302 miles, the distance Kyle Busch led in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway. About one half mile, the distance Kevin Harvick led to win the 400 mile race. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.
Speaking of fairness, the Fontana oval seems a bit partial; it has hosted 22 Sprint Cup events, nine of which have been won by native Californian’s including Jeff Gordon (3), Jimmie Johnson (5) and now, Kevin Harvick.
In the closing laps of Sunday’s Auto Club 400, it appeared that the race belonged to 2008 Kansas Speedway winner, Johnson, or Busch, but Harvick, known for his final lap heroics, had other plans. “You know those guys (Johnson and Busch) started racing and they got side-by-side and we were able to pull up in there,” said Harvick.
Pull up there he did, right to the bumper of Johnson’s No. 48 machine. Harvick, a native of Bakersfield, offered an extra push for the five-time champ as they both entered turn three of the final lap. Johnson dropped to the bottom and Harvick, clearly a student of physics, maintained his topside momentum stealing what would have been Johnson’s sixth win at the So-Cal facility.
Harvick’s victory was the first at his home-state track and made for the fifth different winner in as many weeks in NASCAR’s top division. Carl Edwards’ sixth place finish was enough for the Missouri driver take over the series point lead from Kurt Busch, who finished 17th.
In NASCAR Nationwide Series action, Kyle Busch led only 18 laps, relatively subpar for the series’ all-time lap leader, but still claimed his 46th Nationwide Series victory in Saturday’s Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Busch now trails NASCAR veteran, Mark Martin, by only three wins, threatening Martin’s all-time wins record in the Nationwide Series.
Roush-Fenway Racing driver, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who led 64 laps finished in fourth position on Saturday, catapulting him into the top-spot. Jason Leffler trails by just six markers as the series enters an off weekend.
NASCAR Camping World Truck and Sprint Cup Series teams will switch gears, literally, as they prepare for this coming weekend’s event at Martinsville Speedway. At .526 miles, the paperclip shaped racetrack is the shortest on NASCAR’s circuit and always promises red-hot brakes, and tempers.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will headline two weekends this year at Kansas Speedway, the first of which will be during the running of the Kansas 400 on Sunday, June 5th and the second will be on Sunday, October 9th for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will open the June weekend (June 4th) with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250. The Nationwide Series will do battle on Saturday, October 8th in the Kansas Lottery 300.
Tickets for each of these events are on sale now and are available at www.kansasspeedway.com or by calling 866.460.RACE (7223). Parking is always free and guests are welcome to bring a 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler into the grandstands filled with their favorite food and beverages.