NASCAR

Preview

as of Tuesday, March 18, 2014 2:28 PM.



NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Auto Club 400 Preview

Date: Sunday, March 23

Start Time: 3 p.m. ET

Site: Auto Club Speedway -- Fontana, Calif.

Track: 2-mile oval

Laps: 200

Miles: 400

Capacity: 90,988 (Grandstand Seating)

Total purse:

Payouts:

Year: 18th

On TV: FOX

Announcers:

On Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio

Race record: Jeff Gordon, 1997 (155.012 mph)

Qualifying record: Kyle Busch, 2005 (188.425 mph)

2013 Finish

Defending champion: Kyle Busch

Runner up: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Pole winner: Denny Hamlin (187.451 mph)

Top 10:

1. Kyle Busch (Start: 4)

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr (15)

3. Joey Logano (6)

4. Carl Edwards (24)

5. Kurt Busch (10)

6. Greg Biffle (2)

7. Matt Kenseth (5)

8. Paul Menard (27)

9. Kasey Kahne (16)

10. Ryan Newman (20)

Average speed: 135.351 mph

Time of race: 2 hrs., 57 mins., 19 secs.

Margin of victory: Caution

Caution flags: 9 for 35 laps

Lead changes: 17 among 8 drivers

Past winners

2013 Kyle Busch, Toyota, 135.351 mph

2012 Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 160.166 mph (rain-shortened)

2011 Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 150.849 mph

2010 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 141.911 mph

2009 Matt Kenseth, Ford, 135.839 mph

2008 Carl Edwards, Ford, 132.704 mph

2007 Matt Kenseth, Ford, 138.451 mph

2006 Matt Kenseth, Ford, 147.852 mph

2005 Greg Biffle, Ford, 139.697 mph

2004 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 137.268 mph

2003 Kurt Busch, Ford, 140.111 mph

2002 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 150.088 mph

2001 Rusty Wallace, Ford, 143.118 mph

2000 Jeremy Mayfield, Ford, 149.378 mph

1999 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 150.276 mph

1998 Mark Martin, Ford, 140.220 mph

1997 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 155.012 mph

Last race

Race: Food City 500 (March 16)

Site: Bristol Motor Speedway -- Bristol, Tenn.

Miles: 268.1

Laps: 503

Finish line order: Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Aric Almirola, Tony Stewart, Marcos Ambrose

Time of Race: 3 hrs., 11 mins., 23 secs.

Average speed: 84.051 mph

Margin of victory: Caution

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 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.

Entry list

#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/McDonald's

#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Ford/Wurth

#3. Austin Dillon (Welcome, NC) Chevrolet/Cheerios

#4. Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Jimmy John's

#5 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Chevrolet/Time Warner Cable

#7 Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA) Chevrolet/Pilot/Flying J

#9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) Ford/DeWalt

#10 Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL) Chevrolet/GoDaddy/Get Found

#11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Express

#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Ford/GEICO

#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Rush Truck Centers

#15 Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Toyota/Peak

#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/3M Aerospace

#17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Branch, MS) Ford/Roush Fenway Racing

#18 * Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/Interstate Batteries

#20 Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Toyota/Dollar General

#22 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Ford/AAA of Southern California

#23 Alex Bowman (Tucson, AZ) Toyota/Dr. Pepper

#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger

#26 Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA) Toyota/TBA

#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Duracell

#30 Parker Kligerman (Westport, CT) Toyota/TBA

#31 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Caterpillar

#32 Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI) Ford/SK Hand Tools

#33 Brian Scott (Boise, ID) Chevrolet/Whitetail

#34 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) Ford/Taco Bell

#35 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Ford/MDS Transport

#36 Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA) Chevrolet/TBA

#38 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) Ford/Love's Travel Stops

#40 Landon Cassill (Fairfax, IA) Chevrolet/Square HD/Nabi Inspire

#41 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Chevrolet/Haas Automation

#42 Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, CA) Chevrolet/Target

#43 Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL) Ford/Farmland

#44 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) Chevrolet/Phoenix Warehouse

#47 A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA) Chevrolet/Charter

#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Lowe's

#51 Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL) Chevrolet/Brandt Professional

#55 Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC) Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine

#66 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) Toyota/TBA

#77 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Ford/TBA

#78 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Chevrolet/Furniture Row

#83 Ryan Truex (Mayetta, NJ) Toyota/Borla Exhaust

#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/National Guard

#98 Josh Wise (Riverside, CA) Chevrolet/Trench Storing Company

#99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Ford/Subway

Leading contenders

Name 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Kyle Busch 23 10 9 4 3 14 3 2 Won
Dale Earnhardt Jr 32 11 40 40 39 32 12 3 2
Joey Logano --- --- --- --- 26 5 25 24 3
Carl Edwards 5 3 29 Won 7 13 6 5 4
Kurt Busch 3 16 7 13 5 6 17 9 5
Greg Biffle Won 42 15 15 4 10 11 6 6
Matt Kenseth 26 Won Won 5 Won 7 4 16 7
Kasey Kahne 40 4 38 9 12 34 9 14 9
Ryan Newman 9 20 12 10 28 36 5 7 10
Jeff Gordon 30 13 2 3 2 20 18 26 11
Jimmie Johnson 2 2 3 2 9 Won 2 10 12
Kevin Harvick 6 29 17 8 38 2 Won 4 13
Tony Stewart 17 43 8 7 8 9 13 Won 22
Brad Keselowski --- --- --- --- --- 21 26 18 23
Denny Hamlin --- 12 11 41 6 29 39 11 25
Clint Bowyer --- 14 6 19 19 8 7 13 35

Notes

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.



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