Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club Race Info

Todd Warshaw/NASCAR/Getty Images

THE RACE: Auto Club 400
TRACK: Auto Club Speedway
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race #5 of 36

Sections on page:
Schedule | TV Info | Radio | Prac/Qual Times | Track/Race Info | Race Results
Entry/Prac/Qual Info | Local Info | Weather | Tire Notes | Odds

Date: Sunday, March 26, 2017 in Fontana, CA
Title Sponsor: Auto Club
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 3:50pm/et


NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: at 1:30pm/et on FoxSports1
NASCAR Sunday Pre-Race Show: at 3:00pm/et on FOX
Television Race Coverage: FOX, 3:30pm/et

In the Booth: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon
Pit Reporters: Jamie Little, Chris Neville, 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:
Sunday, March 26 at 10:30pm/et on FS1;
Monday, March 27 at 6:30am/et on FS1;
Monday, March 27 at 9:30am/et on FS2

TV Listings, Links and Info:
Jayski's TV Listings Page
Fox Sports TV Listings
FoxSports1 (FS1) TV Schedule
NBC Sports - TV Times
TSN NASCAR Cup TV Schedule - Canada
TSN Auto Racing TV Schedule - Canada
TV Racer
Armed Forces Network - Search NASCAR


Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite NASCAR Channel 90


FOX Sports GO
NBC Sports - stream.nbcsports.com
Radio: MRN Live Streaming
SiriusXM Internet Radio (available via internet connected device, with subscription)

Event Schedule times are local to the track

Thursday, March 23

Friday, March 24
10:30 - 11:55 AM MENCS 1ST PRACTICE

Saturday, March 25

Sunday, March 26

MENCS = Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
All event schedule times above are listed in LOCAL track time

(these times in eastern time)

Friday, March 24, 1:30 - 2:55 pm/et, TV-FS1
Saturday, March 25. 11:30 am - 12:20pm/et, TV-FS1
Happy Hour 'Final' practice: Saturday, March 25, 2:30 - 3:20 pm/et, TV-FS1

Qualifying: qualifying for positions 1-40, Friday, March 24 at 7:05 pm/et, TV-FS1;
re-air scheduled: Saturday, March 25 at 10:30am/et on FS1


Track Specifications:
Track/Race Length: 2.0 mile D-shaped oval, 200 laps, 400 miles
Superspeedway: 2.0-mile oval 75 feet wide with a 15 foot apron
Banking: turns: 14°; front stretch 11°; backstretch 3°
Front Stretch: 3,100feet
Back Stretch: 2,500feet
Pit Road: 2,200 feet long with 44 individual pit stalls
Pit Road Speed: 55mph
Pace Car Speed: 60mph
Approx: 1,800 Infield RV spaces
Grandstand seating capacity: 68,000 [was 81,000 & 92,000]
Opened: 1997

Race Festivities/Officials:
Grand Marshal: TBA
Command to start engines: TBA
Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: Latin singer Pepe Aguilar
Honorary Pace Car Driver: Actress Kaitlin Olson
Color Guard: TBA
Invocation: TBA
National Anthem: Skylar Stecker
Flyover: TBA

March 2016: see the Auto Club Race Info page

March 2016 Race Winner: #48-Jimmie Johnson, 137.213mph, started 19th
The Final October 2010 Race Winner: #14-Tony Stewart, 131.953, started 22nd
Track Race Record: #14-Tony Stewart, 3/25/2012, 160.166mph
Slowest Race Record: #38-Elliott Sadler, Sept 2004, 128.324mph
Oldest Winner: #2-Rusty Wallace, 44 years, 8 months, 15 days, 4/29/2001
Youngest Winner: #5-Kyle Busch, 20 years, 4 months, 2 days, 9/4/2005
Worst Starting Spot to Win: #17-Matt Kenseth, 2/26/2006, started 31st

March 2016 Pole Winner: #3-Austin Dillon, 188.482, finished 24th
The Final October 2010 Pole Winner: #1-Jamie McMurray, 185.285, finished 17th
Track Qualifying Record: Denny Hamlin, March 2016, 188.511mph
Oldest Pole Winner: Mike Skinner, 42 years, 10 months, 2 days, 4/30/2000
Youngest Pole Winner: Kyle Busch, 19 years, 9 months, 25 days, 2/27/2005

a look at many new, notes and story lines for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway, see the stats on the NASCAR National Series News & Notes -- Auto Club Speedway

check out some of the top statistical performers and top-10 driver ratings at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA going into the Auto Club 400 on March 26, 2017,
see the stats on the Statistical Advance - Analyzing the Auto Club 400 page

Jayski.com's Auto Club Speedway Track News/Rumors/Links page

RACE RUNDOWN....News & Links

Race Coverage of the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 12, 2016.
Television (TV): FOX at 3:30 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 1:30pm/et on FS1 and 3:00pm/et on FOX; green flag approx. 3:50pm/et
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
Sunday, March 26 at 10:30pm/et on FS1;
Monday, March 27 at 6:30am/et on FS1;
Monday, March 27 at 9:30am/et on FS2

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".

Links to results, practices, qualifying PDF's: (will be added as available)
Starting Lineup
Qualifying Results
Qualifying Order
Practice 1 Speeds
Latest / Final Entry List
Preliminary Entry List

NASCAR Overtime Race Procedure: NASCAR allows a maximum of three restart attempts prior to the White Flag under NASCAR's Overtime finish rule. If the leader has taken the White Flag and the caution flag is displayed, the field is frozen and the race will not be restarted. Previously, there was only one restart attempt. The procedure applies to all three national series. See rule and notes on the NASCAR Overtime rules/news/stats page.

See Jayski.com's - 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race results page for race track and race information links, pole winner, race and stage winners, links to race results, drivers/owners points, pit stall selections, qualifying results/starting lineup and practice speeds.


Larson wins Auto Club pole: #42-Kyle Larson won the Coors Light pole for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway with speed of 187.047mph for his 1st pole of 2017, 1st at Auto Club and 2nd of his career.
#11-Hamln will start 2nd followed by #2-Keselowski, #78-Truex, Jr., #31-Newman, #20-Kenseth, #4-Harvick, #1-McMurray, #18-Busch, #19-Suarez, #3-Dillon, and #5-Kahne.
#48-Johnson did not make a qualifying attempt after the team went to a backup car following an incident in practice. He will start the race in 37th.
#11-Hamlin was fastest in the second round with a speed of 186.921mph, will start 2nd
#4-Harvick was fastest in the first round with a speed of 188.260mph, will start 7th
Driver(s) who will miss the race: none as 39 were entered for 40 spots
See round-by-round qualifying results on the Auto Club qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Auto Club Starting Lineup page (pdf).(3-24-2017)

Trying to shed bridesmaid role, points leader Kyle Larson wins pole at Fontana: The driver who has finished second in the last three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races will start first on Sunday. Moving up the track for his final run, series points leader Kyle Larson navigated rough, bumpy Auto Club (Fontana, California) Speedway in 38.493 seconds (187.047 mph) on Friday to win the pole for Sunday's Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX), the fifth race of the season. The 24-year-old Larson edged Denny Hamlin by .014 seconds, as Hamlin covered the two-mile distance at 186.979 mph. The Coors Light Pole Award was Larson's first at Auto Club, first of the season and second of his career.[More](3-24-2017)

Auto Club Speedway - Qualifying Fast Facts:
Kyle Larson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 21st Annual Auto Club 400 with a lap of 38.493 seconds, 187.047 mph.
This is his second pole in 116 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2017.
This is his first pole in four races at Auto Club Speedway.
Denny Hamlin (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2017 and his 10th in 16 races at Auto Club Speedway.
Brad Keselowski (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Auto Club Speedway. It is his fifth in five races this season.
Daniel Suarez (10th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Statistics)(3-24-2017)

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.
#11-Hamlin 186.921
#4-Harvick 186.775
#20-Kenseth 186.674
#1-McMurray 186.393
#18-Busch 186.200
the rest of the top 12: 42 19 78 2 3 5 31
out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 24 77 41 17 14 88 21 37 13 10 27 47

First Round of Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
#4-Harvick 188.260
#2-Keselowski 187.237
#18-Busch 187.076
#42-Larson 186.766
#11-Hamlin 186.761
the rest of the top 24: 20 31 78 5 1 88 14 41 19 10 24 17 13 3 37 21 27 47 77;
out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 95 34 38 15 83 43 55 51 33 23 48 6 22 72 32.
Drivers who will miss the race: none, 39 entered

Coverage of Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 24, 2017 at 7:05pm/et.
Television (TV): FS1, 7:00pm/et
Radio: Live online at Performance Racing Network (PRN)
Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: Saturday, March 25 at 10:30am/et on FS1

Qualifying Order for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is posted.
The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #33-Earnhardt.
The final driver lined up on pit road will be #11-Hamlin.
The order is set by a random draw, how cars park on pit road before they qualify, held about an hour before the first practice.
After the first round, the cars lined up by speed.
For the qualifying order, see the Qualifying Order page (pdf).(3-24-2017)

Group qualifying under the three-round qualifying format:
• Round 1 -- All entries will have 20 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 85 minutes, the top-five and notes:
#42-Larson 189.071
#11-Hamlin 188.462
#4-Harvick 188.344
#1-McMurray 187.940
#22-Logano 187.588
slowest: #33-Earnhardt 171.895 & #51-Hill 170.446
most laps run: #1-McMurray, #22-Logano, and #14-Bowyer (18 laps)
Just 2 drivers ran 10 consecutive laps during this practice: #42-Larson and #1-McMurray
There was a short red flag during practice when an owl landed on the track and had to be moved away.
#48-Johnson spun in turn 4 with just over 20 minutes remaining in practice. The car slide down the track and ran the nose into the grass. The team will go to a backup car.
See fastest speeds, laps run on the Auto Club Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf)(3-24-2017)

Entry List for the Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway is posted, 39 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed.
36 teams with Charters are guaranteed to make the field. The rest need to make the field via qualifying / qualifying races / rules book (owners attempts/points).
Some of the drivers entered include: #15-Sorenson, #23-Gaulding, #33-JEarnhardt, #51-Hill*, #55-Cope*, #83-LaJoie*
Drivers who currently to not drive for a team with a Charter and need to race into the field: #51-Hill*, #55-Cope*, #83-LaJoie*.
Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): none
Since only 39 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 Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph


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Fontana Herald News
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Long Beach Press-Telegram
Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Times
Orange County Register
Press Enterprise
Speed Eats


Weather Channel
National Weather Service
Race Weather
Race Day Forecast
Weather Underground


Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

Set limits: Cup:
4 sets for practice, 1 set for qualifying/start of race and 10 sets for race;
Xfinity: 8 sets for the event

Tire Codes:
Left-side -- D-4650; Right-side -- D-4658

Tire Circumference:
Left-side -- 87.56 in. (2,224 mm);
Right-side -- 88.39 in. (2,245 mm)

Minimum Recommended Inflation (Cup):
Left Front -- 19 psi; Left Rear -- 19 psi;
Right Front -- 45 psi; Right Rear -- 42 psi

Minimum Recommended Inflation (Xfinity):
Left Front -- 21 psi; Left Rear -- 19 psi;
Right Front -- 45 psi; Right Rear -- 42 psi

Storyline - Tire management will be key at Auto Club Speedway: The worn surface at Auto Club Speedway puts a premium on grip, which is exacerbated further by the downforce reduction on the 2017 Cup aerodynamic package. The Goodyear tire combination we bring to Auto Club is unique to this track. It is designed to maximize grip while providing the stability and toughness needed for 200+ mph corner entry speeds. Particularly challenging are the demands placed on the left-side tires as teams challenge the 19 psi recommendation to try to maximize grip. This operating condition led to the development of a robust left-side tire design, with a compliant sidewall that has become the standard for intermediate speedways. With three seconds of fall-off over the course of a run and a two-set reduction in race sets from 2016, tire strategy will be a key element on Sunday.

Notes: Teams in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same tire set-up at Auto Club Speedway this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Cup teams ran at this track last year . . . Xfinity teams ran this left-side tire at Auto Club in 2016, but this is their first time running this multi-zone tread right-side tire . . . in addition to Auto Club, Cup teams ran this left-side tire at Indianapolis and Darlington last season, while Xfinity teams ran it at Pocono and Indianapolis . . . this is the only track at which these teams run this right-side tire . . . this right-side, being a multi-zone tread tire, features two distinct tread compounds on the same tire -- one for endurance and heat resistance on the inboard two inches of the tread and one for traction on the outboard 10 inches . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Auto Club . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.


Vegas Insider
Race and Championship odds
Auto Club Race Preview by Micah Roberts
NASCAR Top-Five Finish Prediction

Bovada Sportsbook:
Race and the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship

Don Best:
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Championship / Race