Kyle Busch – Kyle Busch is a three-time winner at Auto Club Speedway who’ll be a favorite. Auto Club Speedway has been a phenomenal track for him. He won his first race here, and since 2011 minus 2016 when he had a flat tire while running in 2nd with 3 laps to go he has a 3.0 average finish and a 3.3 average running position. Last year at Auto Club Speedway, Busch had a great car. When the checkered flag waved he finished 3rd, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position and led 62 laps. Additionally, he finished 2nd in Stage #1 and 3rd in Stage #2. In 2017, Busch had a solid showing. He finished 8th, had a 6th place average running position and earned the 6th best driver rating. Joe Gibbs Racing was in a performance lull at that point in time so that was pretty good. In 2016 he had a great car, but finished a misleading 25th. He was easily top five strong but with 3 laps to go while he was running in 2nd he had a flat tire and got into the wall hard which brought out the Green-White-Checker. In 2015 he missed the race due to injury. In the four races prior to that he had results of 1st, 1st, 2nd and 3rd. In 2018 at 2.0 mile ovals, Busch swept the top five and had the best average finish (3.3) and the best average running position (5.7). This year at intermediate tracks visited he’s been fast. He’s had problems in both races, but he’s managed to come home with results of 3rd and 6th. At Auto Club Speedway I would look for Busch to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win.
Kevin Harvick – Auto Club Speedway is Kevin Harvick’s home track and on Sunday he’ll be tough to beat. I would look for him to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win. At Auto Club, Harvick performs at an elite level and since 2010 in incident free races he’s been a lock for a top 7 finish. In his last two Auto Club incident free races he’s finished runner-up. Last year at Auto Club he had a great car and was vying for his 4th straight win of the season, but his race wasn’t incident free. He started in 10th and steadily climbed his way up through the running order but then on lap 38 while he was battling Kyle Larson for 3rd they had contact and Kevin Harvick wrecked which doomed him to his 35th place finish. In 2017, Kevin Harvick crossed the finish line in 13th. There should be no fantasy takeaways from that race because his afternoon wasn’t incident free. As soon as the race went green he damaged the nose of his car and that greatly impacted his level of performance. In 2016, Harvick was the class of the field and if there wasn’t a late caution he would’ve won. In the race he earned the best driver rating, finished 2nd, led 142 laps and had a 4th place average running position. In 2015 he had a great car and once again finished runner-up. From that race it should be noted he had a 2nd place average running position, earned the 2nd best driver rating and led 34 laps. Last year at Michigan, the other 2.0 mile oval on the circuit he had results of 1st and 2nd. This year at intermediate tracks visited he’s finished 4th in both races.
Joey Logano – Joey Logano is primed to have a strong performance at Auto Club Speedway. He’s been very consistent here and on Sunday I would look for him to finish in the top five and compete for the win. Over the last four races at this 2.0 mile oval he’s come home with results between 4th to 7th. In those combined races he has the 2nd best average finish (5.3), the 2nd best driver rating and the 3rd best average running position (6.8). Last year, Logano had a great car throughout the race. He finished 5th, had a 5th place average running position and earned the 4th best driver rating. Additionally, he finished 3rd in Stage #1 and 6th in Stage #2. In 2017, he finished 5th, earned the 7th best driver rating and had a 10th place average running position. In 2016, Logano was fast. He earned the 3rd best driver rating, finished 4th and had a 5th place average running position. In 2015 he had a great car. He started 13th, finished 7th and had a 7th place average running position. Performance wise I thought he was top five good but during pit stops with 47 laps to go he was penalized for having an uncontrolled tire which put him deep in the field. Prior to the penalty he was running in 4th. This year at intermediate tracks visited he’s been a contender to win both races. He won at Las Vegas and at Atlanta he was a factor until he had a late tire issue.