Written by Liz Walker
Compared to the Daytona 500 last week, the Auto Club 500 in Fontana,CA was a cake walk. No long delays to fix the racetrack, not very many cautions, and not very many crashes. All in all it was a very easy and smooth race to watch.
Now don’t get me wrong some exciting things did happen. Six wide down the back straight, with all the drivers above the yellow line, will get you watching and waiting for a crash. That kind of racing is what a NASCAR fan like me looks forward too. This race track isn’t as good as Talladega but it’s still a fun race to watch.
This week we saw a very fast race with only 6 cautions and no delays.
After 57 green flag laps caution waved for debris on the race track. The second caution was on lap 92 when Kahne got under Montoya and took a spin through the grass. Many of the drivers took the opportunity to come down pit road, including Kahne who manages to stay on the lead lap.
The third caution on lap 141 was brought out when Juan Pablo Montoya hit the wall in turn 1. Most of the cars headed to pit road, some to have troublesome cars fixed. Ryan Newman blows and engine on the high side of the track bring out the fourth caution at lap 147. Caution number 5 at lap 192 is caused by rain making its way onto the track. The last caution of the day is at lap 223 when Brian Keselowski hits the wall in turn 4.
Fontana saw many fast movers and driver changes. Jamie McMurray won the pole and started the race first. Due to a series of long pit stops and a very loose car he kept falling back and finish 17th. Jeff Gordon had a good run at the beginning of the race moving from 28th to 8th by lap 43. Mark Martin managed to make his way up to first by lap 100 but eventually Jimmie Johnson passed him to take the lead in lap 150.
Kevin Harvick is the driver who impressed me the most. Until recently I’ve never paid much attention to him. However, after leading a few laps at Daytona and giving the leaders a run for their money he ended up finishing 7th. Then this week at Fontana he gives Jimmie Johnson a run for his money and ends up finishing 2nd. If he keeps racing this well he may have a shot at the Nextel- Sprint cup at the end of the year.
Next stop is Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If Harvick keeps doing this well he may end up winning the race. Guess you’ll just have to check back next week to find out!