NASCAR qualifying results from Auto Club Speedway in California
Today, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will set the starting grid for Auto Club Speedway. It’s NASCAR qualifying in Fontana, California.
View the full 2019 Auto Club starting lineup below.
NASCAR has a new rule in place this week. Pit road speed limit is now in place for qualifying. The sanction doesn’t want cars racing down the lane during qualifying which we saw in weeks prior.
Auto Club Qualifying
10 minutes – Top 24 advance
The green is out is round one. Cars are crawling down the pit lane. They’re all heading out at once.
3 minutes into round one, Chase Elliott is around off turn two! He just got loose and spun to the infield. He made no contact with anything but the tires are cooked.
NASCAR will allow Chase Elliott to replace the tires. He hadn’t even turned a lap when he spun. The green is back out.
Halfway through round one, Austin Dillon sits at the top of the Auto Club Speedway times sheet.
With a minute remaining, a group of cars head out for one last shot. Harvick is included as he shut off the engine for the caution during his lap earlier. Harvick, Larson, Jones, Elliott, Truex and more sit outside the top 25 currently.
Some make it and some don’t. Drafting is important for qualifying. It was going to be hard to set a quick time in such a small group.
Austin Dillon wins round 1 of knockout qualifying at Auto Club Speedway!
Auto Club Qualifying – Round 1 Results: 1. Austin Dillon (40.011); 2. Joey Logano (40.108); 3. Chase Elliott (40.110); 4. Ryan Blaney (40.117); 5. Aric Almirola (40.122); 6. Chris Buescher (40.170); 7. Jimmie Johnson (40.173); 8. William Byron (40.213); 9. Matt DiBenedetto (40.254); 10. Ryan Newman (40.273); 11. Daniel Hemric (40.275); 12. Daniel Suarez (40.321);
Auto Club Qualifying
10 minutes – Top 12 advance
The green is out on session two. The entire field pulls to the edge of the pit lane to wait. Kurt Busch is the lone car on the race track. Everyone else is temporarily blocking all lane at the exit of the pit lane.
NASCAR has told drivers to clear a path.
Path or not, there’s 2 minutes and 30 seconds remaining in round two. Kurt Busch is still the only car to turn a lap.
With just over a minute remaining, the entire group is heading off the pit lane! Kyle Busch is blocking Suarez down the back stretch.
Every car made it across the line to start a lap. Two seconds were to spare for the last car across the line. The field is passing in qualifying, it’s a race.
Austin Dillon wins round two!
Kurt Busch sits 22nd after round two. Qualifying by yourself was not the best plan. It appears that you have to be in the draft.
“That was the only way I knew how to control the most elements, that continue to change,” Kurt Busch told Fox Sports of his plan.
Kyle Busch on the other hand had to pass two cars on his hot lap. After getting passed by Daniel Suarez coming to the green, he passed him back. He then passed William Byron as well. Busch is still fourth on the times sheet!
Auto Club Qualifying – Round 2 Results: 1. Austin Dillon (39.982); 2. Kevin Harvick (40.137); 3. Aric Almirola (40.205); 4. Kyle Busch (40.247); 5. Joey Logano (40.248); 6. Denny Hamlin (40.312); 7. Ryan Newman (40.334); 8. Chase Elliott (40.356); 9. Cliny Bowyer; 10. Ryan Blaney; 11. Jimmie Johnson; 12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr;
Auto Club Qualifying
5 minutes – Run for pole
Hurry up and wait is the game plan. The cars have all pulled out of their pit stall. They now wait at the edge of the pit lane.
45 seconds remaining, everyone leaves at once. They’re three wide on the apron. It’s possible none of them make it to the line to start a lap.
Nobody made it to the line!!!
Austin Dillon will start from the pole based on his round two time!
View the full NASCAR starting lineup for Auto Club Speedway below.
Auto Club Speedway
March 17, 2019
Pos | Driver | Time
1. Austin Dillon
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Aric Almirola
4. Kyle Busch
5. Joey Logano
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Ryan Newman
8. Chase Elliott
9. Clint Bowyer
10. Ryan Blaney
11. Jimmie Johnson
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr
13. Brad Keselowski
14. Chris Buescher
15. Kyle Larson
16. Ty Dillon
17. Daniel Hemric
18. Erik Jones
19. David Ragan
20. Daniel Suarez
21. Kurt Busch
22. William Byron
23. Alex Bowman
24. Matt DiBenedetto
25. Paul Menard
26. Ryan Preece
27. Martin Truex Jr
28. Bubba Wallace
29. Michael McDowell
30. Corey LaJoie
31. Ross Chastain
32. Matt Tifft
33. Landon Cassill
34. Cody Ware
35. Reed Sorenson
36. BJ McLeod
37. Garrett Smithley
38. Joey Gase