Tag Archives: Toyota Racing Development

Matt Kenseth will Benefit from his Teammates at Auto Club Speedway

Last week NASCAR was at the Bristol Motor Speedway Coliseum for some high speed short track racing. This week NASCAR and Matt Kenseth visit the other side of the racing spectrum. This week they return to the Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400.

The Auto Club Speedway is in sunny Fontana California. It is a two mile speedway with wide sweeping corners. There is 14 degrees of banking in all four turns, 11 degrees on the Frontstretch and 3 degrees on the back stretch. This track is very much like Michigan International Speedway except due to the weather, the track surface is different.

Last year at Auto Club Speedway the Joe Gibbs Racing teammates of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth had the race covered. All three teams started the race in the top 5. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin stayed there most of the race. Matt Kenseth and his team had an up and down day but managed to finish seventh. Denny Hamlin was leading the last lap when Joey Logano wrecked him leaving Kyle Busch to go on to win the race.

Looking at the Driver Ratings it would appear that Jimmie Johnson has the field covered with his monster 119.6 rating but then comes the power of two teammates who do well sharing information. Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth’s ratings of 109.2 and 105.5, the second and third best are pretty good as well.

Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth also have the second and third best average running position of 9.1 and 9.4 to Jimmie Johnson’s series best of 6.1.

Matt Kenseth has always done well at Auto Club Speedway and was disappointed that he couldn’t match his teammates performance last year. This is a drivers track and Kenseth knows what to do.

There’s a lot going on — the seams are a big deal there.  The track is really worn out so there’s a lot of fall off on the tires.” Kenseth added, “It’s definitely one that you can change your line, change your approach, find grip, lose grip, find speed and all that kind of stuff.  It’s like every track where you have to have the car right, but certainly there’s a lot of options when you go there of where you can run.

The Auto Club Speedway is Toyota Racing Development‘s home track. Matt Kenseth and the whole Dollar General Toyota team would love to win.

This race is also the first race at a large speedway where the new NASCAR Knock Out Qualifying will be used. Some of the same strategies used at the other tracks might come into play but at this track drafting down the straight away might have an advantage. Will some of the teams have teammates draft in order to get them into the next segment or perhaps the pole?

Qualifying will be shown on Fox Sports 1, Friday, March 21st starting at 7:30 PM ET. It will be shown with a delay.

If you cannot get to Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400 it will be broadcast live on Sunday, March 23 on FOX starting at 2:30 PM ET. The race is 400 miles or 200 laps.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 284211 Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images

Top 10 Driver Rating at Auto Club
Jimmie Johnson ……………………. 119.6
Kyle Busch …………………………… 109.2
Matt Kenseth ………………………… 105.5
Tony Stewart ………………………… 102.0
Carl Edwards ………………………….. 98.5
Jeff Gordon …………………………….. 96.2
Greg Biffle ……………………………… 95.8
Kevin Harvick …………………………. 95.5
Kasey Kahne ………………………….. 92.9
Clint Bowyer …………………………… 91.4
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (15 total) among active drivers at Auto Club Speedway