Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Nationwide Series raced their fifth race of the season, the Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. on Saturday. Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place earlier in the day, with 18 Joey Logano capturing the Pole with a speed of 178.984 mph and 40.227 seconds around this two mile fast track. 31 Justin Allgaier starts next to him on the front row. 43 cars were entered into the race, so all 43 got to race. 18 is the defending car winner. In fact 18 has won the past seven races in a row! All wins were with Sprint Cup regulars driving the car. Kyle Busch is the defending winner of the race, but now has his own Nationwide car. (I guess we will see if it’s the car or the driver!)
54 Kyle Busch was to start the race in fifteenth, but missed driver introductions and will have to start the race from the rear. 22 Brad Keselowski had to make repairs to his car, but they were NASCAR approved, so he starts the race in third.
18 Joey Logano leads from the Pole. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. looses ground at the start but quickly moves up. 31 Justin Allgaier and 22 Brad Keselowski race for second and 31 holds him off. 11 Brian Scott and 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. race for seventh and 11 takes the spot. 31 is catching leader 18. 22 gets by 31 for second. 22 and 18 race side by side for the lead but 22 can’t make the pass. 22 finally slides in front of 18 to take the lead.
2 Elliott Sadler and 6 battle for sixth. 12 makes a pit stop, as well as 2, 7 Danica Patrick and 60 Trevor Bayne to start Green Flag Pitting. 09 Kenny Wallace leads. After the pitting, 22 is back in the lead. 18 and 31 race for second. 12 scrapes the wall. 12 and 3 Austin Dillon race for sixth.
The first caution comes out for debris. 38 Brad Sweet gets back onto the lead lap. 22 slides into his pit stall too close to the wall, so they have a hard time changing tires on the left side. 18 and 2 are on the front row with 18 choosing the outside. 18 and 2 race for the lead. 2 takes the lead. 18 drives under 2 for the lead. 7 is in the pits with the hood up. She gets pushed to the garage.
6 and 31 get by 2. 31, 6 and 18 race for the lead. 31 takes the lead. They do it again and 18 takes the lead. 43 Michael Annett and 12 race for position. 09, 88 Cole Whitt and 30 James Buescher race for thirteenth. 18 and 31 race for the lead, 31 wiggles in traffic and 18 stays in the lead. 22 and 33 Brendan Gaughan get by 54. 60 and 3 take turns passing each other.
The second caution comes out during the commercial. 12 spins and makes a nice save, not hitting anything. 44 Mike Bliss gets his lap back. 18 and 31 are on the front row for the restart, with 18 choosing the inside this time. 54 and 33 race for third. 33 and 6 get by 54. 31 and 2 race for fifth. 6 gets by 33 for second. 54 gets by 33. 18, 6 and 54 are three wide for the lead. 6 takes the lead, 18 takes it back.
The third caution comes out for debris. 81 Jason Bowles gets back onto the lead lap. They restart with 42 laps to go. They are three, four, and even six wide in the middle of the pack! 38 gets loose with a push from 2. 18 and 54 race for the lead and 54 takes the lead. 31 is off the pace with engine trouble. 18 and 54 race for the lead. 18, 6 and 22 race for second. 22 takes second and catches leader 54. 22 takes the lead. 18 gets by 54 for second. 18 slides in front of 22 to take the lead. We go to commercial as 18 and 22 race side by side for the lead.
The fourth caution comes out when 41 Blake Koch slides through the infield trying to get away from the leaders. This will be the “money stop” for pitting, the last one. 54 has a miscommunication on on pit road with the crew undecided as to how many tires should be changed. Several cars take fuel only. 60 and 2 restart on the front row. 22 nudges 60 out of the way. 18 takes the lead. 09 goes to the apron to get by 54. 6 gets by 22 for second. 22 comes back and they race again for second. 88 gets into the wall, but he makes it to pit road, so there is no caution. 2 races with 54.
18 Joey Logano wins the Royal Purple 300 race at Auto Club Speedway. This is now Joe Gibbs Racing’s eighth Nationwide win at this track in a row. All eight races were won by Sprint Cup drivers. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. finished second, followed by 22 Brad Keselowski, 11 Brian Scott, 3 Austin Dillon, 38 Brad Sweet, 09 Kenny Wallace, 54 Kyle Busch, 2 Elliott Sadler and 33 Brendan Gaughan for the top ten.
In Nationwide championship points, Elliott Sadler remains in first place and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. stays in second. Austin Dillon moves up a spot into third while Trevor Bayne falls a spot to fourth. Sam Hornish, Jr. and Cole Whitt trade fifth and sixth. Michael Annett and Tayler Malsam trade seventh and eighth. Justin Allgaier and Mike Bliss round out the top ten. Five races into the Nationwide season and points leader, Elliott Sadler has four top five finishes, tow of those being wins. In all five races he has five top ten finishes. Sadler moved to Nationwide from Sprint Cup and is again winning races and going for the championship.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.