There are plenty of stories to follow during Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, which can be heard live on the Motor Racing Network starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.
One Final Homecoming
Jimmie Johnson will make his final start as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver at his home track where he recorded his first of 83 career wins back in 2002. Johnson, who leads all drivers with six wins at Auto Club Speedway, will start second. He will lead the five-wide salute to the fans during the pace laps before taking the green flag, which his wife, Chandra, and daughters, Genevieve and Lydia, will wave. Read More
Along with Jimmie Johnson, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson and Tyler Reddick are the California drivers in the field. Both Harvick and Larson will start in the top 10 and both are previous winners at ACS. DiBenedetto finished second last weekend at Las Vegas to equal his best career Cup Series finish.
See Also: Paint Schemes for Auto Club 400
Don’t Cross the Seams
Auto Club has the oldest asphalt surface on the circuit and the seams on the track give it a lot of character. The seams can sometimes be tricky to navigate in trying to find the fastest way around the track.
“You better pick a lane and stick to it,” said Joey Logano. “That is how this place works. The seams here are very wide and have that sealer in there and that sealer isn’t very grippy at all. A lot of times cars get kind of stuck on the seams. You have to be smart when you cross them. Especially leaving (Turn) 2, you cross over them so quickly that your car really just wants to take off.”
Camaro Charging Forward
Last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, six Chevrolet drivers posted top-10 finishes with the new Camaro ZL1 1LE. Chase Elliott led 70 laps and won the first two stages before a flat tire took him out of contention. On Sunday, four Chevrolets will start in the top 10 led by Hendrick drivers Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman.
See Also: JTG Daugherty Racing Penalized
Gibbs Duo Looking to Bounce Back
Martin Truex Jr. will look to bounce back from a disappointing finish in Las Vegas and also from the rear of the field in Sunday’s race after he couldn’t post a qualifying lap because his No. 19 Toyota failed inspection three times. Truex’s teammate Kyle Busch, who is the defending Auto Club 400 winner, is still seeking his first top 10 of the year. Busch will start 17th.
See Also: Truex Jr. to Start in Rear
Drivers will be greeted by much cooler temperatures than what they practiced in on Friday. Alex Bowman led both of the sessions in fastest lap and best 10-lap average. In the final session, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson were the top five, respectively, in best 15 consecutive lap averages. Pole winner Clint Bowyer was 10th in best five-lap averages in final practice.
Penske Seeking Back-to-Back Wins
Team Penske drivers Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano, last week’s winner, currently occupy the top two spots in the Cup Series standings and look to continue the momentum in the Auto Club 400. Logano will start seventh and Blaney will start 16th. Brad Keselowski, who won in 2015 at Auto Club with Logano’s current crew chief Paul Wolfe, will start 15th. Logano and Keselowski currently have the longest top-10 streak at ACS with five.