Updated: often, leading up to the race
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Race: Sunday, March 23, 2014 in Fontana, CA
Title Sponsor: Auto Club
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 3:16pm/et
NASCAR Pre-Race: FOX - 2:30pm/et
Television Race Coverage: FoxSports, 3:00pm/et
In the Booth: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
Pit Reporters: Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum, Krista Voda
Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Michael Waltrip
Virtual Garage: Jeff Hammond
FoxSports1's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 1:30pm/et with John Roberts, Kyle Petty & Kenny Wallace
Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
Wednesday, March 26 at 3:00am/et on FS1
Wednesday, March 26 at 8:00pam/et on FS2
Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite NASCAR Channel 90
Times are local to the Track
Friday, March 21
6:30 AM NSCS GARAGE OPENS & INSPECTION BEGINS
11:00 AM NSCS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
12:00 - 1:30 PM NSCS PRACTICE
4:40 PM NSCS QUALIFYING
Saturday, March 22
7:00 AM NSCS GARAGE OPENS
9:30 AM - 10:25 AM NSCS PRACTICE
12:30 PM - 1:20 PM NSCS FINAL PRACTICE
Sunday, March 23
6:00 AM NSCS GARAGE OPENS
11:25 AM NSCS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS
12:00 pm NSCS RACE
NSCS = Sprint Cup Series
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
All times above are listed in LOCAL Time
Friday, March 21, 3:00 - 4:30 pm/et, TV-FS1
Saturday, March 22, 12:30 - 1:20 pm/et, TV-FS1
Happy Hour 'Final' practice: Saturday, March 22, 3:30 - 4:30pm/et, TV-FS1
Qualifying: groups for positions 1-36, Friday, March 21 at 7:35 pm/et, TV-FS1, no re-air scheduled.
Track/Race Length: 2.0 mile D-shaped oval, 200 laps, 400 miles
Superspeedway: 2.0-mile oval 75 feet wide with a 15 foot apron
Banking: turns: 14°; front stretch 11°; backstretch 3°
Front Stretch: 3,100feet
Back Stretch: 2,500feet
Pit Road: 2,200 feet long with 44 individual pit stalls
Pit Road Speed: 55mph
Pace Car Speed: 60mph
Approx: 1,800 Infield RV spaces
Grandstand seating capacity: 84,000
Grand Marshal: The Great Gonzo
Command to start engines: The Great Gonzo
Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: Bode and Morgan Miller
Invocation: Jeff Hamilton
National Anthem: Pia Toscano
Flyover: F/A-18 Hornets, Blue Angels
March 2013: see the Auto Club Race Info page
March 2013 Race Winner: #18-Kyle Busch, 135.351, started 4th
March 2013 Pole Sitter: #11-Denny Hamlin, 187.451, finished 25th
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Auto Club Speedway:
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races(15 total) among drivers at Auto Club Speedway.
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.(NASCAR)(3-18-2014)
Auto Club Speedway News & Notes:
• Groundbreaking for California Speedway, as Auto Club Speedway originally was known, took place in November 1995.
• The first race was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West race won by Ken Schrader on June 21, 1997.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 22, 1997 and won by Jeff Gordon.
• September 2004 was the first night race and that also was the first year both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series ran two races in a season there.
• The track name was changed to Auto Club Speedway (ACS) in February 2008.
• There have been 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Auto Club Speedway, the track hosted one NSCS race a season from 1997-2003, then two races per season from 2004-2010. In 2011 the track returned to a single-race season.
• 128 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club; 106 in more than one.
• Three drivers have participated in all 24 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, and Bobby Labonte.
• Joe Nemechek won the inaugural Coors Light pole (1997) with a speed of 183.015 mph (39.341 secs.).
• 15 drivers have poles at Auto Club Speedway, led by Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch with three each.
• Denny Hamlin (2011, 2012), Kurt Busch (2006 sweep) and Jamie McMurray (2010 sweep) are the three drivers to win consecutive poles at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin has won the last two poles at ACS and could become the first in series history to win three-in-a-row at Auto Club.
• 14 different drivers have won at ACS, led by Jimmie Johnson (five). Three other drivers have multiple wins: Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth each have three wins, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch each have two.
• Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Auto Club Speedway with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven and Stewart Haas Racing with two.
• California-native Jimmie Johnson became the first and only driver to win from the pole at Auto Club Speedway in 2008.
• Only two ACS races have been won from the front row both by six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, fall of 2008 (pole); and the fall of 2007 (second-place).
• Nine of the 24 (37.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway have been won from a top-five starting position.
• 13 of the 24 (54.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
• Seven of the 24 (29.2%) races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
• The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 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.
• Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Auto Club Speedway with five; followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon with four.
• Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-five finishes at Auto club Speedway with 12; followed by Jeff Gordon (10), Matt Kenseth (eight) and Carl Edwards (eight).
• Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth lead the series in top-10 finishes with 14; followed by Carl Edwards (13) and Tony Stewart (12).
• Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finish at ACS with a 5.737.
• Jimmie Johnson (5.7) and Carl Edwards (8.4) are the only two only active drivers with an average finish in the top 10 at Auto Club Speedway.
• There have been two green-white-checkered finishes at Auto Club Speedway: 2005 (250/254) and 2006 (250/251).
• Carl Edwards posted his first NSCS Coors Light pole at Auto Club Speedway on September 4, 2005. Kyle Busch won his first pole (2/27/05) and first series win (9/4/05) at ACS in 2005.
• Greg Biffle (4/28/02) and J.J. Yeley (9/5/04) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Auto Club Speedway.
• Jimmie Johnson posted his first series career win at Auto Club Speedway on April 28, 2002.
• Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to win consecutive races at Auto Club Speedway (fall of 2009 - spring of 2010).
• 12 of the 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Auto Club Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. 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 14 winners. Only Stewart (18) and Kevin Harvick (17) have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Auto Club Speedway.
• Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte lead the series with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Auto Club Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 24.
• Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway was the (3/27/2011) race won by Kevin Harvick with a MOV of 0.144 second over Jimmie Johnson.
• Three reigning NASCAR Sprint 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 one to do it multiple times (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
• Two drivers have won and Auto Club Speedway race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season: Jeff Gordon (1997) and Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).(NASCAR)(3-18-2014)
For news, stats, records and more about this race track, see: Jayski's Auto Club Speedway Track News/Rumors/Links page
Kyle Busch wins at Auto Club Speedway: #18-Kyle Busch won the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway for his 1st win of 2014, his 3rd at Auto Club Speedway and his 29th career win.
Rookie of the Year candidate #42-Larson finished 2nd followed by: #41-Busch, polesitter #20-Kenseth, #14-Stewart, #1-McMurray, #55-Vickers, #47-Allmendinger, #27-Menard, and #99-Edwards.
Tire problems throughout the weekend continued during the race with numerous teams having flats and cautions coming frequently. #48-Johnson was leading the race with 7 laps to go when he cut down a tire. A caution came out with 2 laps to go after #15-Bowyer lost a tire and spun out, causing the race to finish with a green-white-checker.
#11-Hamlin missed the race due to a sinus infection. He was replaced by Sam Hornish, Jr, who had to start at the rear of the field because of the driver change. Hornish finished 17th
#2-Keselowski, who came into the race as the points leader, also had a late flat and finished 26th.
#99-Edwards is now in the points lead, 1 point over #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
There were 35 lead changes among 15 drivers and there were 9 cautions for 42 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 132.987mph.
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Auto Club Speedway Race & Points Report (pdf).
Race Fast Facts - Auto Club Speedway:
Kyle Busch won the 18th Annual Auto Club 400, his 29th victory in 334 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2014.
This is his third victory and 12th top-10 finish in 17 races at Auto Club Speedway.
The race included 35 lead changes, which broke the previous track race record of 33 set back in Feb. 2008.
Kyle Larson (second) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2014.
Kurt Busch (third) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 21 races at Auto Club Speedway.
Kyle Larson (second) was the highest finishing rookie.
Carl Edwards leads the points standings by 1 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(3-23-2014)
2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Championship Points Standings:
[after Auto Club Speedway, race 5 of 36]
1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 186
2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 185, -1
3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 184, -2
4) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 182, -4
5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 179, -7
6) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 165, -21
7) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 158, -28
8) #31-Ryan Newman, 150, -36
9) #3-Austin Dillon, 150, -36
10) #22-Joey Logano, 146, -40
Other drivers with a win:
25) #4-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 97, -89
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Auto Club Speedway Race & Points Report (pdf).(3-23-2014)
Auto Club Sunoco Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
#42-Larson, finished 2nd, 20 rookie points
#3-Dillon, 11th, 10
#26-Whitt, 18th, 9
#7-Annett, 19th, 8
#23-Bowman, 22nd, 7
#51-Allgaier, 28th, 6
#83-Truex, 31st, 5
#30-Kligerman, 42nd, 4
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Auto Club: (and their finish)
Caution 1: none, no driver a lap or more down on track.
Caution 2: none, no driver a lap or more down on track.
Caution 3: none, no driver a lap or more down on track.
Caution 4: #14-Stewart, 5th
Caution 5: #35-Reutimann, 29th
Caution 6: #34-Ragan, 27th
Caution 7: #99-Edwards, 10th
Caution 8: #78-Truex, Jr., 23rd
Caution 9: #31-Newman, 20th
Race Coverage of the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 23, 2014.
Television (TV): FOX at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:30 pm/et; green flag approx. 3:18pm/et
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Wednesday, March 26 at 3:00am/et on FS1 & Wednesday, March 26 at 8:00pam/et on FS2
Hamlin to miss Auto Club race; Hornish to fill in: #11-Denny Hamlin developed a sinus infection while in Fontana that has effected his vision. Doctors have advised him not to race. He was taken to the hospital for further treatment. Sam Hornish, Jr will fill in for Hamlin. Missing the race will not impact Hamlin's Chase changes because he qualified the car and would likely receive a medical exemption from NASCAR if it had been needed. Hornish will start the race from the rear because of the driver change.(3-23-2014)
Final practice: for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway is over after 50 scheduled minutes. The top 5, slowest, and notes:
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. 184.705
slowest: #78-Truex 178.448 & #40-Cassill 177.874.
All 43 drivers have practiced.
Notes: Team Penske has been battling tire troubles. Early on, #2-Keselowski stopped on track after a left rear tire went down. After coming back out, he had another tire go down, then broke an axle or crankshaft. After that, #22-Logano cut a left front tire and made contact with the wall in turn 2. He will have to go to a backup car. In addition, #10-Patrick and #78-Busch also cut a rear tire during the session.
See the speeds, laps run, 10-lap averages on the Auto Club Practice 3 speeds page.(3-22-2014)
First Saturday practice: for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes. The top 5, slowest, and notes:
slowest: #36-Sorenson 178.359 & #66-Nemechek 178.218.
All 43 driver practiced.
Notes: #14-Stewart smacked the wall, but the team will repaid the car. #78-Truex, Jr. cut a tire and hit the wall in turn 1. He will have to go to a backup.
See the speeds, laps run, 10-lap averages on the Auto Club Practice 2 speeds page.(3-22-2014)
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway have been made.
Pole sitter #20-Kenseth chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #2-Keselowski took pit stall 12a, with an opening in front of it.
#48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took pit stall 43, the final pit stall in pit road
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-22-2014)
Links to results, practices, qualifying PDF's: (will be added as available)
Official Race & Points Report
Happy Hour Practice Speeds
Practice 2 Speeds
Practice 1 Speeds
NASCAR Green-White-Checkered Race Procedure: NASCAR allows a maximum of three restart attempts prior to the White Flag under NASCAR's Green-White-Checkered flag finish. If the leader has taken the White Flag and the caution flag is displayed, the field is frozen and the race will not be restarted. Previously, there was only one restart attempt. The procedure applies to all three national series. See rule and notes on the Green-White-Checker rule page.
See Jayski's - 2014 Sprint Cup Race Results Page for pole winner, race winner with speed and starting/finishing position, links to race results, drivers & owners points, pit stall selections, qualifying results/starting lineup and practice speeds as well as link to race track and race information page for each race
Kenseth wins Auto Club pole: #20-Matt Kenseth won the pole for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway with speed of 187.3015mph for his 1st pole of 2014, 1st at Auto Club Speedway and 12th of his career.
#2-Keselowski is on the outside pole, followed by #48-Johnson, #4-Harvick, #15-Bowyer, #24-Gordon, #22-Logano, #9-Ambrose, #99-Edwards, #14-Stewart, #42-Larson, and #78-Truex, Jr.
#24-Gordon was fastest in the second qualifying session with a speed of 187.515mph.
#4-Harvick paced the first qualifying session at 187.975mph
With 43 cars at the track, no drivers missed the race.
See the full starting lineup, qualifying results & order on the Auto Club Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(3-21-2014)
Friday practice: for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes. The top 5, slowest, and notes:
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. 187.740
slowest: #66-Nemechek 177.607 & #40-Cassill 177.550.
All 43 drivers have practiced.
Notes: #1-McMurray spun coming off Turn 4 and slid through the infield, but did not hit anything. #40-Cassill broke something on his car, hit the wall in turn 4 and will have to go to a backup.
Qualifying is this evening at 7:40pm/et and will be shown on FoxSports 1
See the speeds, laps run, 10-lap averages on the Auto Club Practice 1 speeds page.(3-21-2014)
Coverage of Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 21, 2014 at 7:40pm/et.
Television (TV): FS1, 7:30pm/et
Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none
For the new 2014 group qualifying rules and format, see my Qualifying Rules page
Qualifying Order for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed. This is the order drivers can go through inspection.
The first of the drivers listed is #24-Gordon.
The final driver is #27-Crafton.
Fastest in Friday practice, #48-Johnson, is 36th.
Qualifying order is set by a random draw about an hour before the first practice.
See the complete list on the Auto Club Qualifying Page.(3-21-2014)
Entry List for the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #32-Kvapil, #33-Scott, #35-Reutimann, #44-Yeley, #66-Nemechek, #77-Blaney. With 45 cars entered, 2 drivers will miss the race. The drivers who must qualify via speed are: #44-Yeley & #77-Blaney.
#44-Yeley & #77-Blaney have withdrawn. There are now just 43 teams entered.
See the full entry list at my Jayski's Auto Club Entry List
How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph
2014 Sprint Cup Driver Chase Championship Points Standings:
[after Bristol, race 4 of 36]
1) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 163
2) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 153, -10
3) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 152, -11
4) #24-Jeff Gordon, 152, -11
5) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 143, -20
6) #22-Joey Logano, 141, -22
7) #11-Denny Hamlin, 140, -23
8) #20-Matt Kenseth, 138, -25
9) #31-Ryan Newman, 125, -38
10) #17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 122, -41
Other drivers with a win:
21) #4-Kevin Harvick [1 win], 89, -74
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Bristol Race & Points Report (pdf).(3-16-2014)
Fontana Herald News
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Long Beach Press-Telegram
Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Times
Orange County Register
San Diego Union Tribune
Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway:#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis: PRS-867 - Last Raced: New chassis. Backup Chassis: PRS-862. Last Raced: Backup at fall Kansas, 2013
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Sprint Cup: 5 sets for practice/qualifying, and 11 sets for the race;
Nationwide: 7 sets for the event
Left-side -- D-4522; Right-side -- D-4408
Left-side -- 87.5 in. (2,224 mm);
Right-side -- 88.4 in. (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 . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams have run at this track since 2012 . . . this right-side tire code (D-4408) has been run at Fontana since 2011, while this left-side tire code (D-4522) was introduced the following year . . . 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.
(this is not to promote gambling but to offer readers odds and ideas on what the 'experts' think about the upcoming race and the Sprint Cup series season)