventh and eighth, respectively, in Sunday’s Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Suarez leads a tight rookie race by one point over Jones. They are followed by Ty Dillon (seven points behind Suarez), Corey LaJoie (-11) and Gray Gaulding (-21).

Suarez, 25, and Jones, 20, are alumni of the NASCAR Next program. Although Suarez ranks better than Jones in the Rookie of Year race, Jones sits higher in the points standings at 18th (102 points behind Kyle Larson), while Suarez occupies the 21st spot (-112).

Cutting To The Chase: Elliott Continues Strong Start
Although he finished 12th, Chase Elliott continued his strong start to the season by earning his first playoff point via a Stage 2 win on Sunday at Phoenix. On the day, Elliott led four times for 106 laps.

The 21-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver ranks third in the series standings – 13 points behind leader Kyle Larson. He has high finishes of third (Las Vegas) and fifth (Atlanta) this season.

Keselowski Has Most Stage Points
Brad Keselowski must like NASCAR’s new race enhancements. He leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 57 points from Stage 1 and Stage 2 – six points more than Kyle Larson in second – even though he trails Larson by six points in the overall points standings. They are followed in stage points by Chase Elliott (-10), Kevin Harvick (-17) and Martin Truex Jr. (-23).

Keselowski and Larson are the only drivers who have earned points in every stage this season.

Celebrities Aplenty For Auto Club Weekend
With Auto Club’s proximity to Los Angeles there’s bound to be celebrities in attendance.

Scott Eastwood, from the upcoming movie "Fate of the Furious" will serve as grand marshal. Kaitlin Olson, of "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia," is the honorary pace car driver. Acting as honorary starter is singer-songwriter Pepe Aguilar. Teen music sensation Skyler Stecker will sing the national anthem.

- NASCAR

Odds to win 2017 Auto Club 400 at California

California's Super Man, Jimmie Johnson, is 10/1 to win this week.

WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2017 AUTO CLUB 400
AUTO CLUB (CALIFORNIA) SPEEDWAY
SUNDAY, MARCH 26, 2017 - 3:38 PM ET

Kevin HARVICK 6/1
Kyle BUSCH 6/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 7/1
Joey LOGANO 7/1
Chase ELLIOTT 7/1
Kyle LARSON 7/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 10/1
Martin TRUEX JR 10/1
Matt KENSETH 15/1
Denny HAMLIN 20/1
Dale EARNHARDT JR 20/1
Kurt BUSCH 25/1
Ryan BLANEY 25/1
Clint BOWYER 30/1
Kasey KAHNE 30/1
Erik JONES 30/1
Ryan NEWMAN 50/1
Jamie McMURRAY 50/1
Austin DILLON 50/1
Daniel SUAREZ 100/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 100/1
Trevor BAYNE 100/1
Paul MENARD 100/1
Ty DILLON 500/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 500/1
Danica PATRICK 500/1
Aric ALMIROLA 1000/1
Chris BUESCHER 1000/1
Cole WHITT 2000/1
FIELD (all others) 1000/1

California Betting Preview: 2017 Auto Club 400

Lots of horsepower needed to do well at Fontana.
Man, does time fly. It seems like the Daytona 500 green flag just dropped, but four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series have are already in the record books and we've had four different winners with no team appearing to have a decided edge like we've seen the past few years.

My favorite part of the early season so far is how great the racing has been with the race broken into three stages. I love the strategies each team employs with points being offered as the prize for being successful. They're all trying to be competitive right out of gate to get points and the stages are having its intended effect, which is forcing more people to watch the entire race instead of the final 50 laps.

I also got a thrill last week seeing Ryan Newman grab his first win since 2013 (Brickyard). The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook had Newman posted at 80/1 odds, but only four bettors took him there totaling just $45 bucks. It was also Richard Childress Racing's first win since Kevin Harvick won at Phoenix in 2013 before jumping ship to Stewart Haas Racing. I like all the new guys in the sport, but it's great to see some of the older guard still be relevant.

NASCAR completes its three-race West Coast swing this weekend at Fontana's wide 2-mile layout known as Auto Club Speedway, which is the sister track of Michigan International Speedway. The significance of Michigan coming into the conversation this week is because we're all still getting used to how the new low downforce package will run. Last season this same package ran on a trial basis at Kentucky and Michigan.

Although the two tracks are almost identical, the results from each of the tracks rarely resemble each other. What I have seen in recent years is that a lot of the drivers who fare well on 1.5-mile tracks also do extremely well at Fontana where speeds down the straightaway get over 200 mph.

We've seen two races already this season on 1.5s and then we also have Michigan from last season to reference so we've got a lot of data to dissect and the biggest trend among all three of those races begins with new points leader Kyle Larson, who has finished second in his last three starts.

"It’s really, really cool to be the point leader right now," Larson said after finishing second at Phoenix. "That was a goal of mine going into today (Sunday). We’ll hopefully continue to have this speed in our race cars and maybe close some of these races out.”

Oh yes, this kid has speed everywhere and the second win of his career is coming soon. His first win came in the Michigan race using his this new package. Good luck finding double-digit odds on him this week. Those days are long gone because he has just jumped into the upper-echelon of championship contenders who have the goods to win every week.

Read More Here....Top-5 Finish Prediction on VegasInsider.com

Chase Elliott finished sixth at California last season

Chase Elliott is 10/1 to win at Fontana.
Chase Elliott on racing at Fontana
“I think as we see the surface get older, it gets worn out more and it seems like it lends more opportunity for strategy calls. Tires mean a lot – the racetrack is so big and surface is so worn out that one lap is taking a lot of life off your tire. I think those two things together mean that tires are going to mean a lot in just a handful of laps. You have those short, quick runs with a quick caution and if you only run five laps, everybody is coming back down pit road for tires. They just make for good races because it means you can do something different than the guy ahead of you.”

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS, will visit the Auto Club Speedway media center at 9:45 a.m. local time on Friday, March 24.

PHOENIX REWIND: Chase Elliott and the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS team collected their first stage win of the season, earned one playoff point, led 106 laps and ultimately finished 12th in last Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

CALI STATS: Last season, Elliott collected a top-10 finish in his Cup Series debut at Auto Club Speedway. In the 21-year-old driver’s two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at the two-mile speedway, he earned one top-five finish and two top-10s, an average starting position of ninth and average finishing position of fifth.

LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Elliott’s 105.1 driver rating ranks him third among active drivers at Fontana. The second-year driver’s 96.2 percent quality passes – the number of times a driver passes another car that is running in the top 15 while under green-flag conditions – and 98 percent of laps run in the top 15 contribute to that ranking.

HOME FOR THE WEEKEND: No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS rear-tire changer Chad Avrit will compete this weekend at his home track of Auto Club Speedway in the Cup Series. Avrit grew up in El Centro, California, and was an avid surfer before moving to Mooresville, North Carolina, to pursue a career in motor sports. In addition to being an athlete at Hendrick Motorsports, the California native is also a small business owner in the greater Charlotte area, owning Swell Board Shop, a dream he made a reality after wanting to bring a West Coast-style board shop to his new home. Avrit has been a part of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team since 2012.

 

2017 Season

  • 3rd in standings
  • 4 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 1 stage win
  • 1 pole position
  • 2 top-five finishes
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 145 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 45 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 12 top-five finishes
  • 19 top-10 finishes
  • 503 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 1 start
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 1 lap led
 

California used to be one of Kasey Kahne's best tracks

Kasey Kahne won at California in 2006
Kasey Kahne on racing at Fontana
“California is so wide, so big and you have all kinds of racing room. It’s one of my tougher tracks, and it used to be one of my best tracks. The last few years it’s been one of my toughest tracks just to understand where to put the car. Hopefully, this year we will do a better job of that and it will be much easier to make it work.”

FARMERS IN FONTANA: Kasey Kahne will pilot the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS this weekend in Fontana, California. The longtime Hendrick Motorsports partner, based in Los Angeles, will adorn the No. 5 Chevrolet SS 12 times this season. The 36-year-old most recently drove the Farmers Insurance paint scheme to a fourth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

KASEY AT FONTANA: For the fifth race of the season, the NASCAR Cup Series stops at its first two-mile track on the circuit. Kahne earned the pole position in May 2004 in his first Cup start at the Fontana, California, track. The pole award marked his third of four total during his Cup rookie season. In his sixth start – September 2006 – at Fontana, Kahne captured the win and crossed the finish line with a 3.427-second lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kahne has an average starting position of 11.8 and an average finish of 16.6 at the track.

FONTANA LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR’s loop data since 2005, Kahne has an average driver rating of 88.6, which ranks him eighth among active drivers. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. During the same span, he ranks fifth in green flag passes with 1,436. He’s sixth for laps spent in the top 15 with 2,424, and sixth in quality passes with 787. Quality passes are the number of times a driver passes another car that is running in the top 15 while under green-flag conditions. The Enumclaw, Washington, native is seventh in the fastest laps run category with 113.

THIS SEASON: After a 20th-place result last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, Kahne still has an average finish of 10.8 this season, which ranks him fifth among full-time 2017 Cup drivers.

SIGNING FOR THE KIDS: Kahne will participate in the kids autograph session at Fontana on Saturday, March 25, at 10:15 a.m. local time. The signing will take place in Lefty’s Fun Zone located in the fan midway. In order to receive a wristband, all children must be members of Lefty’s Kids Club and RSVP ahead of time.

 

2017 Season

  • 10th in standings
  • 4 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 7 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 472 starts
  • 17 wins
  • 27 pole positions
  • 90 top-five finishes
  • 171 top-10 finishes
  • 4,614 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 20 starts
  • 1 win
  • 1 pole position
  • 4 top-five finishes
  • 10 top-10 finishes
  • 268 laps led
 

Auto Club (California) Speedway Track Facts: 2017 Auto Club 400

NASCAR Cup Series completes its 3-race West Coast Swing Sunday at Fontana.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2017 Top 16 At Auto Club Speedway
Rank
Driver
Races
Poles
Wins
Top Fives
Top 10s
DNFs
Average Finish
Driver Rating
 
 
1
Kyle Larson
3
0
0
1
1
1
22.3
67.3
 
2
Brad Keselowski
8
0
1
1
2
0
18.8
79.2
 
3
Chase Elliott
1
0
0
0
1
0
6
105.1
 
4
Martin Truex Jr
16
0
0
0
4
2
20.1
78.4
 
5
Joey Logano
10
0
0
3
4
0
15.8
84.0
 
6
Ryan Blaney
1
0
0
0
0
1
35
67.7
 
7
Kevin Harvick
23
0
1
6
11
2
15.1
99.4
 
8
Jamie McMurray
21
2
0
3
7
0
17
71.9
 
9
Kurt Busch
23
4
1
7
12
0
12.3
90.0
 
10
Kasey Kahne
20
1
1
4
10
3
16.6
88.6
 
11
Ryan Newman
22
1
0
5
9
3
16.6
82.1
 
12
Trevor Bayne
3
0
0
0
0
0
26.3
54.5
 
13
Kyle Busch
18
1
3
8
12
1
10.9
109.0
 
14
Denny Hamlin
15
3
0
2
5
3
18.5
92.3
 
15
Clint Bowyer
16
0
0
2
7
1
14.3
88.3
 
* – Based on last 18 races at Auto Club Speedway (2005 – 2016).



2017 Stage Winners / Drivers with Playoff Points
Track
Stage 1 Winner
Stage 2 Winner
Race Winner
 
Playoff Points Following Race #4
Daytona
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Kurt Busch
 
Drivers
Playoff Points
Atlanta
Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
 
Martin Truex Jr
7
Las Vegas
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
 
Kurt Busch
5
Phoenix
Joey Logano 
Chase Elliott 
Ryan Newman 
 
Brad Keselowski
5
Auto Club
    
Ryan Newman
5
Martinsville



 
Kevin Harvick
3
Texas
    
Joey Logano
1
Bristol



 
Chase Elliott
1
Richmond
      
Talladega



 




Auto Club Speedway Data
Season Race #: 5 of 36 (03-26-17)
Track Size: 2-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 14 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 14 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 11 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 3 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  3,100 feet
Backstretch Length:  2,500 feet
Race Length: 200 laps / 400 miles
Stage 1 & 2 Length: 50 laps (each)
Final Stage Length: 100 laps

Top 10 Driver Rating at Auto Club
Jimmie Johnson........................ 119.7
Kyle Busch............................... 109.0
Chase Elliott............................. 105.1
Matt Kenseth............................ 105.0
Kevin Harvick............................. 99.4
Denny Hamlin............................. 92.3
Kurt Busch................................. 90.0
Kasey Kahne.............................. 88.6
Clint Bowyer............................... 88.3
Joey Logano............................... 84.0
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2016 races (18 total) among active drivers at Auto Club Speedway

Qualifying/Race Data
2016 pole winner:
Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
188.482 mph, 38.200 secs. 03-18-16

2016 race winner:
Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
137.213 mph, (2:59:17), 03-20-16

Track qualifying record:
Denny Hamlin, Toyota
188.511 mph, 38.194 secs. 03-18-16

Track race record:
Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 155.012 mph (3:13:32); 6-22-97

At Auto Club Speedway:
History
·        Groundbreaking for California Speedway, as Auto Club Speedway was originally known, took place in November 1995.
·        The first race at Auto Club Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West race won by Ken Schrader on June 21, 1997.
·        The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was held on June 22, 1997 and won by Jeff Gordon.
·        September 2004 was the first night race at Auto Club Speedway and that also was the first year both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series ran two races in a season there.
·        The track name was changed to Auto Club Speedway (ACS) in February of 2008.
Starts
·        There have been 27 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Auto Club Speedway, the track hosted one race a season from 1997-2003, then two races per season from 2004-2010. In 2011, Auto Club Speedway returned to a single-race season.
·        144 drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway; 118 in more than one.
·        Jeff Gordon leads the series in starts at Auto Club Speedway with 26.
·        Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers in starts at Auto Club Speedway with 24 each.
·        Chris Buescher (2015), Kevin Conway (2010), J.J. Yeley (2004), Shane Hmiel (2004), Greg Biffle (2002) and Mike Dillon (1998) all made their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career start at Auto Club Speedway.
·        Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average starting position at Auto Club Speedway with a 9.909

Poles
·        Joe Nemechek won the inaugural MENCS Coors Light pole (1997) at Auto Club Speedway with a speed of 183.015 mph (39.341 secs.).
·        17 drivers have won the Coors Light pole at Auto Club Speedway, led by Kurt Busch with four (2015, 2007 and 2006 sweep).
·        Denny Hamlin (2012, 2013), Kurt Busch (2006 sweep) and Jamie McMurray (2010 sweep) are the only three drivers to win consecutive poles at Auto Club Speedway.
·        Youngest ACS pole winner: Kyle Busch (2/27/2005 – 19 years, 9 months, 25 days).
·        Oldest ACS pole winner: Mike Skinner (4/30/2000 – 42 years, 10 months, 2 days).
·        Three drivers have posted their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coors Light pole at Auto Club Speedway: Carl Edwards (9/4/2005), Kyle Busch (2/27/2005) and Joe Nemechek (6/22/1997).
·        Kyle Busch won his first pole (2/27/05) and first series win (9/4/05) at ACS in 2005.

Wins
·        15 different Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Auto Club Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with six victories (2016, 2010 spring, 2009 fall, 2008 fall, 2007 fall and 2002).
·        Five drivers have posted multiple Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at Auto Club Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (six), Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth each have three wins, Tony Stewart has two.
·        Jimmie Johnson (2009-2010) and Kyle Busch (2013-2014) are the only two drivers to win consecutive MENCS races at Auto Club Speedway.
·        Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Auto Club Speedway with 10, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven and Stewart Haas Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske each have two.
·        California-native Jimmie Johnson became the first and only driver to win from the pole at Auto Club Speedway in 2008 (0.04%).
·        Only two of the 27 (7.4%) ACS races have been won from the front row, both by seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, fall of 2008 (pole); and the fall of 2007 (second-place).
·        Nine of the 27 (33.3%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Auto Club Speedway have been won from a top-five starting position.
·        14 of the 27 (51.8%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup races at Auto Club Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
·        Seven of the 27 (25.9%) races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
·        The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 31st, by Matt Kenseth in the spring of 2006.
·        The most proficient starting position at ACS is pretty random. Three starting positions (third, ninth and 24th) have produced three winners each.

Wins
·        Youngest ACS winner: Kyle Busch (09/04/2005 – 20 years, 4 months, 2 days).
·        Oldest ACS winner: Rusty Wallace (04/29/2001 – 44 years, 8 months, 15 days).
·        Jimmie Johnson (2002) and Kyle Busch (2005) posted their first series career win at Auto Club Speedway.   
·        13 of the 15 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers who have won at Auto Club Speedway participated in at least two or more races at the track before visiting Victory Lane.
o   Jeff Gordon (1997 – inaugural event) and Jimmie Johnson (2002) are the only drivers to win at ACS in their first appearance.
·        Tony Stewart competed at Auto Club Speedway 18 times before winning in the fall of 2010; the longest span of any the 15 winners. Only Stewart (18) and Kevin Harvick (17) have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Auto Club Speedway.
·        Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with the most Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Auto Club Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 24.
·        Three reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champions have gone on to win at Auto Club Speedway the following season: Tony Stewart (2012), Jeff Gordon (1999) and Jimmie Johnson - the only driver to do it multiple times (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
·        Two drivers have won at Auto Club Speedway and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same season: Jeff Gordon (1997) and Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2016).
·        Only three car numbers have produced three or more Auto Club Speedway MENCS wins:
Car Number – Drivers – (Years)
o   No. 48  – Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2016)
o   No. 17 – Matt Kenseth (2006, 2007 and 2009)
o   No24 – Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999 and 2004)

Additional Finishing Position
·        Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Auto Club Speedway with five; followed by Jeff Gordon with four and Kevin Harvick with three. Johnson has finished second or better in 11 of his 22 ACS starts (50%).
·        Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-five finishes at Auto Club Speedway with 13; followed by Jeff Gordon (10), Matt Kenseth (nine), Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch (eight each).
·        Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-10 finishes with 16; followed by Matt Kenseth (15), Carl Edwards (15) and Tony Stewart (13).

Additional Finishing Position
·        Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finishing position at ACS with a 6.500.
·        Jimmie Johnson (6.5) is the only active driver with more than one start with an average finish inside the top 10 at Auto Club Speedway.  

Track / Specific Event
·        There have been five finishes at Auto Club Speedway resulting in NASCAR Overtime: 2005 (250/254), 2006 (250/251), 2014 (200/206), 2015 (200/209), and 2016 (200/205).
·        Since the advent of electronic scoring (1993) the closest margin of victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway was the March 27, 2011 race won by Kevin Harvick with a MOV of 0.144 second over Jimmie Johnson.
·        The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at ACS has only been postponed to another date due to weather once – the 2008 February race – Scheduled date: 2/24/08; Actual Date: 2/25/08.
·        Coors Light Pole Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather at ACS twice - 1999 and 2008 (spring) races.

Female Competitors
·        Two female drivers have competed at Auto Club Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick.
·        **Note: Robinson first attempted to qualify for a race at ACS on 4/29/2001 but failed to make the event.
Female Competitor MENCS Performances: Auto Club Speedway
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Season
Driver Rating
Danica Patrick
31
38
2016
51.8
Danica Patrick
22
19
2015
71.1
Danica Patrick
27
14
2014
63.9
Danica Patrick
40
26
2013
44.2
Averages
30.0
24.3
 
57.8
     
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Season
Driver Rating
Shawna Robinson
43
42
2002
N/A


NASCAR in California
·        There has been a total of 195 NASCAR national series races among 17 different tracks in the state of California.

Track Name
City
Total Races
Monster Energy
XFINITY
Camping World
Auto Club Speedway
Fontana
67
27
27
13
Riverside International Raceway
Riverside
48
48
0
0
Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma
32
28
0
4
Mesa Marin Raceway
Bakersfield
9
0
0
9
Ontario Motor Speedway
Ontario
9
9
0
0
California State Fairgrounds
Sacramento
6
6
0
0
Carrell Speedway
Gardena
4
4
0
0
Ascot Stadium
Los Angeles
3
3
0
0
Bay Meadows Race Track
San Mateo
3
3
0
0
Marchbanks Speedway
Hanford
3
3
0
0
Oakland Stadium
Oakland
3
3
0
0
Redwood Speedway
Eureka
2
2
0
0
Willow Springs Speedway
Lancaster
2
2
0
0
Capitol Speedway
Sacramento
1
1
0
0
Merced Fairgrounds
Merced
1
1
0
0
Santa Clara Fairgrounds
San Jose
1
1
0
0
Saugus Speedway
Saugus
1
0
0
1
Totals

195
141
27
27

·        The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race held in California was at Carrell Speedway on April 8, 1951; the event was won by Marshall Teague.
·        437 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as California.
·        40 drivers with their home state recorded as California have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series.
·        26 of the 40 Californian drivers have won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; led by Jeff Gordon with 93 wins.  

California Drivers With Wins In NASCAR:
Driver
Monster Energy
XFINITY
Camping World
Jeff Gordon
93
5
0
Jimmie Johnson
80
1
0
Kevin Harvick
35
46
14
Marvin Panch
17
0
0
Ernie Irvan
15
3
0
Dick Rathmann
13
0
0
Dan Gurney
5
0
0
Eddie Gray
4
0
0
Parnelli Jones
4
0
0
Eddie Pagan
4
0
0
Robby Gordon
3
1
0
Ray Elder
2
0
0
Danny Letner
2
0
0
Marvin Porter
2
0
0
AJ Allmendinger
1
2
0
Dick Brooks
1
0
0
Marvin Burke
1
0
0
Jim Cook
1
0
0
Lou Figaro
1
0
0
Danny Graves
1
0
0
Kyle Larson
1
5
2
Johnny Mantz
1
0
0
Casey Mears
1
1
0
Bill Norton
1
0
0
John Soares
1
0
0
Danny Weinberg
1
0
0
Ron Hornaday Jr
0
4
51
Jason Leffler
0
2
1
Ryan Reed
0
2
0
David Gilliland
0
1
0
Justin Marks
0
1
0
Joe Ruttman
0
1
13
Boris Said
0
1
1
Mike Skinner
0
1
28
Matt Crafton
0
0
13
Tyler Reddick
0
0
3
Cole Custer
0
0
2
Justin Lofton
0
0
1
Scott Speed
0
0
1
Brandon Whitt
0
0
1



Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Milestones
Drivers
Has
Needs
Milestones
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
599
1
Attempt to make his 600th MENCS career start (25th all-time)
Jimmie Johnson
80
3
Tie Cale Yarborough for sixth on MENCS all-time wins list
Kyle Busch
38
1
Tie Tim Flock for 18th on all-time MENCS wins list
Matt Kenseth
38
1
Tie Tim Flock for 18th on all-time MENCS wins list
Kevin Harvick
35
2
Tie Bobby Isaac for 21st on MENCS all-time wins list
Kurt Busch
29
3
Tie Dale Jarrett for 24th on all-time MENCS wins list
Denny Hamlin
29
3
Tie Dale Jarrett for 24th on all-time MENCS wins list
Ryan Newman
51
3
To tie Bill Elliott for eighth on the all-time MENCS poles list
Jimmie Johnson
35
1
Tie Rusty Wallace and Rex White for 17th on all-time MENCS poles list
Kasey Kahne
27
1
Break the tie with Terry Labonte to become solely 25th on all-time MENCS poles list
Denny Hamlin
24
1
Break the tie with Alan Kulwicki to become solely 28th on all-time MENCS poles list
Kevin Harvick
48
1
Break the tie with Lee Petty and become solely 10th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list
Jimmie Johnson
46
2
Tie Lee Petty and Kevin Harvick for 10th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list
Kyle Busch
36
1
Tie Bobby Isaac and Ned Jarrett for 17th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list
Matt Kenseth
29
1
Tie Ricky Rudd for 25th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list
Matt Kenseth
172
3
Tie Bill Elliott for 19th on all-time MENCS top-five finishes list
Dale Earnhardt Jr
148
2
To become the 23rd driver to post 150th MENCS top-five finishes
Kyle Busch
148
2
To become the 23rd driver to post 150th MENCS top-five finishes
Jimmie Johnson
331
1
Tie Lee Petty for 12th on the MENCS all-time top-10 finishes list
Kurt Busch
8,863
137
To become 20th MENCS driver all-time to lead 9,000 or more laps
Brad Keselowski
4,944
56
To become 39th MENCS driver all-time to lead 5,000 or more laps
Ryan Newman
4,711
289
To become 39th MENCS driver all-time to lead 5,000 or more laps
    
Track Specific Milestones
Drivers
Has
Needs
Milestones
Jimmie Johnson
980
20
To become the first MENCS driver to lead 1,000 or more laps at Auto Club Speedway. ACS will become the fifth different track Johnson has led 1,000 or more laps at; joining Dover (3,093); Martinsville (2,838); Charlotte (1,895) and Texas (1,023).
Kyle Busch
3
1
Break the tie with Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth to become solely second on the all-time MENCS wins list Auto Club Speedway
Matt Kenseth
3
1
Break the tie with Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth to become solely second on the all-time MENCS wins list Auto Club Speedway
Matt Kenseth
9
1
Tie Jeff Gordon (10) for second on the all-time MENCS top-five finishes list at Auto Club Speedway
Kyle Bush
8
1
Tie Matt Kenseth (9) for third on the all-time MENCS top-five finishes list at Auto Club Speedway
Matt Kenseth
15
1
Tie Jimmie Johnson (16) for the series-most top-10 finishes at Auto Club Speedway
Denny Hamlin
3
1
Tie Kurt Busch (4) for the series-most Coors Light poles at Auto Club Speedway.

Additional Possible Milestones:
Kyle Larson posted his third consecutive second-place finish this past weekend at Phoenix. Below are some quick stats to accompany his latest performance. If he finishes second this weekend at Auto Club, he will become the fifth driver in series history to finish runner-up in four consecutive races.
·        Four drivers have finished runner-up four consecutive times in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (breakdown attached in excel file).
o   Mark Martin (1998)
o   Harry Gant (1985)
o   Darrell Waltrip (1983)
o   Richard Petty (1964)
·        No driver has finished runner-up five consecutive races in the MENCS.
·        Larson’s three consecutive second-place finishes is the 25th time in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history a driver has finished runner-up three or more consecutive times.
·        16 different drivers have finished second in the Monster Energy Cup Series three or more consecutive times.
·        Larson is the only driver in series history to accomplish the feat during the first four races of a given season.
·        Herb Thomas, in 1952, was the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver to finish runner-up in three consecutive races.
·        Prior to Larson’s finishes this season, Carl Edwards (2011 playoffs) was the most recent driver to finish runner-up in three consecutive races.
·        Richard Petty leads the series in occurrences of three or more consecutive runner-up finishes in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career with four; David Pearson accomplished the feat the second-most times with three.
 - NASCAR