Auto Club 400 Preview

Track:

Auto Club Speedway – Fontana, CA

2.0 Miles, 200 Laps; Segments 1 & 2 * laps each

Defending champion: Jimmie Johnson

Top 5 drivers the last 5 years*:

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Average finish 6.8)
  2. Kurt Busch (Average finish 10.0)
  3. Paul Menard (Average finish 11.0)
  4. Ryan Newman (Average finish 11.2)
  5. Jimmie Johnson (Average finish 11.2)

*Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott have not competed in all of the the last 5 Auto Club 400s and therefore were not eligible.

Points entering Auto Club 400:

Driver Car # Points Wins Stage Wins
Brad Keselowski 2 178 1 0
Martin Truex, Jr. 78 153 1 2
Kurt Busch 41 105 1 0
Ryan Newman 31 101 1 0
Kyle Larson 42 184 0 0
Chase Elliott 24 171 0 1
Joey Logano 22 153 0 1
Ryan Blaney 21 127 0 0
Kevin Harvick 4 123 0 3
Jamie McMurray 1 119 0 0
Kasey Kahne 5 105 0 0
Trevor Bayne 6 100 0 0
Kyle Busch 18 97 0 1
Denny Hamlin 11 97 0 0
Clint Bowyer 14 97 0 0
Jimmie Johnson 48 93 0 0

Analysis

In case you didn’t notice, all 5 drivers with the top 5 average finishes were driving Chevrolets the last 5 years. Chevrolet is also the defending champion of the race. This bodes well for Chevy young guns Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. However, Ford has looked strong at high-speed tracks this year, winning at Daytona & Atlanta and only losing at Las Vegas due to a late technical problem on Brad Keselowski’s Ford.

Prediction

Top 5 Contenders

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Kyle Larson
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Chase Elliott

Winner: Kevin Harvick

Harvick has had a rough start to the season despite being in the Top 10 in points thanks in large part to segment bonus points. I think he finally comes through at his home track and gets his first win of 2017 and his first win in a Ford.

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