Open Race Thread: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 – Auto Club Speedway

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To the surprise of many, rain has held off at Auto Club Speedway and it appears that we’ll start the Auto Club 400 without any major delays. Will the stars and cars of the Sprint Cup Series run the full distance or are they racing to halfway?

Matt Kenseth has been the driver to beat at Fontana over the years, having won three times, most recently in 2009. With Roush showing improved horsepower in the early going, this race may favor the driver of the Roush-Fenway #17. Kenseth qualified in position 15 – solid by Kenseth standards.

His most common challenger at Auto Club Speedway has been Jimmie Johnson. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus are riding an emotional high after having their NASCAR penalties reversed by a final appeals session on Tuesday. Johnson’s 25 lost points has been restored and the five-time champion now rests in 11th in the championship standings.

Like Kenseth, Johnson is also a multi-time winner at Fontana, most recently visiting victory lane in 2010. He has four victories overall and will start from the 10th position.

The race will be televised on FOX and with the action getting called by Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip. A starting lineup can be found after the jump and we’ll see you in the comments section.

See you there!

Star-divide

 

Starting Line Up by Row
Auto Club Speedway
16th Annual Auto Club 400
Provided by NASCAR Statistics – Fri, March 23, 2012 @ 08:46 PM Eastern
Track Race Record: Jeff Gordon 06/22/97 03:13:32 155.012
Row Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1 1 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 38.626 186.403
2 18 Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries Toyota 38.807 185.534
2 3 55 Mark Martin Aaron’s Toyota 38.807 185.534
4 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 38.812 185.510
3 5 5 Kasey Kahne Quaker State Chevrolet 38.812 185.510
6 39 Ryan Newman US ARMY Chevrolet 38.850 185.328
4 7 29 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s Chevrolet 38.877 185.199
8 20 Joey Logano Dollar General Toyota 38.878 185.195
5 9 14 Tony Stewart Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 38.880 185.185
10 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s/Jimmie Johnson Foundation Chevrolet 38.893 185.123
6 11 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 38.908 185.052
12 99 Carl Edwards Subway Ford 38.919 185.000
7 13 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 38.977 184.724
14 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet 39.018 184.530
8 15 17 Matt Kenseth Ford EcoBoost Ford 39.062 184.322
16 1 Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops/Allstate Chevrolet 39.116 184.068
9 17 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge 39.121 184.044
18 10 David Reutimann Accell Construction Chevrolet 39.149 183.913
10 19 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet 39.185 183.744
20 30 David Stremme @TheNascarFans Toyota 39.259 183.397
11 21 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 39.263 183.379
22 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet 39.333 183.052
12 23 51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Construction Services Inc. Chevrolet 39.413 182.681
24 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 39.439 182.560
13 25 22 AJ Allmendinger Southern California AAA Dodge 39.443 182.542
26 47 Bobby Labonte Charter Toyota 39.464 182.445
14 27 27 Paul Menard Menards/CertainTeed Chevrolet 39.481 182.366
28 43 Aric Almirola Medallion Financial Ford 39.540 182.094
15 29 9 Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford 39.559 182.007
30 26 Josh Wise # MDS Ford 39.760 181.087
16 31 83 Landon Cassill Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota 39.812 180.850
32 98 Michael McDowell Curb Records Ford 39.865 180.610
17 33 13 Casey Mears GEICO Ford 39.880 180.542
34 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 39.904 180.433
18 35 23 Scott Riggs North TX Pipe Chevrolet 39.921 180.356
36 49 JJ Yeley America Israel Racing Chevrolet 39.934 180.297
19 37 33 Brendan Gaughan South Point Casino Chevrolet 40.087 179.609
38 34 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 40.119 179.466
20 39 19 Mike Bliss(i) TriStar Motorsports Toyota 40.157 179.296
40 93 Travis Kvapil Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota 40.254 178.864
21 41 38 David Gilliland 1-800 LoanMart Ford 40.313 178.602
42 32 Ken Schrader US Chrome/1 Less Than 2 Ltd. Ford Owner Points
22 43 74 Reed Sorenson(i) Turn One Racing Chevrolet 40.194 179.131