This is setting up to just be a wacky race on Sunday. First we had all the issues during qualifying on Friday and then there were quite a few drivers that got into the wall during the two practice sessions on Saturday. You can find the speeds for those two practice sessions by clicking here: Practice #2 — Happy Hour. The notes for those two sessions can be found here: Practice #2 — Happy Hour. Kyle Larson is on the pole for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 as he looks to break his 2nd-place finish streak with a second win in the Cup Series. The full starting lineup can be found here. Fontana is a wide race track that offers multiple racing grooves, so hopefully we see a bunch of passing here on Sunday, and even better racing.
Final Top 25 Ranking For The Auto Club 400
1. Kyle Larson – Starts 1st – DraftKings Price: $9,100 – Yahoo! B Group
**Risk Factor: Medium Risk**
How can you not like this kid right now? He’s been in contention to win every single race this season, and that’s going to be the case once again here at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday. Larson won the pole for this weekend’s race and should be able to lead plenty of laps. I’m not so sure he’s going to be able to dominate, though. Still, Larson has finished 2nd here in Fontana before, and don’t forget that he wound up 3rd and 1st in the two Michigan races last year, which is also a 2-mile race track. The Cup cars also ran the low downforce package in the Irish Hills last season. Speed-wise, the #42 Chevrolet has been very strong all weekend long, and Larson was 5th-fastest with the 3rd-best ten-lap average during the final session on Saturday. He did get into the wall during Happy Hour but the damage wasn’t severe. One final thing that sticks out to me this weekend: Larson noted that he is fast enough without going up next to the wall, but he can go there if he wants. That tells me we haven’t even seen max speed out of this #42 Chevrolet yet, so it could be a long day for the competition here on Sunday.
2. Martin Truex, Jr. – Starts 4th – DraftKings Price: $9,400 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Medium-to-High Risk**
As I said before, I’m not going to be surprised if this weekend’s race just turns into pure chaos at some point in time. So that means you should expect the unexpected. Martin Truex, Jr. has never posted a top 5 finish here at Auto Club Speedway but that’s going to change one of these years. Could it be 2017? The #78 Toyota showed very good speed during the two practice sessions on Saturday, particularly in Happy Hour where Truex was 2nd-fastest on the overall speed chart as well as P1 when it came to ten-lap average. The #78 Toyota will be a good off-sequence pick in your Fantasy NASCAR league this weekend since Martin’s record here is less than stellar, now it’s up to him to go out and get the finish. Remember, Truex was running top 5 here last year before he hit the wall with 50 laps to go.
3. Chase Elliott – Starts 13th – DraftKings Price: $9,700 – Yahoo! B Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
The #24 Chevrolet was another one of those cars that got into the wall during Happy Hour on Saturday, and it sucks for that team because they were P1 on the speed chart at that time. It still ended up the fastest in that session with the 2nd-best ten-lap average, but those laps were run before the damage. Chase was interviewed as the team was working on the car, and all he really said was that something broke in the right front, and that he hoped they didn’t have to go to a backup car (nothing definite there, though, so keep an eye on that situation). I guess it’s better to have a part failure the day before the race as opposed to the day of the race. Even with his wall scrape, Chase Elliott is a solid top 5 threat in Sunday’s Auto Club 400. He qualified back in 13th but he should be able to make his way into the top 10 fairly early. Chase started 8th and finished 6th in this race one year ago.