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Fantasy preview: Auto Club 400

NASCAR heads to Fontana Califorina for the ffith race of the season.  Many story lines go with it as well.

 

Kyle Busch won his first race of the season at Bristol, his fifth win there.  He has won four of the last fives races there.  Carl Edwards finished second despite saying he still owes Busch fro Phoenix and Jimmie Johnson finished third.

This could be the start of a championship season for the younger Busch who is now in his seventh full season in cup and despite being only 25 coming up on 26 many expected him to have won at least one championship by now.

Overall Edwards has been the best car, one win, two seconds and if not for the Phoenix incident it could be two wins.  He is perhaps the one driver with the best shot at dethroning Jimmie Johnson.

But let's preview Auto Club shall we?

The Favorites:  Jimmie Johnson comes to mind when you talk about favorites at Auto Club.  Five wins, 11 top fives, 12 top tens, 846 laps led and an average finish of 5.31 in only 16 starts at Auto Club.  He will certainly be the driver everyone must watch.  Johnson has had an up and down season.  27th at Daytona, third at Phoenix, 16th at Las Vegas, and third at Bristol.  Which Johnson shows up at Auto Club?

Carl Edwards is very strong at Auto Club.  One win, six top fives, ten top tens, 121 laps led, an average finish of 9.21 in 13 starts.  Edwards has been strong all season and will be a factor.

Matt Kenseth is just as strong at Edwards at Auto Club if not stronger.  Three wins, seven top fives, 12 top tens, 497 laps lead, and an average of 10.28 in 18 starts.

Jeff Gordon has three wins, ten top fives, 11 top tens, 619 laps lead,  and an average finish of 10.86 in 21 starts.

Tony Stewart has made his way to a favorite at Auto Club.  One win, five top fives, 11 top tens, 261 laps lead, an average finish of 14.16 in 19 starts.  He won this race last fall and after his Vegas performance he should be very strong on Sunday.

Ones to watch:  Jamie McMurray has been solid at Auto Club,  Three top fives, five top tens, 57 laps lead, two poles, and an average finish of 16.47 which is 12th best among all drivers.  McMurray has had some bad luck in 2011 and a good run at Auto Club would go a long way.

Clint Bowyer has two top fives, six top tens, 44 laps lead.  and an average finish of 11th.  Bowyer has struggled thus far in 2011 but after finishing second there last fall this could be perhaps what the doctor ordered.

Winner:  Tony Stewart

In three of the first four races Tony Stewart could have won those races.  He should have had Las Vegas without a doubt.  He's already lead 212 laps this season the most of all drivers.  Smoke struggled late at Bristol finishing 19th, the last car on the lead lap but pay no mind to that.  He heads to Auto Club a place where he has been strong as of late.  In the last eight races he has one win, two top fives and six top tens.  He showed his intermediate strength at Vegas and this time if he has the same strong run he won't let this one get away.

Top ten prediction:

1.Tony Stewart

2. Carl Edwards

3.Jimmie Johnson

4.Jamie McMurray

5.Denny Hamlin

6.Matt Kenseth

7.Kyle Busch

8.Greg Biffle

9.Jeff Gordon

10.Clint Bowyer

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