MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
Auto Club 400
Auto Club Speedway – Fontana, California
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Race Winner: Kyle Larson
Team: No. 42 – Target Chevrolet
Owner: Chip Ganassi Racing
Crew Chief: Chad Johnston
IN THE WORDS OF THE WINNER – “"Our Target Chevy was amazing all day. We were able to lead a lot of laps today. (Martin) Truex was better than us that second stage by quite a bit. We were able to get the jump on him the following restart and led pretty much the rest of the distance. I had to fight them off there after the green flag stops and that was a lot of fun. This is just amazing. We have been so good all year long; three seconds in a row. I’ve been watching all the TV like, ‘he doesn’t know how to win’, but we knew how to win today, so that was good.”
-- Kyle Larson
· Kyle Larson won the 21st annual Auto Club 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway Sunday afternoon. For Larson, it is his second victory in 116 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
· It is Larson’s first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2017. It is Larson’s fourth straight race where he has finished in the top-2. Dating back to last year, he has now had a top-3 finish in six of his last seven races, including a second-place showing in the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
· It is Larson’s first victory and second top-10 finish in four races at Auto Club Speedway. Larson also became just the second driver ever to win a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway from the pole, joining Jimmie Johnson (2008).
· With today’s win by Larson, there have been five different winners in the first five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races of 2017. It is the first time since 2014 that this happened.
· Brad Keselowski (second) posted his third top-10 finish in nine races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2017.
· Clint Bowyer (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 17 races at Auto Club Speedway. It is Bowyer’s highest finish since also having a third-place showing at Sonoma on June 28, 2015.
· For the second straight week, Daniel Suarez (7th) was the highest finishing rookie.
· For 2017, NASCAR has introduced a new stage format in all three national series where each race is segmented into three stages. In addition to the points awarded at the end of a race (Final Stage), points are also awarded to the top-10 finishers of the first two stages (Stage 1 & Stage 2).
· Larson won Stage 1 of the Auto Club 400, while Martin Truex Jr. took the green-checkered flag in Stage 2.
· Larson (243) leads the point standings by 29 points over Chase Elliott (214) and 38 points over Martin Truex Jr. (205).
· With the win, Larson becomes the fifth driver to qualify for the 16-driver field of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, joining Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman, winners of the first four races of the season. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship finale on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
· In four career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Larson has posted two top-5 finishes. His best finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway occurred in the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 when he finished second.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
· Kyle Larson won the sixth annual Service King 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday afternoon in Fontana, Calif. It is Larson’s sixth victory in 94 career NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
· It is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races at Auto Club Speedway.
· Joey Logano (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in as many XFINITY Series races at Auto Club Speedway.
· Kyle Busch (third) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 18 XFINITY Series races at Auto Club Speedway. Busch won both Stage 1 and 2 of Saturday’s race.
· William Byron (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie and the highest finishing XFINITY Series regular.
· With one win apiece this year, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Reed have clinched spots in the 12-driver playoff field in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs. The Playoffs culminate with the Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 18.
· Elliott Sadler (189) leads the XFINITY Series points standings by 17 points over rookie William Byron (172), winner of the 2016 Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. They are followed by Ryan Reed (143), Justin Allgaier (143) and Bubba Wallace (140).
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
· The Camping World Truck Series was off this weekend. They will resume action on Saturday, April 1 with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway.