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The 2018 Auto Club 400 was a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race that was held on March 18, 2018, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Contested over 200 laps on the two-mile (3.2 km) D-shaped oval, it was the fifth race of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

2018 Auto Club 400
Race details[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]
Race 5 of 36 in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Date March 18, 2018 (2018-03-18)
Location Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California
Course Permanent racing facility
2 mi (3.22 km)
Distance 200 laps, 400 mi (640 km)
Average speed 147.526 miles per hour (237.420 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Furniture Row Racing
Time 38.592
Most laps led
Driver Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing
Laps 125
Winner
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing
Television in the United States
Network Fox
Announcers Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip
Nielsen Ratings 2.4 (Overnight)[11]
Radio in the United States
Radio MRN
Booth Announcers Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and Rusty Wallace
Turn Announcers Dan Hubbard (1 & 2) and Kurt Becker (3 & 4)

Contents

ReportEdit

BackgroundEdit

 
Auto Club Speedway, the track where the race was held.

Auto Club Speedway (formerly California Speedway) is a 2 miles (3.2 km), low-banked, D-shaped oval superspeedway in Fontana, California which has hosted NASCAR racing annually since 1997. It is also used for open wheel racing events. The racetrack is located near the former locations of Ontario Motor Speedway and Riverside International Raceway. The track is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation and is the only track owned by ISC to have naming rights sold. The speedway is served by the nearby Interstate 10 and Interstate 15 freeways as well as a Metrolink station located behind the backstretch.

Entry listEdit

No. Driver Team Manufacturer
00 Jeffrey Earnhardt StarCom Racing Chevrolet
1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford
9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford
13 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet
14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
15 Ross Chastain (i) Premium Motorsports Chevrolet
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
19 Daniel Suárez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
20 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
21 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford
22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
23 Gray Gaulding BK Racing Toyota
24 William Byron (R) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
32 Matt DiBenedetto Go Fas Racing Ford
34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford
37 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
38 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford
41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
43 Darrell Wallace Jr. (R) Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet
47 A. J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
51 Timmy Hill (i) Rick Ware Racing Toyota
55 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Chevrolet
72 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet
78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota
88 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
95 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet
Official entry list

First practiceEdit

Kevin Harvick was the fastest in the first practice session with a time of 38.082 seconds and a speed of 189.066 mph (304.272 km/h).[12]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 38.082 189.066
2 14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 38.255 188.211
3 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 38.311 187.936
Official first practice results

QualifyingEdit

Martin Truex Jr. scored the pole for the race with a time of 38.592 and a speed of 186.567 mph (300.250 km/h).[13]

Qualifying resultsEdit

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer R1 R2 R3
1 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 38.390 38.686 38.592
2 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.847 38.411 38.619
3 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 38.193 38.491 38.683
4 20 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.555 38.683 38.700
5 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 38.690 38.749 38.770
6 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 38.622 38.614 38.798
7 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 38.706 38.533 38.880
8 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 38.602 38.582 38.903
9 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 38.616 38.820 38.951
10 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 38.147 38.355 39.038
11 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 38.583 38.892 39.054
12 37 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 38.895 38.677 39.058
13 6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 39.034 38.973
14 21 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 38.429 39.004
15 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 39.093 39.106
16 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 39.514 39.169
17 13 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 39.091 39.198
18 32 Matt DiBenedetto Go Fas Racing Ford 39.088 39.259
19 43 Darrell Wallace Jr. (R) Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 38.965 39.377
20 23 Gray Gaulding BK Racing Toyota 40.549 41.105
21 38 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 39.158 0.000
22 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 39.215 0.000
23 00 Jeffrey Earnhardt StarCom Racing Chevrolet 40.899 0.000
24 55 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 53.838 0.000
25 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.000
26 14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 0.000
27 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 0.000
28 88 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.000
29 24 William Byron (R) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.000
30 19 Daniel Suárez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.000
31 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.000
32 47 A. J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 0.000
33 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.000
34 95 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 0.000
35 51 Timmy Hill (i) Rick Ware Racing Toyota 0.000
36 15 Ross Chastain (i) Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 0.000
37 72 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 0.000
Official qualifying results

Practice (post-qualifying)Edit

Second practiceEdit

Kevin Harvick was the fastest in the second practice session with a time of 38.694 seconds and a speed of 186.075 mph (299.459 km/h).[14]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 38.694 186.075
2 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 39.039 184.431
3 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 39.126 184.021
Official second practice results

Final practiceEdit

Kyle Busch was the fastest in the final practice session with a time of 38.779 seconds and a speed of 185.668 mph (298.804 km/h).[15]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.779 185.668
2 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 38.852 185.319
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 39.019 184.525
Official final practice results

RaceEdit

Stage 1Edit

Martin Truex Jr. led the field to the green flag at 3:46 p.m. Winner of three consecutive Cup races, Kevin Harvick was shooting for a higher spot in history with a fourth Sunday, but that march ended early in the race when he collided with Kyle Larson on the backstretch, bringing out the first caution on lap 39. They were running side by side when Harvick appeared to move down the track and into the side of Larson’s car. The impact sent Harvick’s car into the outside wall, causing heavy damage.

The race restarted on lap 43.

Martin Truex Jr., master of stage wins last season, scored his first of the new year, leading Kyle Busch by 3.5 seconds. Also in the top 10 were Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin. The second caution of the race flew on lap 62 for the conclusion of the first stage.

Stage 2Edit

The race restarted on lap 67.

Trevor Bayne slapped the outside wall after slight contact with Ryan Newman. The incident produced the race’s third caution of the race, which was on lap 109. Bayne called his meeting with the wall one of the hardest of his career.

The race restarted on lap 114.

Truex scored again at the end of stage two, leading Brad Keselowski by 1.8 seconds. Following were Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer and William Byron. The fourth caution of the race flew on lap 122 for conclusion of stage 2.

Final stageEdit

The race restarted on lap 127.

The fifth caution of the race flew on lap 130 when David Ragan spun out in turn 2, so Ty Dillon won the free pass under caution.

The race restarted on lap 132.

The closing portion of the race featured a battle for the lead matching Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson. With 18 laps to go, Truex had a five-second lead over Busch and Larson, who were fighting for second.

Martin Truex Jr., last year’s Cup champion, returned to victory lane — a place he visited eight times in 2017 — and, at the same time, dropped Kevin Harvick’s name from NASCAR’s marquee. At least temporarily.[16]

Post raceEdit

“This is a reassurance that what we’re doing is working,” Truex said. “It just feels good to win. I don’t really worry about who’s winning or who else is fast. Obviously, the 4 (Harvick) has been quick and they have a great team. But, as we’ve seen today, we can put together a run like that, as well.

“It feels good to be able to find that speed.”

Stage ResultsEdit

Stage 1 Laps: 60

Pos No Driver Team Manufacturer Points
1 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 10
2 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 9
3 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 8
4 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 7
5 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 6
6 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 5
7 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 4
8 20 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 3
9 14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 2
10 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 1
Official stage one results

Stage 2 Laps: 60

Pos No Driver Team Manufacturer Points
1 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 10
2 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 9
3 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 8
4 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 7
5 20 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 6
6 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 5
7 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 4
8 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 3
9 14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 2
10 24 William Byron (R) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1
Official stage two results

Final Stage ResultsEdit

Stage 3 Laps: 80

Pos Grid No Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 1 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 200 60
2 3 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 200 43
3 2 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 200 51
4 11 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 200 49
5 6 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 200 45
6 25 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 200 39
7 4 20 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 200 39
8 8 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 200 29
9 33 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 38
10 5 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 200 27
11 26 14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 199 30
12 27 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 199 25
13 28 88 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 199 24
14 7 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 199 27
15 29 24 William Byron (R) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 199 23
16 31 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 199 21
17 15 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 199 20
18 16 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 199 19
19 14 21 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 199 18
20 19 43 Darrell Wallace Jr. (R) Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 199 17
21 9 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 199 16
22 32 47 A. J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 199 15
23 30 19 Daniel Suárez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 199 14
24 34 95 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 199 13
25 21 38 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 199 12
26 22 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 199 11
27 17 13 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 198 10
28 37 72 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 198 9
29 36 15 Ross Chastain (i) Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 198 0
30 12 37 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 197 7
31 18 32 Matt DiBenedetto Go Fas Racing Ford 196 6
32 20 23 Gray Gaulding BK Racing Toyota 194 5
33 35 51 Timmy Hill (i) Rick Ware Racing Toyota 193 0
34 24 55 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 193 3
35 10 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 191 2
36 23 00 Jeffrey Earnhardt StarCom Racing Chevrolet 189 1
37 13 6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 108 1
Official race results

Race statisticsEdit

  • Lead changes: 7 among different drivers
  • Cautions/Laps: 5 for 21
  • Red flags: 0
  • Time of race: 2 hours, 42 minutes and 41 seconds
  • Average speed: 147.526 miles per hour (237.420 km/h)

MediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

The race was the 18th race Fox Sports covered at the Auto Club Speedway. Mike Joy, three-time Auto Club winner Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip had call in the booth for the race. Jamie Little, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum handled the pit road duties for the television side.

Fox
Booth announcers Pit reporters
Lap-by-lap: Mike Joy
Color-commentator: Jeff Gordon
Color commentator: Darrell Waltrip
Jamie Little
Vince Welch
Matt Yocum

RadioEdit

MRN had the radio call for the race which was also simulcasted on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and 2001 race winner Rusty Wallace called the race from the booth when the field was racing down the front stretch. Dan Hubbard called race from a billboard outside turn 2 when the field was racing through turns 1 and 2. Kurt Becker called the race from a billboard outside turn 3 when the field was racing through turns 3 and 4. Alex Hayden, Winston Kelley and Steve Post worked pit road for MRN.

MRN
Booth announcers Turn announcers Pit reporters
Lead announcer: Joe Moore
Announcer: Jeff Striegle
Announcer: Rusty Wallace
Turns 1 & 2: Dan Hubbard
Turns 3 & 4: Kurt Becker
Alex Hayden
Winston Kelley
Steve Post

Standings after the raceEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2018 schedule". Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. May 5, 2017. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "Auto Club Speedway". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. January 3, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  3. ^ "Entry List". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  4. ^ "First Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  5. ^ "Qualifying Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "Second Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "Final Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "Auto Club 400 Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 18, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "Points standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. March 19, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  10. ^ "Manufacturer standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. March 19, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  11. ^ "Auto Club Speedway final TV ratings". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  12. ^ Utter, Jim (March 16, 2018). "Kevin Harvick fastest in Friday's lone Cup practice at Fontana". Motorsport.com. Fontana, California: Motorsport Network. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Beacham, Greg (March 16, 2018). "Truex claims 17th NASCAR Cup pole in Fontana". Associated Press. Fontana, California: AP Sports. Associated Press. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  14. ^ DeGroot, Nick (March 17, 2018). "Kevin Harvick leads second Cup practice at Fontana". Motorsport.com. Fontana, California: Motorsport Network. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  15. ^ Utter, Jim (March 17, 2018). "Kyle Busch tops final practice at Fontana". Motorsport.com. Fontana, California: Motorsport Network. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  16. ^ Hembree, Mike (March 18, 2018). "Martin Truex Jr. wins at Fontana as Kevin Harvick's bid for four in a row sputters". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 18, 2018.


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