THE RACE: Auto Club 400
TRACK: Auto Club Speedway
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race #5 of 36
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018 in Fontana, CA
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 3:46 pm/et
NASCAR RaceDay: 2:00pm/et on FS1
NASCAR Sunday Pre-Race Show: 3:00pm/et on Fox
Television Race Coverage: Fox, 3:30pm/et
Friday, March 16, 2:35pm-3:25pm/et, TV-FS1;
Saturday, March 17, 12:35pm - 1:25pm/et, TV-FS1;
Saturday, March 17, 3:30pm - 4:20pm/et, TV-FS1
Qualifying for positions 1-40, Friday, March 16 at 7:15 pm/et, TV-FS1;
re-air scheduled: TBA
In the Booth: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon
Pit Reporters: Jamie Little, Regan Smith, Vince Welch, Matt Yocum
In-Race Analyst: Larry McReynolds
Race / Hollywood Hotel Host: Chris Myers
Analysts / Hollywood Hotel: Jeff Gordon, Darrell and Michael Waltrip
Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
TV Listings, Links and Info:
see the TV Listings and Links page
Friday, March 16
8:00 AM-4:30 PM NASCAR CREDENTIALS OPEN
8:30 AM-6:00 PM MENCS GARAGE OPEN
10:30 AM MENCS ROOKIE MEETING, SPOTTER MEETING, & RANDOM DRAWING
11:35 AM-12:25 PM MENCS 1ST PRACTICE
4:15 PM (7:15 PM/ET) MENCS QUALIFYING (MULTI-VEHICLE / THREE ROUNDS)
Saturday, March 17
7:00 AM-2:30 PM NASCAR CREDENTIALS OPEN
8:00 AM-4:00 PM MENCS GARAGE OPEN
9:35 AM-10:25 AM MENCS 2ND PRACTICE
12:30 PM-1:20 PM MENCS FINAL PRACTICE
Sunday, March 18
7:30 AM-1:00 PM NASCAR CREDENTIALS OPEN
7:30 AM MENCS GARAGE OPENS
10:30 AM MENCS DRIVER / CREW CHIEF MEETING (NASCAR XFINITY SERIES GARAGE AREA TENT)
11:50 AM MENCS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS
12:30 PM (3:30 PM) MENCS RACE (200 LAPS, 400 MILES)
MENCS = Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
March 2017: see the Auto Club Race Info page
Grand Marshal: Cast of Super Troopers
Command to start engines: Bryan Derbyshire, CEO of TicketGuardian, along with wife Kristen and son Hudson
Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: TBA
Honorary Pace Car Driver: Ian Somerhalder
Color Guard: California Army National Guard Color Guard
Invocation: Jeff Hamilton, Official Chaplain of Auto Club Speedway
National Anthem: Cassadee Pope
Sunday Auto Club Speedway Notebook: Cooler heads prevail after Harvick-Larson wreck; Kyle Busch disappointed with third-place run; Denny Hamlin scores another quiet top 10..[More](3-18-2018)
Saturday Auto Club Speedway Notebook: Aric Almirola's Friday woes continue at Auto Club Speedway; NASCAR moves to strip advantages from non-qualifiers; Short Strokes.[More](3-17-2018)
Friday Auto Club Speedway Notebook: There's no quit in Jimmie Johnson; Comics are serious business to Ryan Blaney; Auto Club Speedway bites Daniel Suárez.[More](3-16-2018)
What to Watch for: Auto Club Speedway: Harvick and his win streak roll into California; Larson Looks to Keep Up 2-Mile Win Streak; Could Johnson be California Dreamin'? Who's Hot and Who's Not - California.[More](3-16-2018)
Auto Club Speedway Weekend Preview: #NASCARGoesWest: Auto Club Speedway; Championship Case.[More](3-15-2018)
A look at many news, notes and story lines for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway, see the stats on the NASCAR National Series News & Notes -- Auto Club Speedway
A look at some of the top statistical performers and top-10 driver ratings at Auto Club Speedway, see the stats on the Statistical Advance - Analyzing Auto Club Speedway page
Martin Truex Jr. answers doubters with dominating win at Fontana: Martin Truex Jr. drove three things on Sunday afternoon at Auto Club Speedway. First, he drove the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota to a dominating victory in the Auto Club 400, the fifth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season. Second, he drove a time machine, turning back the clock to 2017 when his mastery of stage racing propelled him to his first series championship.[More](3-18-2018)
Martin Truex. Jr. won the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway. The win is his first win of 2018, first win at Auto Club and 16th career win.
#42-Larson finished 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #22-Logano, #11-Hamlin, #20-Jones, #12-Blaney, #48-Johnson, and #3-Dillon.
Truex started from the pole, swept all three stages, and led 125 of the 200 laps.
There were 16 lead changes among 7 drivers and 5 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps.
The average speed of the race was: 147.526mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Cumulative Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).
MENCS at California:
- Martin Truex Jr.: 16th career win; 13th in last 65 Cup Series starts after having 3 in his 1st 381 career starts
- Truex Jr.: led 125 laps; led 14 in his first 4 races this season
- Truex Jr.: 2nd straight top-5 finish at California (4th last year); none in 1st 16 career starts at track
- Truex Jr.: won by 11.7 seconds; largest margin of victory since Kurt Busch won by 25.7 sec at Texas in Nov. 2009
- Truex Jr.: won pole, 1st 2 stages and race (max 60 points, 7 playoff points); 3rd team he's swept all 3 stages in a race, 1st time any driver has won all 3 stages and pole in same race since stage racing began last season
- Kevin Harvick: finished 35th after early incident with Kyle Larson; was seeking to become 1st driver to win 4 straight Cup Series races since Jimmie Johnson in 2007 (only instance in series in 2000)
- Kyle Larson: finished 2nd; 13th top-2 finish over last 2 seasons (leads all drivers)
- Kyle Busch: finished 3rd for 3rd straight top-3 finish; longest streak since he had 3 straight over 2015-16 seasons
- Jimmie Johnson: finished 9th; snapped 10-race streak without a top-10 finishes (last was 7th-place finish in October at Charlotte)
(ESPN Stats & Info)(3-18-2018)
Race Fast Facts - Auto Club
Martin Truex Jr. won the 22nd Annual Auto Club 400, his 16th victory in 446 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2018.
This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 18 races at Auto Club Speedway.
Kyle Larson (second) posted his third top-10 finish in five races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2018.
Kyle Busch (third) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 20 races at Auto Club Speedway.
William Byron (15th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Martin Truex Jr. leads the point standings by 9 points over Kyle Busch.
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(3-18-2018)
2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Driver Chase Standings:
[after Auto Club, race 5 of 36]
#4-Kevin Harvick [3 wins - 2 can be used for playoffs], 170
#78-Martin Truex Jr. [1 win], 216
#3-Austin Dillon [1 win], 141
#18-Kyle Busch, 207, -9
#22-Joey Logano, 197, -19
#2-Brad Keselowski, 183, -33
#12-Ryan Blaney, 181, -35
#11-Denny Hamlin, 176, -40
#42-Kyle Larson, 174, -42
#14-Clint Bowyer, 155, -61
#10-Aric Almirola, 148, -68
#41-Kurt Busch, 144, -72
#20-Erik Jones, 132, -84
#31-Ryan Newman, 117, -99
#21-Paul Menard, 115, -101
#88-Alex Bowman, 115, -101
See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
Top-Ten Stage 2 Results (lap 120) of the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway (lap 120/200):
#78-Truex, 10pts, 1 playoff point
Top-Ten Stage 1 Results (lap 60) of the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway (lap 60/200):
#78-Truex, 10pts, 1 playoff point
Lucky Dogs, drivers that got a lap during the cautions (and their finish):
Caution 1: #37-Buscher, 30th
Caution 2: #15-Chastain, 29th
Caution 3: #31-Newman, 21st
Caution 4: #21-Menard, 19th
Caution 5: #13-Dillon, 27th
See the starting lineup for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway on the Starting Lineup Page (pdf).
To the rear: #19-Suarez (backup car), #88-Bowman (engine), #23-Gaulding (engine), #34-McDowell (rear gear)
NASCAR Overtime Race Procedure: Rule and notes on the NASCAR Overtime rules/news/stats page.
Wave Around: how the wave around rule works: All vehicles between the leader and the caution vehicle at the start/finish line when the "one to go" signal is given by the starter are considered "Wave Around" eligible. "Wave Around" vehicles will not be permitted to enter pit road at any time during this yellow flag/caution period. "Wave Around" vehicles must receive the green flag on the race track before being permitted to enter pit road without a penalty. Vehicles under a penalty and the "Free Pass" vehicle will not be eligible to receive a "Wave Around".
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway have been made.
With the field downsized to 40 cars, two pit stalls (22,43) have been eliminated, are not in play and don't count towards driving through more than three pit boxes.
One pit stall (42), Monster Energy Pit Box, has been eliminated, are not in play and don't count towards driving through more than three pit boxes.
There is one vacant pit box (9) due to 39 cars entered and is in play and do count towards driving through more than three pit boxes
Pole winner #78-Truex chose pit stall 1, the first stall available [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole winner #18-Busch, took pit stall 2.
#43-Larson, who starts 3rd, took the12th stall, with an opening in front of it.
The final pit stall was taken by #41-Busch, who starts 7th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com's Pit Stall Selection chart.(3-17-2018)
Links to results, practices, qualifying PDF's: (will be added as available)
Official Race & Points Report
Cumlative Race Report
Happy Hour Practice Speeds
Practice 2 Speeds
Practice 1 Speeds
Latest / Final Entry List
Preliminary Entry List
Happy Hour (final) practice for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
best 10 consecutive lap avg (of 28 drivers): #4-Harvick 180.161
slowest: #55-Sorenson 169.296
notes: #9-Elliott, #10-Almirola, #11-Hamlin, #14-Bowyer, #24-Byron, #47-Almmendinger, #48-Johnson, #72-Whitt, #88-Bowman were penalized 15-minutes at the end of the session for failing inspection twice on Friday.
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf) (3-17-2018)
First Saturday practice for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
best 10 consecutive lap avg (of 18 drivers): #4-Harvick 181.009
slowest: #51-Hill 171.875
notes: #51-Hill had a 15-minute practice hold for being late to inspection on Friday.
Practice was 10 minutes behind schedule due to weepers in the track after overnight rain.
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Second Practice speeds page (pdf) (3-17-2018)
Martin Truex Jr. wins second straight pole of the season at Fontana: With the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying field thinned significantly by inspection issues, Martin Truex Jr. won his second straight pole of the season in Friday's knockout qualifying session at Auto Club Speedway.[More](3-16-2018)
Truex won the Busch pole for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway with speed of 186.567mph for his second pole of 2018, first at Auto Club and 17th of his career. Truex has won one times from the 16 previous poles.
#18-Busch will start 2nd followed by #42-Larson, #20-Jones, #3-ADillon, #22-Logano, #41-Busch, #12-Blaney, #31-Newman, #4-Harvick.
#4-Harvick was fastest in the second round with a speed of 187.720mph, will start 10th.
#4-Harvick was also quickest in the first round with a speed of 188.744mph.
Driver(s) who will miss the race: none as 37 were entered for 40 spots
See round-by-round qualifying results on the Qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Starting Lineup page (pdf).(3-16-2018)
Auto Club Speedway - Qualifying Fast Facts:
Martin Truex Jr. won the Busch Pole Award for the 22nd Annual Auto Club 400 with a lap of 38.592 seconds, 186.567 mph.
This is his 17th pole in 446 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
This is his second pole and third top-10 start in 2018.
This is his first pole in 18 races at Auto Club Speedway.
Kyle Busch (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2018 and his 12th in 20 races at Auto Club Speedway.
Kyle Larson (third) posted his third top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his fourth in five races this season.
Darrell Wallace Jr. (19th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
Second Round of Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
the rest of the top 12: 22 37 20 78 3 31 2
out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 6 21 1 17 13 32 43 23 38 34 00
First Round of Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 15 scheduled minutes.
the rest of the top 24: 2 12 31 22 3 41 18 37 43 6 32 13 1 38 34 17 23 00 55
out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 24 15 51 88 11 47 72 14 9 10 48 95 19
Drivers who will miss the race: none, 37 entered
Coverage of Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 17, 2018 at 7:15pm/et.
Television (TV): FS1, 7:00pm/et
Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
Group qualifying under the three-round qualifying format:
• Round 1 -- All entries will have 15 minutes to post a qualifying time, after which the 24 registering the fastest laps will advance to the second round. Those failing to advance will be sorted based on first-round times in descending order (from fastest to slowest).
• Round 2 -- The 24 fastest from the first round will have 10 minutes to post a second-round qualifying time, with the 12 fastest advancing to a third round. Those not advancing will earn starting positions 13 through 24 based on time, again in descending order.
• Round 3 -- The final round will be five minutes in length. The fastest times from this session will determine the first (Coors Light Pole Award) through 12th starting positions.
There will be a seven-minute break between each round; teams may make adjustments to their entries only during the individual breaks. They will not be allowed to jack the vehicle or raise the hood, and once the car or truck enters the garage, it will no longer be permitted to return to the track for additional qualifying attempts.
Friday practice for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
most laps run: #38-Ragan
best 10 consecutive lap avg (of 2 drivers): #11-Hamlin 181.278
slowest: #55-Sorenson 170.628
notes: #19-Suarez wrecked and is now in a backup car. He will start at the rear of the field on Sunday.
See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Friday Practice speeds (pdf) (3-16-2018)
Entry List for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is posted, 37 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed.
Some of the drivers entered include: #15-Chastain, #51-Hill, #55-Sorenson, #72-Whitt.
Since only 37 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
See the full entry list on the Entry List (pdf)
For qualifying rules and formats, see the Qualifying Rules page
How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Martinsville(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph
Auto Club Goodyear Tire Notes See complete tire information for the race weekend across all series on the [Goodyear Tire Notes - Auto Club Speedway page.(3-13-2018)
Race and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship