Everything you need to know about Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, in three minutes:
Three things to watch
1. The roughness of a track that hasn’t been repaved in a long time is a mixed blessing. The drivers prefer it this way as far as the car’s handling, but Auto Club is very hard on tires.
2. Pole-sitter Kurt Busch seems to be highly motivated after missing the first two races while serving a suspension related to an accusation of domestic abuse in Delaware.
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3. This is the third of three West Coast races for race teams based mostly in North Carolina. It’s a particularly grueling span of the Sprint Cup schedule.
▪ This track, tucked into an industrial neighborhood in Orange County, doesn’t stand out from the surrounding buildings, which is a rarity for a Sprint Cup venue. The other extreme would be Talladega, which all but pops out of the Alabama countryside.
▪ Sunday’s race is a sell-out of 68,000 seats, another indication one Sprint Cup event each season is the right fit for this track. It used to host two.
▪ Jeff Gordon said Friday he’d eventually like to have a discussion with Chevrolet about a possible management position in their racing operation. Keeping Gordon in the sport as a resource after he retires from driving would be a great move.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Kevin Harvick: He says he’s in a great place as far as interaction with his crew. He gives feedback, rather than orders, then trusts the technical people to make the car fast.
Kurt Busch: Team owner Gene Haas had his back during a recent domestic-abuse investigation, and now Busch is determined to reward that faith with checkered flags.
David Ragan: He was a top-five qualifier and fast in Saturday’s practices, too.
He said it
“Until the pavement starts peeling off and starts chucking over the wall, I don’t think they should ever change it .” – Jeff Gordon on drivers’ resistence to repaving Auto Club Speedway’s driving surface.
Auto Club 400
Where: Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.
Track type: 2-mile paved superspeedway.
Race distance: 400 miles, or 200 laps.
Green flag: 3:16 p.m.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 79 degrees.
Radio: Motor Racing Network.