|Race 5 of 36 in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series|
|Date||March 18, 2018|
|Location||Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California|
Permanent racing facility|
2 mi (3.22 km)
|Distance||200 laps, 400 mi (640 km)|
|Average speed||147.526 miles per hour (237.420 km/h)|
|Driver||Furniture Row Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing|
|No. 78||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip|
|Nielsen Ratings||2.4 (Overnight)|
|Radio in the United States|
|Booth Announcers||Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and Rusty Wallace|
|Turn Announcers||Dan Hubbard (1 & 2) and Kurt Becker (3 & 4)|
The 2018 Auto Club 400 was a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race that was held on March 18, 2018, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Contested over 200 laps on the two-mile (3.2 km) D-shaped oval, it was the fifth race of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Auto Club Speedway (formerly California Speedway) is a 2 miles (3.2 km), low-banked, D-shaped oval superspeedway in Fontana, California which has hosted NASCAR racing annually since 1997. It is also used for open wheel racing events. The racetrack is located near the former locations of Ontario Motor Speedway and Riverside International Raceway. The track is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation and is the only track owned by ISC to have naming rights sold. The speedway is served by the nearby Interstate 10 and Interstate 15 freeways as well as a Metrolink station located behind the backstretch.
|1||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||38.082||189.066|
|2||14||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||38.255||188.211|
|3||10||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||38.311||187.936|
|Official first practice results|
|1||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Toyota||38.390||38.686||38.592|
|2||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||38.847||38.411||38.619|
|3||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||38.193||38.491||38.683|
|4||20||Erik Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||38.555||38.683||38.700|
|5||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||38.690||38.749||38.770|
|6||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||38.622||38.614||38.798|
|7||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||38.706||38.533||38.880|
|8||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||38.602||38.582||38.903|
|9||31||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||38.616||38.820||38.951|
|10||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||38.147||38.355||39.038|
|11||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||38.583||38.892||39.054|
|12||37||Chris Buescher||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||38.895||38.677||39.058|
|13||6||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||39.034||38.973||—|
|14||21||Paul Menard||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||38.429||39.004||—|
|15||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||39.093||39.106||—|
|16||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||39.514||39.169||—|
|17||13||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||39.091||39.198||—|
|18||32||Matt DiBenedetto||Go Fas Racing||Ford||39.088||39.259||—|
|19||43||Darrell Wallace Jr. (R)||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet||38.965||39.377||—|
|20||23||Gray Gaulding||BK Racing||Toyota||40.549||41.105||—|
|21||38||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||39.158||0.000||—|
|22||34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||39.215||0.000||—|
|23||00||Jeffrey Earnhardt||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet||40.899||0.000||—|
|24||55||Reed Sorenson||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||53.838||0.000||—|
|25||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||0.000||—||—|
|26||14||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||0.000||—||—|
|27||10||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||0.000||—||—|
|28||88||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||0.000||—||—|
|29||24||William Byron (R)||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||0.000||—||—|
|30||19||Daniel Suárez||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||0.000||—||—|
|31||9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||0.000||—||—|
|32||47||A. J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||0.000||—||—|
|33||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||0.000||—||—|
|34||95||Kasey Kahne||Leavine Family Racing||Chevrolet||0.000||—||—|
|35||51||Timmy Hill (i)||Rick Ware Racing||Toyota||0.000||—||—|
|36||15||Ross Chastain (i)||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||0.000||—||—|
|37||72||Cole Whitt||TriStar Motorsports||Chevrolet||0.000||—||—|
|Official qualifying results|
|1||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||38.694||186.075|
|2||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||39.039||184.431|
|3||9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||39.126||184.021|
|Official second practice results|
|1||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||38.779||185.668|
|2||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Toyota||38.852||185.319|
|3||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||39.019||184.525|
|Official final practice results|
Martin Truex Jr. led the field to the green flag at 3:46 p.m. Winner of three consecutive Cup races, Kevin Harvick was shooting for a higher spot in history with a fourth Sunday, but that march ended early in the race when he collided with Kyle Larson on the backstretch, bringing out the first caution on lap 39. They were running side by side when Harvick appeared to move down the track and into the side of Larson’s car. The impact sent Harvick’s car into the outside wall, causing heavy damage.
The race restarted on lap 43.
Martin Truex Jr., master of stage wins last season, scored his first of the new year, leading Kyle Busch by 3.5 seconds. Also in the top 10 were Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin. The second caution of the race flew on lap 62 for the conclusion of the first stage.
The race restarted on lap 67.
Trevor Bayne slapped the outside wall after slight contact with Ryan Newman. The incident produced the race’s third caution of the race, which was on lap 109. Bayne called his meeting with the wall one of the hardest of his career.
The race restarted on lap 114.
Truex scored again at the end of stage two, leading Brad Keselowski by 1.8 seconds. Following were Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer and William Byron. The fourth caution of the race flew on lap 122 for conclusion of stage 2.
The race restarted on lap 127.
The race restarted on lap 132.
The closing portion of the race featured a battle for the lead matching Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson. With 18 laps to go, Truex had a five-second lead over Busch and Larson, who were fighting for second.
Martin Truex Jr., last year’s Cup champion, returned to victory lane — a place he visited eight times in 2017 — and, at the same time, dropped Kevin Harvick’s name from NASCAR’s marquee. At least temporarily.
“This is a reassurance that what we’re doing is working,” Truex said. “It just feels good to win. I don’t really worry about who’s winning or who else is fast. Obviously, the 4 (Harvick) has been quick and they have a great team. But, as we’ve seen today, we can put together a run like that, as well.
“It feels good to be able to find that speed.”
Stage 1 Laps: 60
|1||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Toyota||10|
|2||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||9|
|3||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||8|
|4||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||7|
|5||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||6|
|6||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||5|
|7||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||4|
|8||20||Erik Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||3|
|9||14||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||2|
|10||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||1|
|Official stage one results|
Stage 2 Laps: 60
|1||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Toyota||10|
|2||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||9|
|3||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||8|
|4||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||7|
|5||20||Erik Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||6|
|6||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||5|
|7||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||4|
|8||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||3|
|9||14||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||2|
|10||24||William Byron (R)||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||1|
|Official stage two results|
Final Stage Results
Stage 3 Laps: 80
|1||1||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||Toyota||200||60|
|2||3||42||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||200||43|
|3||2||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||200||51|
|4||11||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||200||49|
|5||6||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||200||45|
|6||25||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||200||39|
|7||4||20||Erik Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||200||39|
|8||8||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||200||29|
|9||33||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||200||38|
|10||5||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||200||27|
|11||26||14||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||199||30|
|12||27||10||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||199||25|
|13||28||88||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||199||24|
|14||7||41||Kurt Busch||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||199||27|
|15||29||24||William Byron (R)||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||199||23|
|16||31||9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||199||21|
|17||15||1||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||199||20|
|18||16||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||199||19|
|19||14||21||Paul Menard||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||199||18|
|20||19||43||Darrell Wallace Jr. (R)||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet||199||17|
|21||9||31||Ryan Newman||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||199||16|
|22||32||47||A. J. Allmendinger||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||199||15|
|23||30||19||Daniel Suárez||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||199||14|
|24||34||95||Kasey Kahne||Leavine Family Racing||Chevrolet||199||13|
|25||21||38||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||199||12|
|26||22||34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||199||11|
|27||17||13||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||198||10|
|28||37||72||Cole Whitt||TriStar Motorsports||Chevrolet||198||9|
|29||36||15||Ross Chastain (i)||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||198||0|
|30||12||37||Chris Buescher||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||197||7|
|31||18||32||Matt DiBenedetto||Go Fas Racing||Ford||196||6|
|32||20||23||Gray Gaulding||BK Racing||Toyota||194||5|
|33||35||51||Timmy Hill (i)||Rick Ware Racing||Toyota||193||0|
|34||24||55||Reed Sorenson||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||193||3|
|35||10||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||191||2|
|36||23||00||Jeffrey Earnhardt||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet||189||1|
|37||13||6||Trevor Bayne||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||108||1|
|Official race results|
- Lead changes: 7 among different drivers
- Cautions/Laps: 5 for 21
- Red flags: 0
- Time of race: 2 hours, 42 minutes and 41 seconds
- Average speed: 147.526 miles per hour (237.420 km/h)
The race was the 18th race Fox Sports covered at the Auto Club Speedway. Mike Joy, three-time Auto Club winner Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip had call in the booth for the race. Jamie Little, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum handled the pit road duties for the television side.
|Booth announcers||Pit reporters|
|Lap-by-lap: Mike Joy
Color-commentator: Jeff Gordon
Color commentator: Darrell Waltrip
MRN had the radio call for the race which was also simulcasted on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and 2001 race winner Rusty Wallace called the race from the booth when the field was racing down the front stretch. Dan Hubbard called race from a billboard outside turn 2 when the field was racing through turns 1 and 2. Kurt Becker called the race from a billboard outside turn 3 when the field was racing through turns 3 and 4. Alex Hayden, Winston Kelley and Steve Post worked pit road for MRN.
|Booth announcers||Turn announcers||Pit reporters|
|Lead announcer: Joe Moore
Announcer: Jeff Striegle
Announcer: Rusty Wallace
|Turns 1 & 2: Dan Hubbard
Turns 3 & 4: Kurt Becker
Standings after the race
- "2018 schedule". Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. May 5, 2017. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
- "Auto Club Speedway". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. January 3, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
- "Entry List". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
- "First Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- "Qualifying Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- "Second Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- "Final Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- "Auto Club 400 Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. March 18, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- "Points standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. March 19, 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
- "Manufacturer standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. March 19, 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
- "Auto Club Speedway final TV ratings". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- Utter, Jim (March 16, 2018). "Kevin Harvick fastest in Friday's lone Cup practice at Fontana". Motorsport.com. Fontana, California: Motorsport Network. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- Beacham, Greg (March 16, 2018). "Truex claims 17th NASCAR Cup pole in Fontana". Associated Press. Fontana, California: AP Sports. Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 17, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- DeGroot, Nick (March 17, 2018). "Kevin Harvick leads second Cup practice at Fontana". Motorsport.com. Fontana, California: Motorsport Network. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Utter, Jim (March 17, 2018). "Kyle Busch tops final practice at Fontana". Motorsport.com. Fontana, California: Motorsport Network. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Hembree, Mike (March 18, 2018). "Martin Truex Jr. wins at Fontana as Kevin Harvick's bid for four in a row sputters". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
2018 TicketGuardian 500
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
2018 STP 500