The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series finishes off their west coast swing at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The Auto Club 400 is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, March 18th at 3:45 p.m. EST. The fourth race of the season can be seen on FOX for your NASCAR racing entertainment.
The two-mile oval speedway in Southern California first hosted the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 1997. In that race, future Hall of Fame driver Jeff Gordon took the first of his three wins at the track. Last year, another California native Kyle Larson scored the win after starting from the front.
This season’s first race at this venue will see defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. will start from the pole. The qualifying effort marks the second race in a row that the Furniture Row sponsored driver will start out in front. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch will be right next to him when the green flag drops on Sunday.
Kevin Harvick has shown plenty of speed again this weekend. He will be looking to win his fourth-straight race of the season. The veteran speedster set a track-record in the first stage of qualifying when he powered his Ford Fusion to over 212 MPH. Harvick will be launching off in the 10th spot for the start of the Auto Club 400. The Stweart/Haas Racing standout has combined to lead 176 laps and has finished in the runner-up spot twice in the last three races. He has to be on fantasy tickets as a number one driver. At least until he finally doesn’t win a NASCAR Cup Series race in 2018.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch will look to break his streak of second place finishes in 2018. The last two weeks he has powered his Toyota Camry to two second-place results. He was extremely fast in qualifying, taking second. He also was speedy in all three of the practice rounds this weekend. Busch has had an amazing Auto Club Speedway record. That includes three victories in the NASCAR Cup Series. He is near the top of several statistical categories at the track. In fact, he is behind only seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson. Rowdy Busch’s 611 laps led ranks second to Johnson’s 980. He also ranks second in top fives with eight and has another 13 top 10’s to his credit. He is another must-pick as an A driver for the Auto Club 400 this weekend.
Roush Racing’s Kyle Larson will be going for his fifth-straight win on 2-mile tracks in the Auto Club 400. Furthermore, the youngster has won the last three at Michigan and his Fontana win last year came in the middle of both. Larson has only won five races in his career but four of them have come at the 2-mile venues. Richmond was the other track where he took the checkered flag out in front. His DC Solar Chevrolet will be starting in the third spot because of his qualifying efforts on Friday. He also was quick in the three practice rounds, ranking inside the top-10 in all three sessions.
Martin Truex Jr.
It was no surprise to see Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. capture the first starting spot for the Auto Club 400 in Fontana. The 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series defending champion showed plenty of speed in the practice rounds as well. Truex Jr. had seven 1.5-mile victories last season, but he had nothing for Kevin Harvick at Atlanta or Vegas. The gritty competitor finished fourth here last season in the spring race. The result was also his first top-five finish in at the California Speedway. Like the drivers above, it would also be hard to keep him off your A drivers list for the Auto Club 400.
Odds to Win the 2018 Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway:
Kevin Harvick +300
Kyle Busch +400
Kyle Larson +400
Martin Truex Jr. +400
Brad Keselowski +800
Joey Logano +1000
Chase Elliott +1200
Denny Hamlin +1200
Ryan Blaney +1500
Jimmie Johnson +2000
Erik Jones +2000
Clint Bowyer +3300
Kurt Busch +3300
Aric Almirola +5000
Alex Bowman +6500
Ryan Newman +6500
Daniel Suarez +8000
Paul Menard +8000
Jamie McMurray +8000
William Byron +8000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +12000
Austin Dillon +12000
Field (any other) +2200
Go to BetDSI Sportsbook to get in some action on the Auto Club 400 from Fontana, California.
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