Less than a month after staging the Clash in Los Angeles, NASCAR is back in Southern California – and back at Auto Club Speedway for the first time since 2020.
The NASCAR Cup Series settles into its regular season starting Sunday on the rough, two-mile oval in Fontana, California.
Team Penske rookie Austin Cindric comes in off a surprise victory in last weekend’s Daytona 500.
That race saw several top drivers eliminated in accidents, including reigning Cup champion Kyle Larson.
The California native previously won at Auto Club back in 2017 and looks to get back to form in his home state.
Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Auto Club Speedway
(All times Eastern)
START: Command to start engines given at 3:38 p.m. … Green flag scheduled to wave at 3:47 p.m.
PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers report to pre-race at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. … Invocation given by Motor Racing Outreach President and Sr. Chaplain Billy Mauldin at 3:30 p.m. … National Anthem performed by Nita Strauss at 3:31 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (400 miles) on the 2-mile speedway.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 65. Stage 2 ends at Lap 130.
COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 20
TV/RADIO: FOX will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and continues on FOX at 3 p.m. … Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at MRN.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.
STREAMING: FOX Sports
FORECAST: Weather Underground – Partly cloudy, high of 70 degrees, dry conditions around the start of the race
TO THE REAR: Kurt Busch (multiple inspection failures and must do a pass-through penalty at the start of hte race), Kyle Larson (unapproved adjustment to fix an electrical issue), Ross Chastain (backup car), Justin Haley (oil cooler change), Kevin Harvick (unapproved adjustments), Brad Keselowski (unapproved adjustments), Joey Logano (unapproved adjustments) and Bubba Wallace (unapproved adjustments)
STARTING LINEUP: Auto Club Speedway Starting Lineup
LAST TIME: The most recent Cup race at Auto Club Speedway occurred on March 1, 2020. Alex Bowman dominated, leading 110 of 200 laps on the way to his second career Cup Series win. Kyle Busch was runner-up, followed by Kurt Busch in third, eventual 2020 Cup champion Chase Elliott in fourth, and Brad Keselowski in fifth.
CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS COVERAGE:
Next Gen car proving to be a handful at Auto Club
Numbers of note: Auto Club stats to know as NASCAR returns
Alex Bowman returns to Auto Club a winner, but with uncertainty
Friday 5: Auto Club Speedway provides challenge for NASCAR drivers, teams
NASCAR viewer’s guide: Auto Club Speedway
Can Kyle Busch’s Auto Club dominance continue in Next Gen?
NASCAR does not penalize RFK Racing, Team Penske for wheel modifications
Xfinity Series: Myatt Snider reflects on wild ride at Daytona
Xfinity Series: Ryan Truex to run four races for Joe Gibbs Racing
Trevor Bayne eager to compete for Xfinity wins
NASCAR Power Rankings: Austin Cindric starts out tops
Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric has ‘zero regrets’ about final lap