Race: Saturday, March 24, 2012 in Fontana, CA
Title Sponsor: Royal Purple
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 5:46pm/et
Television Race Coverage: ESPN, 5:00 pm/et
Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Dr. Jerry Punch, Shannon Spake
Studio: Nicole Briscoe, Dale Jarrett, Brad Daugherty
This Week - Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite Radio
Times are local to the Track
Thursday, March 22nd5:00 PM NNS HAULERS ENTER
Friday, March 23rd7:00 AM NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
Saturday, March 24th7:30 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPEN
NNS = Nationwide Series
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Times are local to the Track
Logano wins at California: Pole-sitter Joey Logano, driving the #18-Translux Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, won the Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway. #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second followed by #22-Brad Keselowski, #11-Brian Scott, #3-Austin Dillon, #38-Brad Sweet, #09-Kenny Wallace, #54-Kyle Busch, #2-Elliott Sadler, #33-Brendan Gaughan. There were 4 cautions for 18 laps and 15 lead changes among 7 leaders. The estimated attendance was 40,000. Complete results are on the California race results page (pdf).(3-24-2012)
California Race Fast Facts:
Joey Logano(i) won the 14th Annual Royal Purple 300, his 10th victory in 92 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in 2012.
This is his second victory and seventh top-10 finish in seven races at Auto Club Speedway. His first victory came on Oct. 10, 2010.
This is Joe Gibbs Racing's eighth consecutive victory in the series at Auto Club Speedway.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (second) posted his second top-10 finish in four races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2012.
Brad Keselowski(i) (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 11 races at Auto Club Speedway.
Austin Dillon (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.
Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 18 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Driver standings following California:
1) #2-Elliott Sadler, 214
2) #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr, 196 -18
3) #3-Austin Dillon, 187 -27
4) #60-Trevor Bayne, 180 -34
5) #12-Sam Hornish Jr, 160 -54
6) #88-Cole Whitt, 151 -63
7) #43-Michael Annett, 148 -66
8) #19-Tayler Malsam, 144 -70
9) #31-Justin Allgaier, 126 -88
10)#44-Mike Bliss, 119 -95
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(3-24-2012)
Owner Standings following California are posted (pdf). Beginning at Texas, top 30 team who have attempted all the races will be locked in based on 2012 owner point standings.
Teams that had been locked into the field but no longer are:
#39-Joey Gase - Go Green Racing
#50-TJ Bell - MAKE Motosports
#52-Jimmy Means Racing
Teams that were not locked in, but now are:
#22-Brad Keselowski - Penske Racing
#24-Benny Gordon - SRē Motorsports
#44-Mike Bliss - TriStar
#54-Kyle Busch - KBM
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at California: (and their finish)
Caution 1: #38-Brad Sweet, 6th
Caution 2: #44-Mike Bliss, 17th
Caution 3: #81-Jason Bowles, 15th
Caution 4: #19-Tayler Malsam, 16th
Logano on pole at California: Joey Logano, driving the #18 Translux Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, won the Coors Light Pole for the Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway with a speed of 178.984 mph. #31-Justin Allgaier will start second. The rest of the top ten; #22-Brad Keselowski, #3-Austin Dillon, #2-Elliott Sadler, #09-Kenny Wallace, #11-Brian Scott, #33-Brendan Gaughan, #60-Trevor Bayne, #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Did Not Qualify: None. The starting lineup is posted on the California starting lineup page (pdf).(3-24-2012)
Auto Club Speedway Qualifying Notes:
Joey Logano(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 14th Annual Royal Purple 300 with a lap of 40.227 seconds, 178.984 mph.
This is his 18th pole in 92 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his second pole and third top-10 start in 2012. He won the pole for last week's race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
This is his third pole in seven races at Auto Club Speedway. His most recent pole came in the spring of 2010.
Justin Allgaier (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2012 and his third in six races at Auto Club Speedway.
Brad Keselowski(i) (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his fifth in five races this season.
Austin Dillon (fourth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
Dillon fastest in happy hour: Austin Dillon, driving the #3-Advocare Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, was quickest during the lone practice session for the Royal Purple 300 with a top speed of 176.086 mph. He was followed by: #31-Justin Allgaier, #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr, #22-Brad Keselowski, #38-Brad Sweet, #18-Joey Logano, #12-Sam Hornish Jr, #88-Cole Whitt, #81-Jason Bowles, #09-Kenny Wallace. See complete results on the California practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(3-23-2012)
Entry List: There are 41 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway.
A few notes:
#4-Daryl Harr, driver of the #iWorld Chevrolet
#27-TBA [team withdrawn]
#33-Brendan Gaughan, driver of the South Point Casino Chevrolet
#38-Brad Sweet, driver of the Great Clips Chevrolet (3-19-2012)
#72-John Jackson, Crash Claims R Us Toyota added
#74-Mike Harmon, Koma Unwind Chevrolet added
#15-Scott Riggs, Rick Ware Racing Ford added
#28-Kevin Lepage repaces JJ Yeley as driver(3-23-2012)
#70-David Green [driver change from Johanna Long], ML Motorsports Dodge
See the complete list on the California entry list page.(3-21-2012)
NASCAR Nationwide series at California: The NASCAR Nationwide Series moves to the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., this weekend for a 300-mile race and ESPN will have a live telecast on Saturday, March 24. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show airs at 5 p.m. ET with the race's green flag at 5:46 p.m. Also, ESPN2 will air NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying earlier in the day at 1:30 p.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.(ESPN PR)(3-19-2012)
Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Left-side -- 500
Right-side -- 500
6 sets for the event
Left-side -- D-4522
Right-side -- D-4408
Left-side -- 87.5 in. (2,224 mm)
Right-side -- 88.4 (2,245 mm)
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi
Right Front -- 48 psi; Right Rear -- 45 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 22 psi; Left Rear -- 20 psi
Right Front -- 45 psi; Right Rear -- 42 psi
Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Fontana this weekend . . . while these teams ran this right-side tire code (D-4408) at this track in 2011, this is a brand new left-side code (D-4522) . . . compared to what was run at Fontana last year, this left-side features mold shape and construction changes, which will give the cars more grip . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Fontana last October 18 . . . participating in that test were Greg Biffle in the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, Landon Cassill in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Sam Hornish in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge and David Reutimann in the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Fontana . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear PR)(3-20-2012)
Elliott Sadler Leads NASCAR Nationwide Series Eligible Winning Ways
"Blood is in the water!" exclaimed NNS standings leader Elliott Sadler in Victory Lane last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway after winning his second race of the season.
It has been 17 years -- the 1995 season -- since the year's first four winners were not full-time NSCS drivers. James Buescher, points eligible in the NCWTS, won the season opener at Daytona. Sadler won at Phoenix, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Las Vegas and Sadler again at Bristol.
Back in '95, the first four series races were won by Chad Little (two), Kenny Wallace and Johnny Benson, the latter going on to win the championship. David Green and Larry Pearson, full-time NNS drivers, also won the following two races.
Will the trend continue? It won't be easy. Not since 2002, when Scott Riggs won, has an NNS-only regular won at Auto Club Speedway.
Richard Childress Racing's Sadler might just be the one to answer the call. Sadler's two wins are complemented with two third-place finishes in the first four starts this season, culminating in an average finish of second. His season-to-date Driver Rating (107.0) leads the series. Sadler has made seven starts at Auto Club Speedway, posting two top-five finishes. He also won the track's NASCAR Sprint Cup fall race in 2004.
Bliss, Malsam Have TriStar Motorsports In Contention
Large comebacks in the NNS point standings are difficult but Mike Bliss is bucking that trend this season, having gone from 27th to 10th in the three races since Daytona. Bliss, who drives for TriStar Motorsports, an independent organization in the series, is one of the most versatile drivers in NASCAR. He won the 2002 NCWTS title and is the only driver to count 200 starts in both NNS and Truck. Since 1995, he's competed full-time in at least one of NASCAR's national series.
The season opener at Daytona was unkind to Bliss, he finished 39th after being caught up in an accident, but he followed it up with a 16th-place finish at Phoenix and back-to-back 15th-place finishes at Las Vegas and Bristol.
Bliss' rebound isn't the only highlight for TriStar thus far in 2012. Tayler Malsam, who also has climbed the NASCAR ladder through the NCWTS, is a quiet surprise, holding down the seventh spot in the driver standings. Malsam, 23, finished sixth at Daytona and has ranked in the top 10 through the first four weeks of the season. This is his first full-time season in the NNS.
NASCAR Nationwide Series, Etc.
Kyle Busch has won five of the last six series races at Auto Club, including sweeping both races in 2010. This will be Busch's first start at Auto Club as an owner/driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Busch also will attempt to post his 150th NNS top-10 finish. Busch currently is tied with Greg Biffle for 12th on the series all-time top-10 finishes list.... Danica Patrick has improved to 12th in the standings, up three spots from last week, in her first full-time season in the series. She finished 30th in this race last year. ... Milestone Watch: Morgan Shepherd will attempt to make his 325th NNS start at ACS. Shepherd has made nine starts at ACS with an average starting position of 35th. Jeremy Clements will attempt to make his 75th series start this weekend. He has made two starts at ACS with an average starting position of 26th. Erik Darnell will attempt to make his 25th NNS start this weekend. This will be Darnell's ACS debut in the NNS.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(3-20-2012)