Auto Club 400
Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
Yahoo / Fox / NASCAR: Quick Picks
The three-race West Coast portion of the Monster Energy NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season wraps up this weekend with the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
The low-banked, D-shaped oval is one of two tracks on the schedule with a 2.0-mile layout, joining Michigan International Speedway. Since the series visits Auto Club just once a year, the data for the track is somewhat limited. As a result, I find it helpful to use information from Auto and Michigan when making picks.
In general, two-mile tracks tend to be kind to the bigger teams. In order to navigate the long straightaways and high speeds, it takes a combination of horsepower and aerodynamics, and the powerhouse teams tend to have it.
As a result, I will once again be leaning on the top drivers in each tier when building my Yahoo lineups. I know I've been going with the big names early and often to start the year, and while I am mindful of managing my starts for each driver, I know there are several short tracks coming up where I can utilize sleepers.
1. KEVIN HARVICK, #4 JIMMY JOHNS, STEWART-HAAS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
Harvick has owned the 2.0-mile tracks since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, logging seven Top 5s in nine starts. During the same stretch, no other driver has more than four Top 5s. Harvick has been runner-up at Auto Club the last two years, leading 142 of the 205 laps last season.
2. JOEY LOGANO, #22 SHELL-PENNZOIL, TEAM PENSKE [YAHOO CLASS A]
He has been the model of consistency at the 2.0-mile tracks in recent years, reeling off eight straight Top 10s. Since joining Team Penske, he has three Top 10s in four starts at Auto Club, including two finishes of fourth or better. Logano is one of the safest bets to challenge for the win this weekend.
3. BRAD KESELOWSKI, #2 MILLER LITE, TEAM PENSKE [YAHOO CLASS A]
Over the last three seasons, Keselowski leads all drivers with a 7.7 average finish at 2.0-mile tracks. His eight Top 10s are tied for the most in the series during that stretch, and he also has four Top 5s, including a win at Auto Club in 2015.
4. CHASE ELLIOTT, #24 NAPA AUTO PARTS, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS [YAHOO CLASS B]
Elliott made quite the impression at the 2.0-mile tracks as a rookie last season, finishing sixth at Auto Club and second in both races at Michigan. He also led laps in all three events, leading a combined 67 laps. Elliott offers race-winning upside as a B-List play Sunday.
5. KYLE LARSON, #42 TARGET, CHIP GANASSI RACING [YAHOO CLASS B]
The high line tends to work well at 2.0-mile tracks, so it should be no surprise that Larson is emerging as a force. He finished second in his Cup Series debut at Auto Club, and he finished third and first in two starts at Michigan last year. You will want to strongly consider using him as a B-List play this weekend. He could go to victory lane.