TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
AUTO CLUB 400
MARCH 26, 2017
California native and seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, is the all-time wins’ leader at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway with six victories. Johnson is also the only driver in the 20-year history of the track to win the race from the pole, a feat he completed in 2008.
Did you know? Chevrolet has more wins than any manufacturer at Auto Club Speedway with 13 victories.
There will be six California natives entered to compete in this weekend’s Auto Club 400. Of those drivers, four will start the race behind the wheel of a Chevrolet SS. Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson hails from El Cajon, California, driver of the No. 42 Chevy SS, Kyle Larson is a native of Elk Grove, California. The pilot of the No. 47 Chevrolet SS, AJ Allmendinger is originally from Los Gatos, California, while Cole Whitt behind the wheel of the No. 72 Chevy SS hails from Alpine, California.
Last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, Ryan Newman and the No. 31 Chevrolet SS team earned the Bowtie Brand’s first victory of the 2017 season, winning the Camping World 500. Newman snapped a 127-race winless streak and took Richard Childress Racing to victory lane for the first time since 2013. Newman becomes the first Team Chevy driver to secure a playoff berth and have a shot at this year’s championship title.
This weekend at Auto Club Speedway will mark lifetime Chevy driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s 600th career Cup Series start.
The Auto Club 400 is slated to commence on Sunday March 26th 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 766 wins and 689 poles in MENCS competition
Chevrolet drivers have won 13 of 27 races at Auto Club Speedway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, has six wins at Auto Club Speedway (’02, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10 & ‘16)
Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, has one win at Auto Club Speedway (’06)
A Chevrolet driver has won two of the last five races at Auto Club Speedway
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Auto Club Speedway 12 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 69 top-five and 122 top-10 finishes at Phoenix International Raceway
A Chevrolet has led 3,194 laps (50.2% of possible 6,354 laps) at Phoenix International Raceway
FOR THE FANS:
Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Zone at Auto Club Speedway
Fans can check out great a great assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: Malibu 2LZ, Impala 2LZ, Cruze Sedan, 2017 Equinox Premier, Colorado Z71 Crew, Silverado Double Cab Special Ops Edition, Camaro SS Convertible, Silverado 2500 HD Alaskan Edition Diesel
At the Chevrolet Display, fans can view the No. 3 DOW Chevrolet SS and No. 7 Brandt Chevrolet Camaro Xfinity Series show cars
Also on display is a Chevrolet R07 racing engine complete with electronic fuel injection. Fans can also see a sample of engines, parts and accessories available for purchase from Chevrolet Performance at their local Chevrolet dealer
Other activities at the Team Chevy Racing Display include a variety of interactive games for adults and kids
TEAM CHEVY QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:
Saturday, March 25th
8:00 a.m. – Daniel Hemric
8:20 a.m. – Brandon Jones
8:45 a.m. – Garrett Smithley, Ben Rhodes, Ross Chastain
11:45 a.m. – Ray Black, Jr.
Sunday, March 26th
9:15 a.m. – Kyle Larson
Chevrolet Display Hours of operation: Fri. March 24th – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Sat. March 25th – 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sun. March. 26th – 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – POINTS LEADER
“Fontana is a fun race track. It’s super wide, really slick, lots of lanes to choose from. The seams play a big part in finding grip. It’s somewhat close to home for me. I get to see some old race fans or sprint car fans and friends and stuff. I enjoy going there.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 24 NAPA CHEVROLET SS – 3RD IN STANDINGS
“Just the surface. I think as we see, the older the surface gets and the more wore out it is it seems like it lends more opportunity for strategy calls. Tires mean a lot. The race track is so big and surface is so worn out that one lap is taking a lot of life off your tire. I think those two things together mean that tires are going to mean a lot in just a handful of laps. You have those short quick runs with a quick caution and if you only run five laps everybody is coming back down pit road for tires. Those races, they just make good races because it means you can do something different than the guy ahead of you.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 MCDONALD’S CHEVROLET SS – 8TH IN STANDINGS
“It’s interesting because it seemed like it was a boring race. Then it seems like four or five years ago all of a sudden the track didn’t really change much and the tires didn’t change much, but it’s just like the races got really good. A lot of it came because the cautions were falling at the right time. That was always kind of a fuel mileage race, which sometimes those are exciting, but most of the time they are not. But the cautions have fallen right the last few years and tires make such a difference. It has been a great track.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – 10TH IN STANDINGS
“California… the track is so wide, so big and you have all kinds of racing room. That track is one of my tougher tracks. And that used to be one of my best tracks and now the last few years it’s been one of my toughest tracks just to understand where to put the car and when and where and all that and carry that speed. Hopefully, this year we will do a better job of that and it will be much easier to put it wherever and it will work.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 CATERPILLAR CHEVROLET SS – 11TH IN STANDINGS
“It has just gotten better and better. It is that kind of asphalt that just gets better with age. The seams are a little bit tricky, but the combination of the tires and the track and the fall off it’s just such a fun race track to race at.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S CHEVROLET SS – 16TH IN STANDINGS
“Both ends of the track, even the straightaway on restarts you have no clue what is going to happen. The straightaway is long enough that the draft actually plays a role even on a restart. I was able to use that to my advantage in the spring there last year and win. I got right on (Kevin) Harvick’s bumper and was able to push him down the front stretch and we drafted past the cars to my outside and then he had to pick a lane and he picked the middle and I was left with the shortest distance around and made it work and got the win. It’s a fun track that a lot of options have developed for us as drivers out there.”
PAUL MENARD, NO. 27 JACK LINKS/MENARDS CHEVROLET SS – 19TH IN STANDINGS
“Half the time when you go to qualify you don’t even know what groove you are going to run. You feel it out and just try to go with it. Typically, you run the bottom for a lap or two and then you basically start working yourself up. But we have seen, I think Austin (Dillon) was on the pole last year running the fence in qualifying. You just never know.”
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – 23RD IN STANDINGS
“I love running against the fence just like Kyle (Larson) at Fontana. I think we kind of watch each other and learn a little bit from each other when we get in races where you can do that. Everybody kind of does it differently. If you like running up there, you certainly look out for the other guys that are good at it and see what they are doing and how they are getting around the track.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 TWISTED TEA CHEVROLET SS – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“I think Auto Club is worn-out and really rough, but it’s five lanes wide and Michigan has been repaved so it is still kind of a narrow groove race track, a little bit. It’s starting to widen out a little bit more. I feel like just the fact that you have to slow down so much in the corners at Auto Club Speedway just because of the lack of grip is what makes the so different.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET SS – 25TH IN STANDINGS
“Last year we set the pole for that race at Fontana. We had a fast race car and ran up front most of the day. We are definitely going to have a direction that we feel like we need to work in and will do what I can to keep our old girl up there.”
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, NO. 95 LFR WOODIE CHEVROLET SS – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“Because it hasn’t gone through a repave and it’s old and it’s worn-out and it’s bumpy and our car and tire combination is finally just meshed enough to where you can move around and be not three-wide, not four-wide, but five, six-wide. It’s crazy and the tires fall off. That is the biggest thing. I know it’s hard to get at every race track, but that is when it gets good.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 RALPH’S CLICKLIST CHEVROLET SS – 31ST IN STANDINGS
“It is kind of crazy to think how many drivers are from California and just the West Coast. You just always thought it was such a southern sport. Obviously, over the last 15 years it has changed a lot, but a lot of drivers from California. It’s fun to be able to be from a place that has brought so many great race car drivers and just be a part of that. I always enjoy Fontana. Auto Club Speedway has been a great race track for us. I always look forward to going back there because it’s slick, it’s a tough race track, although it’s southern California, I’m northern California, you can’t get those two places mixed up. It’s a place that I really enjoy going to.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 BUSH’S BEANS CHEVROLET SS – 32ND IN STANDINGS
“The groove has widened out to where we have great options. You can run the apron in (Turns) 3 and 4 or you can run hitting the fence, but it’s just been a race track where the action has been very good lately. I got my first Cup start there due to unfortunate circumstances with a couple of guys getting injured or sick, but it is one of my most fun Cup races to date still. I had an absolute blast.”