West Coast Swing Concludes in Fontana

Auto Club Speedway is widely regarded as the most fun track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit for drivers and fans alike mostly due to the abundance of places to go on the racetrack. Three-wide, four-wide, five-wide, even six-wide are all possible around the 2.0-mile oval just north of Los Angeles, California. Passing left and right, fuel strategy, tire strategy, and everything in between, Fontana has it all, and that’s why the drivers love it.

Kyle Busch is one of the favorites to end up in victory lane in Fontana this weekend – again. He’s won his last two starts there, but didn’t race last season due to his leg and foot injury. Busch will roll off sixth Sunday afternoon, looking to go for the three-peat.

But the pole winner is someone who has been opening eyes this season and has been running up front since Daytona. Austin Dillon (188.482 MPH) captured the pole for the Auto Club 400 (Sunday, 3:30 pm, FOX).

“I’m not (just) a Daytona 500 polesitter now, I got a pole somewhere else,” Dillon said as he chuckled. “And to do it at a driver’s race track like this here at Fontana means a lot to me.”

But Dillon didn’t stop there, as he ended up winning the Xfinity Series race in thrilling fashion. Kyle Busch, who was going for four straight wins, blew a tire after taking the white flag and was passed by teammate Daniel Suarez. Suarez then ran out of fuel, and Busch passed him back with his flat tire. Dillon, who didn’t run out of fuel or have a flat tire, motored around turns three and four, got by Busch and ended up in victory lane on Saturday afternoon.

It’s luck and putting yourself in a position like that that can go a long way in a NASCAR race, where anything can and will happen.

Last week’s winner, Kevin Harvick, will start second, Denny Hamlin third, Ryan Newman fourth and Carl Edwards fifth. The aforementioned Busch will start sixth, Trevor Bayne seventh, Chase Elliott eighth, Joey Logano ninth and Jamie McMurray will round out the top ten starting positions on Sunday.

Some other notable qualifiers include Brad Keselowski in 15th, Martin Truex Jr. in 17th, Jimmie Johnson in 19th and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 27th.

Johnson and Earnhardt Jr. are sporting some fresh paint this weekend. The No. 48 has a Superman paint scheme and the No. 88 has a Batman paint scheme, as they’re promoting the new Batman vs. Superman movie. “#HeroFaceOff” has been the hashtag that fans are using this weekend. You can bet that those two Hendrick drivers will have something to say about who grabs the checkered flag before it flies Sunday evening.

The big dogs will be out in full force, as Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing will be up front all day. But look for some other drivers to be inside the top ten, including Kyle Larson (loves to rim ride in the high lane), Kurt Busch (has been incredibly fast all season), and rookies Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney. Drivers can drive wherever they want, whenever they want, all around the 2.0-mile oval.

If there’s one race you should watch all season, it should be this one. Four of the last five races at Auto Club Speedway have been decided by a last lap pass, including when Brad Keselowski won last season. It’s going to be crazy.