FONTANA, Calif. – Before the green flag waved Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, Jimmie Johnson took prime position behind the pace car as the rest of the NASCAR Cup Series field fanned out five-wide behind him in a respectful salute to the seven-time champion.
When the green flag waved to signal the beginning of the Auto Club 400, Johnson saw his wife Chandra and daughters Genevieve and Lydia doing the honors from his second-place starting position.
Ryan Blaney had one of the fastest cars in Sunday’s Auto Club 400, but at the end of the day, he had very little to show for it.
Blaney finished second to eventual race winner Alex Bowman in the first stage. He turned the tables on Bowman in Stage 2, winning the segment by a wide margin. But Blaney got shuffled back after a restart on lap 128 and found himself in fifth place when Bowman passed Martin Truex Jr. for the lead on lap 133.
The pit stop during the break between the first and second stages of Sunday’s Auto Club 400 certainly didn’t go the way Kurt Busch or his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing team had planned it.
Under caution on lap 63, Busch missed his pit stall, failed to get service and had to return to pit road to correct the mistake a lap later. From fifth at the end of the stage, Busch dropped to the back of the lead-lap cars for the subsequent restart on lap 67.
FONTANA, Calif. – Alex Bowman had a new nose for the finish line Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.
Driving the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet—a sleeker version of the Camaro with a new front fascia—Bowman ran away with the final stage of the Auto Club 400 at the two-mile track in the Inland Empire.
Fan4Racing Race Day Chat is with our Fan4Racing crew during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway. We’ll open the chat room at least 30 minutes before the green flag and close the door at 30 minutes after the checkered flag.
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