NSCS: Auto Club 400 Preview- Auto Club Speedway

March 23, 2012 No Comments

Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR


Date: Sunday, March 25, 2012

Time: 3 p.m. ET

Location: Auto Club Speedway of Southern California

Distance: 200 laps/ 400 miles

Radio: MRN (Motor Racing Network)/ Sirius XM Channel 90


High: 68°F  - Low: 49°

Start Time Temperature: 64°F

End of Race Temperature: 58°F

Chance of Rain: 50%

Winds: From the South at 16 mph (Gusts reaching upwards of 28 mph)

Race Analysis and Notes: 

- Last year’s race saw a thrilling finish with three of the sport’s best battling. Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick were all within three car lengths of one another with five laps remaining. Harvick was able to bypass the leader, Johnson, on a last turn pass to take his first victory of three in 2011.

- Jimmie Johnson is all-time wins leader at ACS with a total of five. His first victory at ACS was also his first career Sprint Cup win in his rookie year of 2002.

- In 2011, this race was shortened from 500 to 400 miles. It was also the first time since 2003 that ACS hosted only one Cup weekend.

-Jeff Gordon won the inaugural race at ACS back in 1997. To this date, his average race winning speed of 155.012 mph is the fastest in the events history.

-  Historically, this has been a track dominated by the Roush and Hendrick teams. With a 15 wins in 22 races for the two powerhouses, have seemingly made the California oval their personal playground over the years.

-  There has only been one pole sitter to go on to take the win at ACS. That came in August, 2008 when Jimmie Johnson won en route to his third-straight NSCS title.

-  In 22 NSCS races, ACS has seen 14 different winners take the checkered flag as a winner.

-ACS has seen two of NASCAR’s current stars grab their first victory on their grounds (Jimmie Johnson in 2002, Kyle Busch in 2005).

- Although Joe Nemechek has started all 22 races at ACS, he also leads the way in DNF’s (Did Not Finish) with nine.

Story Lines: 

- The No.48 of five-time NSCS champion, Jimmie Johson, now finds themselves in a state of “normalcy” for the first time in 2012. After all penalties and suspensions were uplifted after NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer, John Middlebrook, overheard the case on Wednesday. Johnson now sits eleventh in the standings.

-Series points leader, Greg Biffle, comes into this weekend looking for his first win since 2010. Biffle last won at ACS in this race back in 2005.

Next Race: Goody’s Fast Relief  500 — Martinsville, VA (April 1, 2012) 

Fantasy Racing Picks:

“A” Drivers: Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth

“B” Drivers: Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin

“C” Drivers: Bobby Labonte, Aric Almirola, David Ragan

Entry List for the 16th Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway

#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Bass Pro Shops/ Chevrolet

#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Miller Lite/ Dodge

#5 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Quaker State/ Chevrolet

#7 Robby Gordon (Orange, CA) Speed Energy/ Dodge

#9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) DeWalt/ Ford

#10 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Tommy Baldwin Racing/ Chevrolet

#11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) FedEx Express/ Toyota

#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) GEICO/ Ford

#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Office Depot-Mobil 1/ Chevrolet

#15 Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) 5 Hour Energy/ Toyota

#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) 3m/ Ford

#17 Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WA) Roush Fenway Racing/ Ford

#18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Interstate Batteries/ Toyota

#19 Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR) TBA/ Toyota

#20 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Dollar General/ Toyota

#22 A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA) Southern California AAA/ Dodge

#23 Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC) North Texas Pipe/ Chevrolet

#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Drive to End Hunger/ Chevrolet

#26 Josh Wise (Riverside, CA) 1-800-Loan Mart/ Ford

#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Menards-Certainteed/ Chevrolet

#29 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Jimmy Johns/ Chevrolet

#30 David Stremme (South Bend, IN) Inception Motorsports/ Toyota

#31 Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA) Caterpillar/ Chevrolet

#32 Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO) 1 Less Than 2/ Ford

#33 Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV) South Point Hotel & Casino/ Chevrolet

#34 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) TBA/ Ford

#36 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Tommy Baldwin Racing/ Chevrolet

#37 Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD) Poynt.com/ Ford

#38 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) TBA/ Ford

#39 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) U.S. Army/ Chevrolet

#42 Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Columbia) Target/ Chevrolet

#43 Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL) Medallion Financial/ Ford

#47 Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Charter/ Toyota

#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Jimmie Johnson Foundation/ Chevrolet

#49 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) America Israel Racing/ Toyota

#51 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Phoenix Construction/ Chevrolet

#55 Mark Martin (Batesville, AR) Aaron’s Toyota

#56 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) NAPA Auto Parts/ Toyota

#74 Stacey Compton (Hurt, VA) Turn One Racing/ Chevrolet

#78 Regan Smith (Cayto, NY) Furniture Row-Farm America/ Chevrolet

#83 Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA) Burger King- Dr. Pepper/ Toyota

#87 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) AM-FM Energy/ Toyota

#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Diet Mountain Dew-National Guard/ Chevrolet

#93 Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI) Burger King-Dr. Pepper/ Toyota

#98 Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ) Curb Records/ Ford

#99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Subway/ Ford


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