NASCAR: Auto Club 400

It’s the final race of the west coast swing when the Monster Energy Cup Series runs the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

640px-California_Speedway,_aerial_view

The two mile track with its wide sweeping turns turned out to cause some issue for a number of drivers during practice; resulting in a few drivers starting the race in backup cars.

Inspection again proved to be an issue for a number of drivers again this week as well with six drivers not making it out of NASCAR inspection before the end of round one in qualifying.

After three rounds of qualifying on Friday, Kyle Larson won the pole position and will lead the field to the green flag.

After wrecking during practice and having to go to a backup car, Jimmie Johnson chose not to qualify and will be among the drivers starting from the back of the field.

Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Gray Gaulding and Matt DiBenedetto also failed to pass inspection in time to qualify and will start from the back of the field.

Reaching a racing milestone, Dale Earnhardt Jr will make his 600th NASCAR race start today but after it was discovered that his right front tire was cut, Junior will also be starting at the back of the field. NASCAR rules state that a driver must start the race on the tires he used in qualifying. Any tire replacements result in moving to the back of the field to start the race.

The starting lineup for the Auto Club 400:
Kyle Larson
Denny Hamlin
Brad Keselowski
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Newman
Matt Kenseth
Kevin Harvick
Jamie McMurray
Kyle Busch
Daniel Suarez
Austin Dillon
Kasey Kahne
Chase Elliott
Erik Jones
Kurth Busch
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Clint Bowyer
Dale Earnhard Jr – moved to the back of the field for a tire change
Ryan Blaney
Chris Buescher
Ty Dillon
Danica Patrick
Paul Menard – moved to the back of the field for an unapproved tire change
AJ Allmendinger
Michael McDowell
Landon Cassill
David Ragan – moved to the back of the field in a backup car
Cole Whitt
Reed Sorenson
Corey LaJoie
Aric Almirola
Jeffrey Earnhardt – moved to the back of the field for an unapproved transmission change
Derrike Cope
Timmy Hill
Joey Logano
Trevor Bayne
Jimmie Johnson
Matt DiBenedetto
Gray Gaulding

Stages one and two are 60 laps with stage three being 80 laps.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and takes the lead after Kenny Hamlin had issues getting started and nearly caused a big pile up.

On lap two Kyle Larson already has a lead of nearly a second.

The drivers have already gotten three and four wide.

Brad Keselowski brings out the first caution flag of the race on lap three after making contact with Ty Dillon and Jimmie Johnson he spins out and runs through the grass.

Most of the drivers came down pit road but Paul Menard and David Ragan, both drivers who started at the back, stayed out.

Paul Menard brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap eight but Kyle Larson passes him to take back the lead of the race. After starting at the back of the field, Joey Logano is already up to 12th place.

Lap 12 Kyle Larson has a lead of a second and a half over second place driver Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 16 Kyle Larson has a lead of two seconds on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 20 Martin Truex Jr has closed the lead on Kyle Larson to less than a second and a half. Larson has begun to lap slower cars.

Lap 25 Kevin Harvick cuts a tire but manages to hold on to the car and the track stays green. Harvick comes down pit road for fresh tires.

Kyle Larson has increased his lead to over a second and a half.

Lap 32 Kyle Larson gives up the lead to make a green flag pit stop. Chase Elliot takes over the lead of the race as green flag pit stops begin.

Once green flag pit stops have cycled through Martin Truex Jr takes over the lead of the race.

Cole Whitt was caught speeding on pit road.

Lap 43 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of less than a second over second place driver Kyle Larson. After starting in 35th, Joey Logano has moved into ninth place.

Dale Earnhardt Jr is reporting brake issues. Starting his 600th career race, Junior started the race in the rear after a cut tire and has moved in to 17th place.

Lap 47 Kyle Larson has caught up to lead Martin Truex Jr and is challenging for the lead. Kyle Larson takes over the lead of the race. There are 21 cars on the lead lap.

With seven laps remaining in stage one, Kyle Larson has a lead of over a second on second place driver Martin Truex Jr; there are 19 cars on the lead lap.

On the final lap of stage one Danica Patrick nearly spins out but saves the car and the track stays green.

Kyle Larson wins stage one – it’s his first stage win of the season. Brad Keselowski is the “lucky dog”.

TSM350_-_2015_-_Kyle_Larson_-_Stierch_01

The top 10 after stage one:
Kyle Larson
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Elliott
Jamie McMurray
Kyle Busch
Clint Bowyer
Joey Logano
Erik Jones
Ryan Blaney
Denny Hamlin

Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road.

Austin Dillon was caught speeding on pit road. Ryan Blaney was charged with removing equipment from his pit box.

Martin Treux Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart of stage two on lap 68 and pulls out in front of the field as cars spread out four wide behind him.

Lap 70 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over a second on second place driver Kyle Larson.

Lap 72 Michael McDowell brings his car down pit road with a cut tire. The track stays green.

Lap 80 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of two seconds on second place driver Kyle Larson. There are 19 cars on the lead lap and all 39 cars are still on the track.

Lap 85 Martin Truex Jr has increased his lead to over three seconds over secnd place driver Chase Elliott.

Jimmie Johnson begins the parade of green flag pit stops.

After green flag pit stops cycle through, Martin Truex Jr retakes the lead with over five seconds on the second place driver Clint Bowyer. Stage one winner Kyle Larson is in third.

Halfway through the race – 100 laps – Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over six seconds on second place driver Kyle Larson and with all 39 cars on the track, there are 19 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 107 Martin Truex Jr is running away from the field with a lead of over seven seconds.

With eight laps remaining in stage two, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly eight seconds on the field; there are 17 cars on the lead lap.

Three laps remaining in stage two and Truex’s lead is now over eight seconds.

Martin Treux Jr wins stage two. Ty Dillon is the “lucky dog”.

MartinTruexJrAugust2007

The top 10 drivers at the end of stage two:
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Chase Elliott
Clint Bowyer
Erik Jones
Jamie McMurray
Kyle Busch
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Brad Keselowski

Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road.

AJ Allmendinger was penalized for his pit crew coming over the pit wall too soon.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart of stage three on lap 127 and gets a challenge from Kyle Larons who takes over the lead of the race. The drivers are all over each other as they vie for spots.

Lap 132 Kyle Larson has pulled out to a lead of a secod on Martin Truex Jr.

Corey LaJoie gets into the wall on lap 136 but the track stays green.

Lap 142 Kyle Larson has pulled out to a two second lead over Martin Truex Jr.

With 50 laps remaining in the race, Kyle Larson has a two second lead on Martin Truex Jr.

The teams who have chosen to divide the final stage into thirds to take advantage of fresh tires are on pit road making green flag pit stops.

Now all of the drivers are making green flag pit stops. With fresh tires the drivers are two seconds faster on the track than with old tires.

Jimmie Johnson spins out on pit road trying to avoid Martin Truex Jr who was coming out of his pit stop.

Lap 158 Kyle Busch is in the lead of the race

Once Kyle Busch and Ty Dillon make green flag pit stops, all of the drivers will have fresh tires. After green flag pit stops cycle through, Kyle Larson retakes the lead of the race.

Lap 168 Kyle Larson has a one second lead on Martin Truex Jr.

Twenty six laps remaining in the race and Kyle Larson has a lead of less than a second over Martin Truex Jr.

Gray Gaulding brings out the fourth caution flag with 21 laps remaining in the race when he hits the wall.

When pit road opens the 16 lead lap cars come down for fresh tires and fuel.

Kyle Larson leads the race off of pit road.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart with only 16 laps remaining in the race. Matt Kenseth spins out and hits the wall hard after the drivers jockey for position on the restart.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart with only eleven laps remaining in the race. The two Kyle’s are side by side with Kyle Larson taking the lead.

Corey LaJoie brings out the caution flag with only nine laps to go. Most of the drivers make a trip down pit road for fresh tires.

Kyle Larson wins the race off of pit road, but three drivers stayed out on the track – Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch.

Erik Jones was penalized for an uncontrolled tire on pit road.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart with only five laps to go. Kyle Larson passes Denny Hamlin for the lead as Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Trevor Bayne crash and bring out the caution flag.

For the second year in a row, the Auto Club 400 will go into overtime.

In the first overtime attempt, Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart and pulls out in front.

The restart is good and Kyle Larson takes the white flag.

After winning the Xfinity race yesterday, Kyle Larson sweeps the weekend winning from the pole and ending his streak of second place finishes.

590px-Kyle_Larson_at_the_Daytona_500

The unofficial results of the Auto Club 400:
Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
Clint Bowyer
Martin Truex Jr
Joey Logano
Jamie McMurray
Daniel Suarez
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Austin Dillon
Erik Jones
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Newman
Dale Earnhardt Jr
AJ Allmendinger
Ty Dillon
Aric Almirola
Kasey Kahne
Jimmie Johnson
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Trevor Bayne
Kurt Busch
Chris Buescher
Danica Patrick
Landon Cassill
Paul Menard
Matt DiBenedetto
Corey LaJoie
David Ragan
Cole Whitt
Michael McDowel
Reed Sorenson
Timmy Hill
Matt Kenseth
Gray Gaulding
Derrike Cope
Jeffrey Earnhardt

Next week it’s on to the shortest track with the paperclip shaped track in Martinsville.

photos courtesy of:
By Doc Searls – originally posted to Flickr as 2007_06_24_iah-lax_90.JPG, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9512915

By Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41404838

By Royalbroil – cropped from Image:RobbyGordonMartinTruexJr.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2718056

By Nascarking – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38678934


Share with your friends
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmail

Follow Us
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutube

Enter your email address to get updated when we have new posts on the site and never miss a thing:

Delivered by FeedBurner





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *