Found March 25, 2012 on Fox Sports:
Tony Stewart rode aggressive driving early and a later-than-expected gift from Mother Nature to win the NASCAR Auto Club 400 at Fontana, Calif., on Sunday. The race was called with 71 laps to go due to rain. It was the second win of the season for Stewart, making the 2011 Sprint Cup series champion the first repeat winner of 2012. Kyle Busch was second, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards. With rain threatening the area before the race even got going, aggressive driving, particularly through turns on the resealed surface in Fontana, was popular in the early laps. Drivers, perhaps positioning themselves for a run at the lead at Lap 101 with rain threatening to shorten the race, were making aggressive moves and pushing the speed gun traveling through pit road (with numerous drivers penalized for speeding). And Stewart was perhaps most aggressive, often diving low into turns to attempt to a pass with very little room, then sliding back up the track out of the turn to get in front of the car. It did not sit well with some drivers, but it worked for the 2011 Sprint Cup champ, who took the lead over from Kyle Busch at Lap 86 and never relented other than during green-flag stops. On that Lap 86, Busch, who started second and took command on Lap 2, was simultaneously trying to pass and lap Juan Pablo Montoya and hold off a charging Stewart. Montoya, in 21st place and fighting to stay on the lead lap, fought off the charging Busch long enough for Stewart to catch up on Busch, and reel him in while Montoya stayed ahead of both drivers as the lead changed hands. The race's first caution came with 76 laps to go and Stewart in the lead. As the pace car neared pit road, Stewart faked going to the pits and Denny Hamlin appeared to bite despite running second, committing to making his stop while Stewart stayed out on the track. Hamlin, the pole-sitter, led Lap 1 before being overtaken by Busch. Busch was fast from the get-go -- and so was his pit crew. Holding a lead of half a second on Hamlin when both drivers made their first pit stops under green on Lap 36, Busch got back onto the track three seconds in front of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate. When drivers went in for their second round of green-flag stops, Jimmie Johnson stayed out the longest, holding the lead as he pitted on Lap 71. But as the stops cycled through, Busch, who pitted on Lap 68, resumed his customary spot at the top of the leaderboard. One of the losers on the second round of stops was Jamie McMurray, who had to re-pit when he came out of his stop missing a lug nut. Others who were penalized on pit road included Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski, last week's winner at Bristol.

Kyle Busch's comments following season best 2nd at Fontana

Kyle Busch finally broke thru, sort of, and had the kind of race the #18 JGR Camry is capable of, coming home second in the rain shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup race behind defending series champ Tony Stewart.“We had a great race car with our Interstate Batteries Camry right from the beginning of the race,” said Busch, who has 10 top-10 finishes in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at...

Stewart picking up where 2011 left off

Tony Stewart continued his championship form Sunday with a win in the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Auto Club 400. Stewart gained the lead from Kyle Busch for the first time in the race on Lap 85. At that point and in clean air, no one could challenge Stewart in a race that featured the longest green-flag run -- 124 laps -- in track history. He went on to take the victory in...

Rain has caused a red-flag period

Rain has delayed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. NASCAR red-flagged the race on Lap 129 with Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards in the top five. Stewart led 42 of 129 laps when rain began with Denny Hamlin running second. However, the No. 11 team elected to come down pit road as the first caution flag of the day...

NASCAR: Drivers on the Move after Fontana

Weather may have dampened the proceedings at Auto Club Speedway, but some drivers certainly felt jubilant after leaving the Southern California venue. Oddly enough, that number included a couple of drivers who finished lower than they ran for most of the race: Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson. Busch led more laps than any other driver but was happy with his second-place finish, as...

Hamlin wins pole at Auto Club Speedway

Denny Hamlin has won the pole at Auto Club Speedway, with teammate Kyle Busch joining him in the top two spots for Sunday's race. Hamlin turned a lap of 186.403 mph in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota during Friday's qualifying session, running low on the track while most drivers went high. Busch was followed by Mark Martin in a Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. Hamlin earned...

Tony Stewart Wins Auto Club 400 for Second Win of 2012

  “Smoke” reigned supreme as rain shortened Sunday’s Sprint Cup event at Fontana. Tony Stewart won Sunday’s Auto Club 400 after the race was called due to rain with 71 laps still remaining. It was the first Sprint Cup cut short by rain since July 2009 at New Hampshire, but at least the strongest car won the race, which ran caution-free until the heavens opened up and put...

Tony Stewart Blankets The Field In Rain Shortened Auto Club 400

photo credit:  getty images FONTANA, Calif. -- Tony Stewart made all the right moves Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, and the last one proved decisive in taking the three-time champion to Victory Lane in the rain-shortened Auto Club 400. After raindrops slowed the race on Lap 124, Stewart, the race leader, faked a move toward pit road but stayed on the track and matched the pace car...

CUP: Hamlin, Kyle Busch Lead JGR Sweep

Denny Hamlin won the pole for the Auto Club 400...

Auto Club 400 from Auto Club Starting Lineup

Denny Hamlin won the pole for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 from Auto Club Speedway with a time of 38.626 seconds. Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, and Kasey Kahne round out the top five starting positions. Other notable qualifying positions … Continue reading →
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