TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
AUTO CLUB 400
AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
MARCH 17, 2019
California native, seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion and career-long Chevrolet driver, Jimmie Johnson, is the all-time wins’ leader at Auto Club Speedway with six victories. The driver of the No. 48 Camaro ZL1 also has more top five (13) and more top 10 (17) finishes than any other driver at Auto Club Speedway.
CHEVY ON POLE:
Since the first race at Auto Club Speedway in 1997 (won by Chevy driver Jeff Gordon), Bowtie Brand drivers have earned half of all poles (14) at the 2-mile, Fontana, California venue. Only three times has a driver won the Auto Club 400 from the pole. Two out of three times it has been a Chevrolet driver – Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and last season Kyle Larson in 2017, took their Chevy’s to victory lane after starting from the top spot.
Did you know? Chevrolet has more wins than any manufacturer at Auto Club Speedway with 14 victories. Six different drivers have piloted the Bowtie Brand to wins in Fontana, taking five different Chevy models (Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo SS, Impala SS, Impala and SS) to Winner’s Circle.
There will be four California natives entered to compete in this weekend’s Auto Club 400. Of those drivers, two will start the race behind the wheel of a Camaro ZL1. Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson hails from El Cajon, California and driver of the No. 42 Camaro ZL1, Kyle Larson is a native of Elk Grove, California.
The Auto Club 400 is scheduled to begin on Sunday March 17th at 3:30 pm, ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Chevrolet has won 39 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships
Team Chevy drivers have scored 779 wins and 700 poles in MENCS competition
Chevrolet drivers have won 14 of 29 races at Auto Club Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Camaro ZL1, has one victory at Auto Club Speedway (’03)
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1, has six wins at Auto Club Speedway (’02, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10 & ‘16)
Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One Bank Camaro ZL1, has one win at Auto Club Speedway (’17)
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Auto Club Speedway 14 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 67 top-five and 128 top-10 finishes at Auto Club Speedway
A Chevrolet has led 3,312 laps (49.0% of possible 6,756 laps) at Auto Club Speedway
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 CREDIT ONE BANK CAMARO ZL1 – 6TH IN STANDINGS
ON IF THE RACE AT AUTO CLUB WILL LOOK SIMILAR TO ATLANTA
“I don’t know. Auto Club is a totally different race track. It’s a worn-out surface, but it doesn’t race anything like Atlanta. Nothing really does. Atlanta is so unique. So, I don’t know. But, it’s been a place where I’ve ran well and I think the bigger the track, the more worn out it is, seems to suit me. So, I would hope that we can go there and be strong. We’re going to learn each and every week and get better every week, too. So, we’ll see how it goes.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – 13TH IN STANDINGS
ON WHY DRIVERS LIKE TO RACE ON OLD WORN OUT SURFACES
“It typically allows us to move around. That was probably one of the widest Atlanta’s I’ve ever seen in my first four races there. I think the speeds being down probably helped it be a little wider this past weekend, but typically older surfaces allow you to move around and usually that is more fun.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE PET INSURANCE CAMARO ZL1 – 16TH IN STANDINGS
“I think all the California races are pretty wild on restarts and stuff. The grip is so low there I feel like it will be somewhat like Atlanta where we got pretty spread out and it was a pretty normal race, but I could be totally wrong about that. We all thought we were going to pack race last weekend and there were going to be all these big crashes and we were going to tear up so much stuff and there wasn’t a single caution. It’s so hard. We think we have an idea of what is going to happen. We think we have an idea of how we need to approach things, but we don’t really know.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 – 18TH IN STANDINGS
“I think it’s going to be a lot of four and five wide racing. Obviously, at Vegas, I wouldn’t say the pace was that much slower than a normal race, but we were able to be more aggressive on the restarts and position ourselves better before things get become more single file. I think those first four or five laps are going to be really crazy still. I think that the lane choices that you have at Auto Club Speedway will help keep the racing a little bit closer, and with that, you are going to have to kind of be gritty throughout the run to keep your position. I think it’s going to be a crazy race and we are going to have to deal with that especially on the restarts and will need to try to maximize that.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 – 22ND IN STANDINGS
Fontana – “I think Fontana is going to be a fantastic race. None of us know what to expect. It has massive tire wear, but it is a big enough track to keep the pack really tight. You could probably go seven-wide in the corners there if you wanted to. The racing groove is so wide. I know that our team is excited to get the GEICO Camaro ZL1 out there. This season is going to bring a lot of fun, exciting races that I think fans are really going to enjoy.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 KROGER FLAVOR FILL UP CAMARO ZL1 – 23RD IN STANDINGS
ON IF HE EXPECTS PACK RACING AT FONTANA:
“I think Michigan will be, but when you look at Fontana the surface there is so much older, it drives a lot different than Michigan because you do have the ability to go across five lanes plus the apron. So, I think we will be able to move around quite a bit there. It will be fast for I think a longer period of time than say in Atlanta, but I do think that track is going to widen out some as well as you get late into tire runs and late into our stages. Done a little bit of simulation on that track just preliminary stuff and that is single car, you don’t really know for sure, but doing that the top is not fast by itself, but once that bottom wears out and gets hot and slick out there, I think then you will see us start to spread out more.”
DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 LIBERTY NATIONAL CAMARO ZL1 – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“I think Auto Club is a huge variable right now for the fact that we know the place has no grip. We know the lap times are going to fall off substantially just from what we are going to be asking out of the tire itself. There is a ton of straightaway, just a huge race track that nobody knows what that speed delta is going to be. I wouldn’t be surprised to get there and you see some cars that at times are a second and a half faster by themselves and see those cars leading the race at one point. It’s going to be crazy to see how everybody adjusts to that, but Auto Club is a place that I love going, love the character of that place and hopefully it still transitions to be the same style of racing that it used to.”
RYAN PREECE, NO. 47 KROGER CAMARO ZL1 – 28TH IN STANDINGS
“I think, Fontana is going to be a good race depending on how everybody has their package and everything running. Tire wear comes into play, there are multiple lanes to run and then you are going to get guys that are going to keep migrating up towards the top and then you are just going to see that big sniff of air with the draft coming in. I couldn’t tell you exactly how it is going to play out, but I think the racing is going to be fun not only for the fans, but for the drivers too.”
BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 PLANBSALES.COM CAMARO ZL1 – 29TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s like the stuff you used to see really spread out, but inside the car we are fighting it because the tire fall off there is huge. We lose tenths and seconds over a long span of time. That is what makes it fun. It’s super rough, you run right against the fences, a lot of fun, takes a lot of finesse and skill to get around there fast. We have had some good races there in the Xfinity stuff. We have had some bad races, but it’s still fun. I remember trying to pay attention to the entry to Turn 1, but also looking at how fast we were going, 218 mph or 220 mph whatever it was, was incredible. Just right up against the fence. It’s always fun being able to do that, but it comes with a high risk. Now, going with a different package, less horsepower, more downforce, I don’t know. I think we will still be slipping and sliding, but I think the race is going to be a little longer.