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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Auto Club 400 Preview

DateSunday, March 22SiteAuto Club Speedway -- Fontana, California
Track2-mile ovalCapacity90,988 (Grandstand Seating)
AnnouncersRadioMotor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
Start Time3:30 p.m. ETLaps200
Pick to WinPick to Win - Matt KensethDarkhorse
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kevin Harvick) - finished 1
Defending ChampionKyle Busch (not defending due to leg/foot injury)Runner UpKyle Larson
Last Year's Pole WinnerMatt Kenseth (finished 4)  


Qualifying RecordsKyle Busch, 2005 (188.425 mph)Race RecordJeff Gordon, 1997 (155.012 mph)
Total PursePayouts

2014 Finish

1Kyle Busch14
6Jamie McMurray25
2Kyle Larson11
7Brian Vickers19
3Kurt Busch17
8A.J. Allmendinger18
4Matt Kenseth1
9Paul Menard30
5Tony Stewart10
10Carl Edwards9

Facts and Figures

Average Speed132.987 mphTime of Race3 hrs., 5 mins., 53 secs.
Margin of Victory0.214 secs.Caution Flags9 for 42 laps
Lead Changes35 among 15 driversPole WinnerMatt Kenseth (187.315 mph)

Past Winners

YearDriverCarSpeed Time
2014Kyle BuschToyota132.987 mph
2013Kyle BuschToyota135.351 mph
2012Tony StewartChevrolet160.166 mph (rain-shortened)
2011Kevin HarvickChevrolet150.849 mph
2010Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet141.911 mph
2009Matt KensethFord135.839 mph
2008Carl EdwardsFord132.704 mph
2007Matt KensethFord138.451 mph
2006Matt KensethFord147.852 mph
2005Greg BiffleFord139.697 mph
2004Jeff GordonChevrolet137.268 mph
2003Kurt BuschFord140.- mph
2002Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet150.088 mph
2001Rusty WallaceFord143.118 mph
2000Jeremy MayfieldFord149.378 mph
1999Jeff GordonChevrolet150.276 mph
1998Mark MartinFord140.220 mph
1997Jeff GordonChevrolet155.012 mph

Past Pole Winners


Last Race Results 500 (March 15)

SitePhoenix International Raceway -- Avondale, ArizonaMiles312
Laps312Pole WinnerKevin Harvick (finished 1)
Time of Race2 hrs., 57 mins., 1 sec.Average Speed105.753 mph
Margin of Victory1.153 secs.Caution Flags10 for 53 laps
Lead Changes8 among 4 drivers  
Lap Leaders: Harvick-pole, Logano 1-25, Harvick 26-118, Keselowski 119-170, Harvick-pole, Logano 1-25, Harvick 26-118, Keselowski 119-170, Harvick 171-188, Logano 189-198, Harvick 199-294, McMurray 295, Harvick 296-312.
Winner: Kevin Harvick
Second: Jamie McMurray
Third: Ryan Newman
Fourth: Kasey Kahne
Fifth: Kurt Busch

Entry List

1Jamie McMurray(Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/McDonald's
2Brad Keselowski(Rochester Hills, MI)Ford/Wurth
3Austin Dillon(Welcome, NC)Chevrolet/Dow
4Kevin Harvick(Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Jimmy John's/Budweiser
5Kasey Kahne(Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Time Warner Cable
6Trevor Bayne(Knoxville, TN)Ford/AdvoCare
7Alex Bowman(Tucson, AZ)Chevrolet/Nikko RC/Toy State
9Sam Hornish Jr.(Defiance, OH)Ford/Medallion Bank
10Danica Patrick(Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/Aspen Dental
11Denny Hamlin(Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/Sports Clips
13Casey Mears(Bakersfield, CA)Ford/GEICO
14Tony Stewart(Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Rush Truck Centers
15Clint Bowyer(Emporia, KS)Toyota/Blue DEF
16Greg Biffle(Vancouver, WA)Ford/Clean Harbors
17Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(Olive Branch, MS)Ford/NOS Energy Drink
18David Ragan(Unadilla, GA)Toyota/Interstate Batteries
19Carl Edwards(Columbia, MO)Toyota/Subway
20Matt Kenseth(Cambridge, WI)Toyota/DeWalt
22Joey Logano(Middletown, CT)Ford/AAA So. California
23J.J. Yeley(Phoenix, AZ)Toyota/Dr. Pepper
24Jeff Gordon(Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Axalta
26Jeb Burton(Halifax, VA)Toyota/
27Paul Menard(Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/FVP
29Reed Sorenson(Peachtree City, GA)Toyota/TBA
31Ryan Newman(South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Mike Bliss(Milwaukie, OR)Ford/King Taco
33Brian Scott(Boise, ID)Chevrolet/Shore Lodge
34Brett Moffitt(Grimes, IA)Ford/Dockside Logistics
35Cole Whitt(Alpine, CA)Ford/Rinnai Tankless Water
38David Gilliland(Riverside, CA)Ford/Love's Travel Stops
40Landon Cassill(Fairfax, IA)Chevrolet/TBA
41Kurt Busch(Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Kyle Larson(Elk Grove, CA)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola(Tampa, FL)Ford/Smithfield
44Travis Kvapil(Janesville, WI)Chevrolet/TBA
46Michael Annett(Des Moines, IA)Chevrolet/Cypress
47A.J. Allmendinger(Los Gatos, CA)Chevrolet/Scott Products
48Jimmie Johnson(El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's Pro Services
51Justin Allgaier(Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
55Brian Vickers(Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Janssen
62Brendan Gaughan(Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/South Point Hotel
66Mike Wallace(St. Louis, MO)Toyota/TBA
78Martin Truex Jr.(Mayetta, NJ)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Matt DiBenedetto(Grass Valley, CA)Toyota/Burger King
88Dale Earnhardt Jr.(Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Nationwide
98Josh Wise(Riverside, CA)Ford/Phil Parsons Racing

Leading Contenders

Kyle Larson------------------------2
Kurt Busch167135617953
Matt KensethWonWon5Won741674
Tony Stewart43878913Won225
Jamie McMurray6372216172332196
Carl Edwards329Won71365410
Dale Earnhardt Jr1140403932123212
Jeff Gordon132322018261113
Clint Bowyer146191987133516
Ryan Newman2012102836571020
Martin Truex Jr1542627392181823
Jimmie Johnson2329Won2101224
Brad Keselowski------------2126182326
Kevin Harvick29178382Won41336
Joey Logano---------2652524339
Greg Biffle421515410116640
Kasey Kahne43891234914941
Denny Hamlin121141629391125---
The Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway is the fifth race on the 2015 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 18 years ago. There have been 25 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 four years ago. Jimmie Johnson, who hails from nearby El Cajon, California, holds the track record for most wins with five. Kyle Busch has won the Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway the past two years. Busch is not competing in this weekend's event due to a fractured right leg and left foot he sustained during an accident in the Feb. 21 Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway. David Ragan continues to substitute for him in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Johnson is the only driver to win from the pole at this track, doing so on Aug. 31, 2008. Rick Hendrick has the most car owner wins at ACS with nine, followed by Jack Roush with seven. Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin have the most pole wins at this track with three each. Gordon is the only driver who has competed in each of the previous 25 Cup races at ACS. Two drivers competing in this race made their Cup debuts at this track: Greg Biffle (April 28, 2002) and J.J. Yeley (Sept. 5, 2004). Johnson and Kyle Busch are those drivers who scored their first career victories in the series at ACS. Johnson's inaugural win occurred there on April 28, 2002. Busch's victory at this track happened on Sept. 4, 2005. 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 just 0.144 seconds. 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 29 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Kurt Busch won last year's race there.
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