By: Sean Montgomery NASCAR.com
The NASCAR Cup Series’ West Coast swing continues with a highly anticipated Sunday afternoon showdown at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX/FOX Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
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Auto Club Speedway is a two-mile, D-shaped asphalt track with a 3,100-foot frontstretch and a 2,500-foot back straightaway carrying 14-degree banking in each of the four turns.
Since Auto Club’s debut on the Cup Series schedule, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson holds the all-time record for wins, top fives, top 10s and laps led at the track located in his home state.
The inaugural Cup Series race at the Southern California track was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon in June of 1997.
Stage 1 is set to end at Lap 60, Stage 2 at Lap 120 and the Final Stage is slated to conclude on Lap 200.
The baseline rules package for longer speedway tracks will be in play with a target horsepower goal of 550 and aero ducts to foster tighter racing.
Cup teams will be allowed three sets for practice, one set for qualifying and 12 sets for the race (11 race sets plus one transferred from qualifying or practice).
Tire management and conservation should be vital in deciding this week’s race winner. Racing on a more abrasive track, a total team effort will be needed to strategize and execute efficient and effective pit stops throughout the afternoon.
“Racing at Fontana presents multiple challenges for NASCAR teams,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “The track surface is very abrasive, and teams will take four tires all day long. With the Cup teams having 12 sets of tires for a 200-lap race, they will make full use of their complement and stay busy on pit road throughout.”
STATS TO KNOW
– Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to win at Auto Club Speedway in his 20s, 30s and 40s.
– Kevin Harvick holds the longest active streak of top-10 finishes on the West Coast with eight.
– The last five races at ACS have been won by five different drivers: Kyle Busch (2019), Martin Truex Jr. (2018), Kyle Larson (2017), Jimmie Johnson (2016), Brad Keselowski (2015)
– So far in 2020, the defending race winner has won both Cup Series races (Hamlin – Daytona; Logano – Las Vegas).
Source: Racing Insights
Tune in to coverage from Auto Club on FS1 and the FOX Sports App starting at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday — then switch over the FOX for the remainder of pre-race and in-race action. For complete radio coverage, listen in to MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on-air at 2:30 p.m.
For a more interactive experience, head over to NASCAR.com or the NASCAR Mobile App to check out an enhanced Race Center, live Lap-by-Lap coverage (timeline), the customizable live leaderboard with Scanner, and the return of Drive (featuring in-car cameras).
2019 RACE WINNER
Kyle Busch picked up his second victory of 2019 in last season’s trip to Fontana, dominating the race with 134 laps led — his most ever in a win at the track. The checkered flag marked the fourth Auto Club win of his career and third in the last six outings.
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ACTIVE AUTO CLUB WINNERS