Kyle Busch fantasy NASCAR
during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

With Kevin Harvick’s three straight victories in Monster Energy Cup Series action, we have to start asking: when will we see a changing of the guard? The #4 Ford looks fast once again this weekend, but we’re at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, which is a 2-mile track. Kyle Larson has won the last four races at tracks of this length, and he could very well make it five in a row here on Sunday as well. Fontana is a track that requires drivers to search around to find speed, and tire falloff is going to be significant this weekend as well. This obviously lessens the opportunities to gamble on pit road.

Qualifying was a little wacky this weekend, as only 24 cars made it onto the track on Friday due to so many others failing qualifying inspection. Of those that got on track, Martin Truex, Jr. was the fastest, and he’ll be starting on the pole for the second straight race with Kyle Busch alongside. The full starting lineup for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 can be found by clicking here. There were then two practice sessions on Saturday, and you can find the practice speeds here: Practice #2Happy Hour. As usual, I’d recommend checking our in-depth practice notes as well, and you can read those here: Practice #2Happy Hour.

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Final Top 25 Rankings for Fontana

1. Kyle Busch – Starts 2nd – DraftKings Price: $10,300
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**

Rowdy now has back-to-back 2nd-place finishes with his effort at Phoenix last weekend, and then he ended up 2nd in qualifying here at Auto Club Speedway on Friday as well. Of course. That’s good news for Kyle Busch fans (and fantasy owners), though, as the #18 Toyota is plenty good enough to challenge for the win here on Sunday. Busch is a three-time winner at this race track, and recently went back-to-back in the 2013 and 2014 Auto Club 400s. Those were part of a four-race streak of top 5 finishes for Kyle Busch here at Fontana. He finished 8th in this race one year ago, but should get “back on the horse” this weekend and be inside the top 5 when the checkered flag waves–if not in victory lane. Busch was just 22nd-fastest in Practice #2 here on Saturday (with the 6th-best ten-lap average) but then ranked 1st and 4th on those two charts in Happy Hour (respectively). For what it’s worth, Kyle had an average finish of 8.3 on the 2-mile tracks last season, which was good enough for 5th-best in the Cup Series.

2. Kevin Harvick – Starts 10th – DraftKings Price: $11,500
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**

You know, when we started this West Coast Swing, it was mentioned that, because teams are so far away from their bases (typically North Carolina), that if you have speed in the first race, you’re going to have speed in all three. Well, case in point: Kevin Harvick. For the second week in a row, “Happy” didn’t qualify near the front, but the #4 Ford is still one of the cars to beat on Sunday. It doesn’t look like Harvick is going to dominate this year’s Auto Club 400, but then again if he gets to the front within the first 100 or so laps, he could easily put up triple-digit laps led numbers. Harvick has finished 2nd in two of the last three races here at Fontana and has ended up 7th or better in six of the last nine. This weekend, the #4 Ford was fastest in Practice #2 (with the best ten-lap average as well), and then in Happy Hour, Harvick ranked 4th-fastest overall with, once again, the best ten-lap average. It’s getting repetitive, but yes, just pick Kevin Harvick again. This team is on fire.

3. Martin Truex, Jr. – Starts 1st – DraftKings Price: $10,800
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**

Surprisingly, we haven’t really seen Martin Truex, Jr. compete for a win here in 2018 yet, but it’s going to happen soon. Will it be this weekend, though? As far as Auto Club Speedway goes, Truex’s numbers here are pretty awful–to say the least; he has just one top 5 finish in seventeen career starts, and an overall average finish of 19.2. Now for the good news. Truex started and finished 4th in this race one year ago, and also led 73 laps along the way. Additionally, Truex has led 94 total laps in the last two years here at Fontana, and that is 3rd-most in the series behind Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson. As far as speed goes this weekend, in addition to winning the pole for Sunday’s Auto Club 400, Martin was 17th-fastest in Practice #2 but wound up 2nd-fastest in Happy Hour. He had the 11th-best ten-lap average in that first session and 3rd-best in the final. The #78 Toyota isn’t the definite car to beat heading into Sunday’s race, but Truex should be a contender. It’s also worth noting that the pole sitter has finished 4th or better in three of the last four races at this track. The only exception there was Austin Dillon in 2016, which makes sense, as it’s rare to see the #3 Chevrolet up front without some kind of strategy move.

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