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Driver Recommendations for Auto Club 500

Posted by chadmusselman on February 19, 2009

The car haulers had a long drive this week going to Fontana, California for the 2nd race of the season. This week’s race is at the Auto Club Speedway, a sister track of the Michigan International Speedway. This 2 mile track has a little less banking than MIS, but is still wide enough to allow for good, side-by-side racing. Many of last year’s chasers perform well in Fontana, and it was hard to make the selections, but here they are.

This week’s recommendations:

Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie has owned this track in the last four races. In that span he’s averaged a 1.75 place finish with two wins and a 2nd and a 3rd place finish! His average finish at the track in his career is 5.9. How can you not have him on your team this weekend?

Alternate Chase: Carl Edwards
The only word for Carl at this track is domination. In nine career races he has eight top 10s, 6 top 5s and 1 win. His average finish of 6.7 is only bettered by Jimmie Johnson. Carl was my pick to win the championship this season, and he could begin the trek to the championship with a win or top five performance this weekend.

Kasey Kahne
Kasey remains on my team again this week since he’s finished 10th, 9th, and 8th in the last three races in Fontana. I think he can keep that trend going and get another top 10 finish, or possibly sneak into the top 5. In 10 career races at the track he has seven top 10s, three top 5s and one win with a solid average finish of 13.1. This is definitely a track that Kasey can run up front.

Brian Vickers
Brian had top 10 finishes at the Auto Club Speedway in 2007, and in 2008 he just missed the top 10 with 11th and 12th place finishes. Brian has proven that he’s a solid driver and knows how to handle the race car. Look for him to run in the front 15 for most of the race and by the end he should be competing for a top 10 finish.

Dark Horse: Kurt Busch
If Kurt can run well again this weekend it could be the last time he’s picked as the darkhorse. He, like Vickers, had two top 10 finishes here in 2007, but didn’t have the luck in 2008 as he finished 13th in the February race, which isn’t bad, but was 2 laps down in 39th in the fall race. He has an average finish of 13.5 here and should stay on track to having a much improved 2009.

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