Event: Auto Club 400
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (2-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps
Start/Finish: 5th/9th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd (110 points, 12 out of first)
Race Winner: Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Kevin Harvick started fifth and finished 14th.
● The No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang was quite loose early on.
● As the race went on, Harvick said the car’s handling was not improving.
● On lap 28, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis and tire pressure adjustment.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Harvick started eighth and finished 10th, earning one bonus point and one playoff point.
● The No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang pitted on lap 62 for four tires, fuel and a chassis and tire pressure adjustment.
● Saying his car was getting better, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and tire pressure adjustment.
● On lap 91, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
● Harvick started eighth and finished ninth.
● The No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang pitted on lap 123 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
● On lap 160, Harvick made his final pit stop for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. The pit crew’s work was flawless, as it had been all day, which kept Harvick in the top-10.
● Harvick earned his third top-10 of the season and his 13th top-10 in 27 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Fontana.
● This is Harvick’s second straight top-10 at Fontana. He finished fourth in last year’s Auto Club 400.
● This is Harvick’s third straight top-10. He finished eighth in the series’ last race at Las Vegas.
● Harvick finished 10th in Stage 2 to earn one bonus point.
● Alex Bowman won the Auto Club 400 to score his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Fontana. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was 8.904 seconds.
● There were three caution periods for a total of 13 laps.
● Only 17 of the 38 drivers in the Auto Club 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Ryan Blaney remains the championship leader after Fontana with an 11-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We just didn’t have a very good weekend. This place wasn’t very good for us last year, either. I am just having a hard time getting the car to be balanced all the way through the corner. I think, as you look at it, we didn’t have a ninth-place car either, we just had a great day on pit road. Those guys did a phenomenal job on pit road, and that kept us in the game.”
Next Up: The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the FanShield 500k on Sunday, March 8, at Phoenix Raceway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.