Auto Club 400 Picks, Odds & Predictions 3/1/2020
Race: Auto Club 400
Date: Sunday, March 1, 2020
Location: Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California
Ford teams have started out the gate hot in the 2020 NASCAR season. While they weren't able to take home the win, they had pace in the Daytona 500. In addition, Las Vegas was where two of the top three drivers were in Fords. They will be looking to keep the trend alive in Fontana, California in the Auto Club 400.
That said, this season is shaping up to be a lot like the 2019 season in that Joey Logano became the second driver in two weeks to defend his win from the season prior. In Sunday's Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Logano was able to hold off his competition through the final restart to take home the victory. He had a fast car all weekend, however, his decision to stay on the track while others didn't during the final restart earned him his first win the young season.
Pennzoil 400 Results
In a scramble over the final two laps, a multicar crash ensued on the frontstretch in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Joey Logano was able to find a way to win after he sped away from the field after a restart on the 266th lap of 267 laps. Finishing under caution, Matt DiBenedetto was runner-up in this race. For Logano, it was his 24th career victory which put him ahead of Ricky Rudd for 35th all time in wins.
Logano didn't win either of the first two stages. Nonetheless, he was one of the strongest cars out there for the day. He took home victory in Las Vegas last season and he was looking to do so again as he was up front in the final miles going head to head with teammate Ryan Blaney. His decision to stay out under the caution flag proved to be an excellent choice and gave him the track position he needed to pull out the win.
Logano hasn't earned a victory at Auto Club Speedway in his career but he has finished in the top ten on six occasions in his last seven races there.
Ryan Blaney was considered one of the favorites in the Pennzoil 400 and almost pulled off the victory had he not pitted under the final caution. He just missed out on victory at Daytona and the same happened here. He had one of the fastest cars throughout the entire weekend and was even able to overtake his teammate Logano towards the end of the race. He'll be ready to move on to Fontana where he has four starts and three top 10 finishes.
Chase Elliot is another racer to talk about and he snatched his second stage victory of the season early on in Las Vegas. He added to his points total in an effort to advance in the playoffs by turning in the fastest lap of the race to that point and his momentum carried into the second stage when he held off Truex in those final laps. However, a flat tire in the final stage took him out of the race for first. In terms of racing at Auto Club Speedway, he hasn't finished worse than 16th there, but it surely isn't one of his best circuits.
Kevin Harvick was one of the best racers throughout the Pennzoil 400. Over the short runs, Harvick had the best car all day, but when it came to the green flag runs, Harvick was looking for more in his car and his handling started to wean. While his car was the best all day when coming off a restart, his final pit during the last caution was too much for him to overcome. While getting fresh tires, it was too much to overcome on the day. He still earned a top ten finish but wasn't able to get that elusive victory. Fontana isn't a great place for Harvick as he has just one win in his 26 starts here. He'll be looking to change the tide this year.
Alex Bowman had 30-1 odds to win in Las Vegas last weekend but looked like he could be one of the racers to challenge Logano for the win. However, he also chose to pit during the final caution, and it ended up costing him the race even though he pieced together one of the fastest cars on the track in the last few laps. In four Cup series starts in Fontana, Bowman has a best finish of 13th.
Odds for the Auto Club 400 are as follows:
Kevin Harvick 4-1
Kyle Busch 5-1
Joey Logano 6-1
Chase Elliot 8-1
Kyle Larson 8-1
Brad Keselowski 8-1
Martin Truex Jr 8-1
Ryan Blaney 16-1
Alex Bowman 20-1
William Byron 20-1
Denny Hamlin 20-1
Who will win the Auto Club 400?
Tony's Pick: Take Brad Keselowski (8/1)
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