FONTANA, Calif — Both NASCAR Cup Series practice sessions as well as qualifying to set the field for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN) are in the books. Now, who’s going to win this weekend’s race at the Auto Club Speedway?
The numbers favor…
We know the race will feature long green flag runs. There’s been just nine combined caution flags to fly in the last two years in Fontana. Take out the stage breaks and you get five cautions the last two years for incidents. But, if you take a deeper look, two of those were for debris and two others for single car incidents.
So, that means long run pace will win out.
The best long run cars were Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Matt DiBenedetto, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson.
Well, lets break it down even further. Starting position also matters. Two of the last three ‘400’s have seen the pole sitter win the race. Four of the last five years have seen the winner come from the top 4 Rows.
2018 saw the same top three starters finish there. 2019 saw five of the top six starting drivers in the lineup finish there too.
So, who has the pace among the top eight starters?
Bowman (3rd), Busch (4th), Harvick (5th) and Logano (7th) have great long run speed and starting up front too.
Now, lets factor this in, we’ve seen five different winners of this year by five different teams in the last five years. Penske, Hendrick, Ganassi, Furniture Row, Gibbs have won those five races.
The winner is….Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing)