NASCAR SPRINT CHASE FOR THE CUP SERIES
PEPSI MAX 400, AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
Sunday, October 10, 3:00 p.m. EDT
The fourth leg of NASCAR Sprint Series Chase for the Cup will take place Sunday at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This will be the last year that this track will hold two Sprint Series races. Starting in 2011, Auto Club Speedway will hold only one race and will not hold a Chase race. The race will also be shortened from 500 miles to 400. Qualifying may not be that important at California, as only one polesitter has won at California in 20 all-time races — Jimmie Johnson in 2008. That’s the lowest win percentage by a polesitter at any active NSCS track. Furthermore, the Lap 1 leader at California has never gone on to win the race.
CURRENT STANDINGS (Through 3 races)
Jimmie Johnson took the lead from Denny Hamlin last week and is eight points ahead of Hamlin heading into this weekend. Greg Biffle was the winner last week at Kansas, and jumped to 8th in the Chase standings, 85 points behind Johnson. It was Biffle’s 7th career Chase race win, the 2nd most in Chase history behind Johnson’s 19. Sports scores.
1. Jimmie Johnson 5303
2. Denny Hamlin 5495 (-8)
3. Kevin Harvick 5473 (-30)
4. Carl Edwards 5450 (-53)
5. Jeff Gordon 5445 (-58)
6. Kurt Busch 5433 (-70)
7. Kyle Busch 5423 (-80)
8. Greg Biffle 5418 (-85)
9. Jeff Burton 5402 (-101)
10. Tony Stewart 5376 (-127)
11. Matt Kenseth 5354 (-149)
12. Clint Bowyer 5251 (-252)
DRIVERS TO WATCH FOR
Jimmie Johnson 2/1
Johnson is the three-time defending champion in this race. In 15 races at Fontana, he has finished no worse than 11th and has an average finish of 5.5, which leads all drivers. Johnson has finished in the top-3 in four of the last five races this season.
Carl Edwards 8/1
Edwards has been running well the last few weeks and he does have the second-best average finish of 7.2 with one win and numerous other victories at tracks similar to this one. Baseball scores.
Kyle Busch 12/1
He is fourth on the list with a 10.8 average finish in his 12 races. In his last 10 races at Fontana, he has a so-so finish at 24th and then a 14th earlier this year. The remaining eight of the last 10 races were 1st, 10th, 8th, 9th, 3rd, 4th, 7th and 3rd.
Kevin Harvick 10/1
Harvick has finished in the top-10 in four of his last five races at Fontana. The other race he had engine failure and smashed into the wall, so that gives Harvick a 6.0 average in races that he has finished in the last two years at Fontana. He has raced very well lately, finishing in the top-10 in three of his last four races.
Matt Kenseth 15/1
In his 17 career races at Fontana, Kenseth has finished in the top-7 in 12 of them, winning three times. After finishing no better than 14th in his previous three races, Kenseth placed a strong seventh last week. Basketball scores.
NON-CHASE DRIVERS TO AVOID
Joe Gibbs Racing: only active NSCS track where they’ve never won
Denny Hamlin: finished 29th and 37th in last two California races
Jeff Burton: 1 top-10 finish in last five California races.
Distance: 2 miles
Shape: D-shaped ovalBanking: 14° turns
Frontstch: 3,100 feet
Backstrch: 2,500 feet
Seating : 92,000