NASCAR: Looking back at the last five Fontana races

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images /

The NASCAR Cup Series travels to Auto Club Speedway. What do the last five races at the track tell us about this year’s edition?

On Sunday, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California for the Auto Club 400. Who will win this year’s race at the two-mile oval? Let’s look at the last five Cup Series races at the track to see what we can expect from this year’s edition.


Kyle Busch led 125 laps on his way to victory lane. The end of the race was marred by a Joey Logano/Denny Hamlin wreck that resulted in a back injury that caused Hamlin to miss four races. Logano ended up third in the race, while Hamlin finished 25th. Other notable finishers: Kurt Busch finished fifth and Paul Menard ended up eighth.


Kyle Busch won his second straight race at Auto Club and Kyle Larson finished second. Kurt Busch was third. Paul Menard was in the top 10 again. It was another strong race for the Gibbs cars, with Matt Kenseth in fourth. Denny Hamlin didn’t race because of a sinus issue.


Despite some controversy at the end involving debris cautions, Brad Keselowski won for Team Penske at the track that Roger Penske built. Kurt Busch and Paul Menard had top five finishes.


Jimmie Johnson won and Kevin Harvick finished second for the second year in a row. Hamlin, Logano, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top five. Paul Menard and Kurt Busch didn’t fare as well as they had in past seasons, finishing 15th and 30th, respectively.


Kyle Larson sat on the pole, led 110 laps, and won. He’s pretty good at two-mile tracks! Brad Keselowski finished second. Here’s where all the drivers mentioned above finished: Joey Logano (fifth), Kyle Busch (eighth), Kevin Harvick (13th), Denny Hamlin (14th), Jimmie Johnson (21st), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (22nd), Kurt Busch (24th), and Paul Menard (28th). It was a race for new names at the front, with Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. finishing in the top five.


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Well, Kevin Harvick has a pair of second place finishes at Auto Club in recent years and is on a three-race winning streak, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him run up front.

Kyle Larson is unstoppable at two-mile tracks right now, so he’s got to be in the mix as well having won the last four races at this type of track.

Want a sleeper pick based on these results? Paul Menard has run well this season for the Wood Brothers and he has run well in Fontana before when he was driving for Richard Childress, so he’s got a good chance of putting together a strong run. (And he drives a Ford — those have been strong over the first few races of 2018).

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The NASCAR Cup Series travels to Fontana, California on Sunday, March 18 for the Auto Club 400. The race is set to air on Fox at 3:30 pm ET.