Auto Club Speedway proves, yet again, that it is the most boring racetrack in NASCAR. Cutting the race by 100 miles, and moving the date back a month did not help at all. After braving the cold, dark, damp, weather all weekend, the fans in attendance had to suffer through a 180 lap parade to get to the 20 lap shootout. Certainly not the best return on investment in NASCAR.
Kevin Harvick led one lap on Sunday, and it was the right one as he became the fifth different winner in the five races this year. Harvick made a daring pass on the high side coming through turn four to beat Jimmie Johnson to the finish line. Of Harvick's last five wins, three have come about through last lap passes for the lead.
Leading three quarters of the laps, in a backup car, was not enough as Kyle Busch coughed up the lead to Johnson with just three laps to go, and eventually ended up third. Busch won Saturday's NW race to run his string of NASCAR victories to four in a row. Matt Kenseth earned his second consecutive fourth place finish. Ryan Newman finished fifth for the third time this year. Three of the four RFR cars finished in the top 11, while all four RCR cars were in the top 16.
After just five races this year, all three of the Joe Gibbs Racing entries have experienced engine woes during at least one race. They have been very strong, but they better get a handle on this issue soon. Every point counts and Denny Hamlin now sits 21st in the standings after engine problems on Sunday. In the five races this season, JGR has had five engine malfunctions.
NASCAR's arbitrary judgement calls. There is a rule that a driver can not pass on a restart before he gets to the start/finish line. On Sunday Dale Earnhardt Jr missed a shift (or something that kept him from going) Joey Logano pulled around him.... instead of ramming his bumper. NASCAR penalized Logano with a drive through which regulated him to being the last car on the lead lap, late in the race. This judgement is as bad as when a car is forced below the line at a plate track... and is penalized.... for NOT causing the big one.
Jennifer Jo Cobb threw a fit last week at Bristol. Something about being a racer, not a start and parker. So, after somehow getting another ride in the NWS, what did she do on Saturday at ACS? She had an early spin, and got the free pass soon thereafter. Immediately after receiving the lucky dog, she parked her car. The official reason for her parking, after 38 laps, was "handling".