Posts Tagged ‘Auto Club Speedway’

NASCAR Race Review: Auto Club 400

March 27, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced their fifth race of the season, the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Ca. This is a two mile D-shaped oval in southern California.

In the four previous races so far this year, there have been four different race winners. Will this one see a fifth winner, or will one of them win again? This is also the fifth different kind of track. Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500, the season opener at the 2.5 mile super speedway. Denny Hamlin won the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the one mile Phoenix International Raceway. Tony Stewart finally won at the 1.5 mile track in Las Vegas in the Kobalt Tools 400. He normally doesn’t get started winning until the summertime. Last week Brad Keselowski won at the half mile track in Bristol, the Food City 500.

No driver leading the first lap in California has gone on to win the race. Only Jimmie Johnson has won from the Pole position. Johnson has five wins here. Kevin Harvick won this race last year. Joe Gibbs Racing has won the last eight Nationwide races at this track, but has yet to win in the Sprint Cup Series. JGR drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch start first and second for this race. Will either one of them win this race?

11 Denny Hamlin captured the Pole with a speed of 186.403 mph and 38.626 seconds around this two mile track. 18 Kyle Busch and 55 Mark Martin had the same speed and start second and third. 16 Greg Biffle and 5 Kasey Kahne also posted the same speed and start fourth and fifth. Rain is in the forecast, so they will be racing for the halfway point. (It never rains in southern California. It pours, man it pours.) 200 laps is 400 miles. After 101 laps the race will be considered completed if the rains come.

So, here we go! 11 Denny Hamlin chooses the inside lane. 11 and 18 Kyle Busch race for the lead and 11 leads that first lap. 18, 11 and 16 Greg Biffle race for the lead and 18 takes over. 5 Kasey Kahne, 20 Joey Logano and 29 Kevin Harvick race three wide for position. 29 takes it.  39 Ryan Newman gets by 55 Mark Martin for fourth. 39 and 16 race side by side for third, 39 drives under 16 to take the spot. 14 Tony Stewart slides in front of 29 and Harvick lets him know he better get going. 14, 39, 29 and 48 Jimmie Johnson get by 55.

29 and 48 race side by side for sixth. 16 and 14 race for third. 14 gets by. 29 gets by 39. 14 slides in front of 11 for second. Green Flag pitting starts with all the leaders coming in at the same time. 34 David Ragan leads. 18 is back in the lead after all the pitting. 78 Regan Smith was too fast exiting. 39 slides in front of 29. 48 drives under 16. 11 and 14 race for second and 14 gets by. 16 and 24 Jeff Gordon (who started 24th) and 16 race for fifth. 24 goes to the apron to get by. 24 and 48 race for fourth.

55 starts another round of Green Flag pitting. 1 Jamie McMurray has to come back in for a missing lug nut. 24 leads. 47 Bobby Labonte is too fast exiting. 48 leads, then pits. 18 is back in the lead. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 16 race for sixth and 88 gets by. 99 Carl Edwards drives under 55. 1 is back in with a loose wheel. 14 and 18 race for the lead while 18 is trying to lap 42 Juan Pablo Montoya. (No courtesy is required here. No driver wants to get lapped, or is required to do so.) 14 takes the lead. 18 scrapes the wall.

13 Casey Mears makes an unscheduled pit stop. 11 and 18 race for second and 11 gets by. 31 Jeff Burton starts another round of Green Flag pitting at half way. 2 Brad Keselowski is too fast entering pit road. 48 leads as 14, 11 and 18 make their pit stops. 48 pits and 24 leads. 24 pits and the fuel can gets stuck in the tank. He finally gets it out only after the car is out of his pit. Gordon gets a stop and go penalty for taking equipment out of the pit.

14, 11, 18, 48 and 88 are the top five after the pitting. The first and only caution comes out for rain in Turn 3. 22 A. J. Allmendinger gets back onto the lead lap. 14 fakes going into the pits. 11 is committed to pitting and 48 follows him in. 17 Matt Kenseth has a tire rolling away. 48 comes out in tenth ahead of 11 but is smoking. The Red Flag comes out on lap 129 for rain. They all head to pit road, following the pace car. It pours (man it pours).

After half an hour, the race is declared completed. 14 Tony Stewart wins the rain shortened Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway. This is his 46th career win. Stewart becomes the first repeat winner this year. 18 Kyle Busch finishes second, followed by 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 29 Kevin Harvick, 99 Carl Edwards, 16 Greg Biffle, 39 Ryan Newman, 56 Martin Truex, Jr., 51 Kurt Busch and 48 Jimmie Johnson for the top ten. Pole sitter, 11 Denny Hamlin finishes eleventh.

With his fifth consecutive top ten finish, Greg Biffle remains first in championship points. Kevin Harvick remains in second, seven points behind. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. moves up three spots into third. Tony Stewart also moves up three spots into fourth. Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex, Jr. and Denny Hamlin each fall two spots into fifth, sixth and seventh. Jimmie Johnson moves up another three spots into eighth. Clint Bowyer falls a spot into ninth and Ryan Newman moves up three spots into the top ten.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.

NASCAR Race Review: Royal Purple 300

March 25, 2012

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.



Fast Friday At Auto Club Speedway

March 24, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. NASCAR heads out west this weekend to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Fast Friday saw practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Auto Club 400 race on Sunday. The NASCAR Nationwide Series also practiced for the Royal Purple 300 race on Saturday. NASCAR Tickets may be purchased through Vivid Seats, as they have tickets to most Sporting events.

Auto Club Speedway is a fast two mile D-shaped oval. Jimmie Johnson has won here five times. Last year Kevin Harvick won this race. Clint Bowyer was fastest in practice and will be the last driver on the track for Coors Light Pole Qualifying, also seen on Fast Friday. on the Nationwide side, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Austin Dillon were fastest. They will qualify and race on Saturday. The first lap leader in this race has never gone on to win the race!

Rookie, Timmy Hill was slowest in practice and came out first for Coors Light Pole Qualifying. He was also slowest in qualifying and failed again to make the race. This Rookie has not raced in any Sprint Cup races this year! He was Rookie of the year in Nationwide last year. Perhaps he should have stayed in the Nationwide Series. Robby Gordon and Joe Nemechek also failed to make the race.

Joey Logano turned in a fast lap that was hard to beat after being the twenty-third driver out. Kevin Harvick had a fast lap to knock Joey off the pole. Joey’s team mate, Kyle Busch had a better time and sat on the pole until team mate, Denny Hamlin got on the track. Denny captured the Pole with a speed of  186.403 mph and 38.626 seconds around this two mile track. Kyle Busch and Mark Martin had the same exact speed and will start second and third. (Kyle is higher in points than Mark.) Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne also had the same speed. Biffle leads the points and will start fourth while Kahne will start fifth. Only Jimmie Johnson has won the race from the Pole position.

There will be two more practices for the Auto Club 400 on Saturday. Saturday will also see Coors Light Pole Qualifying and the Royal Purple 300 race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.



NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing: Martinsville

March 31, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week NASCAR will be closer to home, at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. Martinsville is the shortest track on the circuit at .526 miles. It is also the only track still on the circuit from when NASCAR first started up. While Bristol is .533 and a bull ring, Martinsville is a paper clip. Long straightaways and short, tight turns. It has pavement on the straightaways and concrete in the turns. And not much in the way of banking. And while Bristol has more room for racing, Martinsville is tight making for bumping to get by. (Personally, I prefer the racing to the bumping.)

Last year qualifying was rained out, giving the pole to points leader, Kevin Harvick. This year if qualifying is rained out, the pole position will go to the fastest in practice. (I like that better.) On Sunday the race was also rained out and was raced on Monday. In that race, there was a late caution, for a double file restart. Matt Kenseth touched Jeff Gordon, who moved Kenseth up to the wall, allowing Denny Hamlin to win the race. (Hamlin went for knee surgery during the off-week and went on to contend for the Championship.)

These days, Martinsville is mainly a contest between Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson. Jeff Gordon has seven wins here, but none recently. Richard Petty has the most wins at this track with fifteen. Darryl Waltrip has eleven. Hamlin is back in 21st place in points having had engine trouble early this year. Maybe he can get back into contention with another win here. Johnson finished second last week at Auto Club Speedway in an exciting finish, which moved him up to fifth in points. Perhaps he can win this race.

For tickets you can go to VividSeats. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series  will also be in Martinsville this weekend. So there will be a lot of racing going on. I can’t wait!

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR.

NASCAR Race Review: Auto Club 500

March 28, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week’s race review for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes us to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Ca. for the Auto Club 400. This year this is the lone race at this track. And what a great race it turned out to be. Maybe NASCAR should look into having only one race at more tracks.

42 Juan Pablo Montoya starts from the pole with a speed of 184.653 mph and 38.99 seconds. Can he finally win at an oval track? The driver who leads the first lap here has never gone on to win the race. 11 Denny Hamlin sits beside him on the front row.

09 this week is Landon Cassill. 60 is Todd Bodine (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion). 32 is veteran Ken Schrader. 99 Carl Edwards has six top two finishes in the last six races. Can he keep it up? 18 Kyle Busch swept the weekend last week at Bristol Motor Speedway. He won the Nationwide race here on Saturday. Can he sweep this weekend also? 48 Jimmie Johnson won his first career win at this track and has won four more in the last seven races. Can the five time champ do it again?

There was more rain overnight. Hopefully the “weepers” are taken care of and will not be a problem. (Practice on Friday was delayed to dry them out.) There were twelve drivers who were caught speeding the last race here. That is a sure way to cut your chances of winning. 20 Joey Logano had to change the engine and will start the race from the rear after qualifying third.

So, here we go! 18, 11  and 78 Regan Smith battle for second while 42 leads from the pole. 21 Trevor Bayne slides into the wall. 42 and 11 battle for the lead but 11 can’t clear. 37 Tony Raines is blowing up but he makes it to the garage and there is no caution. 17 Matt Kenseth gets by team mate 6 David Ragan for fourth. 42 and 11 race side by side for the lead and 11 finally takes the lead. 18 gets by 42 for second. 31 Jeff Burton gets by 17 for fourth. 00 David Reutimann, 56 Martin Truex, Jr., 78 and 39 Ryan Newman race each other for position.

11 and 18 battle for the lead, 18 slides through the corner and 11 retains the lead. (How dare Denny not moving over for Kyle. He admonishes Denny for not being a good team mate!). 18 finally takes the lead when he goes high for momentum and then drops low to get by. There is a round of Green Flag Pitting and 48 leads, then pits. 46 J. J. Yeley leads, then runs out of fuel.

56 Martin Truex, Jr. and 83 Brian Vickers race for third with 56 taking the spot. 56 gets by 11 for second. 14 Tony Stewart gets by 83. There is a second round of Green Flag Pitting and 56 takes the lead. 7 Robby Gordon is slow on the track. 14 takes the lead. 31 gets caught speeding.

The first caution comes out for debris, bringing an end to the record laps run under Green. 31 stays on the lead lap. 78 Regan Smith gets back onto the lead lap. 14 stays out and 39 takes two tires to come out of the pits first. 39 takes the lead. 14 holds off 18, and 39 takes off. 18 finally gets by 14 for second. 11 is slow and may be blowing up. 48 and 5 Mark Martin race side by side. 56 drives under 48. 4 Kasey Kahne gets “slideways”. 14 gets back by 18 for second.

34 David Gilliland gets into the wall and the second caution comes out for debris. 11 gets back on the lead lap. They are three wide out of the pits and 18 jumps ahead of them to come out of the pits first. 18 leads and they are three wide for second, and four wide further in the pack. 33 Clint Bowyer brushes the wall. 17 drives under 42. 56 gets around 31. 11 heads for the garage. (He shouldn’t have said “all we do is win!” Lady Luck doesn’t like that.)

48 gets by 17 for fifth. 56 nearly gets into the wall. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. scoots by 56 and 56 gets back by 88. There is another round of Green Flag Pitting. 18 retains the lead after the pitting. 33 and 39 race side by side for seventh. 33 finally clears.

The third caution comes out when 71 Andy Lally gets loose and slides the car all over the track. 09 Landon Cassill gets back onto the lead lap. Out of the pits, it’s 18, 14, 29, 48 and 17 for the top five. 48 gets by 29 for third. They are racing three wide and 88 and 42 drive by on the outside. 21 scrapes the wall again. 48 clears 14 for second.

The fourth caution comes out with fifteen laps to go. 47 Bobby Labonte cuts a tire and slides into the wall. He gets stopped at the top of pit road, so pit road is closed until they can remove the car. The top seven stay out, along with 09. The Green Flag flies with nine laps to go. 18 chooses the outside. 20 passed before he was allowed and gets a penalty. 33 drives between two cars to get by.

18 and 48 race side by side for the lead and 48 takes the lead. 18 gets into the wall and 29 takes second. On the last lap 29 catches 48 and bumps him. 48 moves over and 29 gets by on the outside to take the lead. 29 Kevin Harvick wins the Auto Club 400, taking the lead just before the Finish Line. That was the only lap he led all race. But it was the one lap that counted. There were ten different leaders. Kevin was the fifth different race winner this year in five races.

In my opinion, this race is what NASCAR racing is all about. RACING! And not a whole lot of cautions to slow them down. Or drivers making mistakes and getting into one another. So, was it a boring race because there were no spectacular crashes? I say it was an exciting race with Green Flag Pitting, lots of racing going on all over the track and an exciting last minute pass for the win. Just what this NASCAR fan ordered.

Carl Edwards now leads the points standings with 187 points. Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five, all within seventeen points. Harvick jumped six spots into ninth with that win, after blowing up early in the Daytona 500.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR.