STATESVILLE, N.C. – Auto Club Speedway will be a perfect stage for Josh Wise to perform for the hometown crowd. The Riverside, Calif., native says the wide and weathered two-mile track puts a lot more racing in the driver’s hands than other tracks, and he’ll be eager to put on a good show in the No. 35 MDS Transport Ford for family and friends.
While some of the venues on the Sprint Cup Series circuit have been repaved in recent years, the track surface of Auto Club Speedway is old and abrasive, and its multiple grooves promote passing. Both are characteristics that give drivers more control of their own destiny.
Sunday’s Auto Club 400 will be Wise’s second Sprint Cup start at the Fontana, Calif., track. He also has four career starts at the speedway in the Nationwide Series.
Comments from MDS Transport team driver Josh Wise heading to Fontana: “I love going out to Fontana, obviously, because I’m from Southern California. So just seeing family and friends and being back where I grew up, it’s great to be back there. And then on top of that, the racetrack is just awesome. It has multiple grooves and you really feel like you can do something there with the way you’re driving and how you can move around with your car and help it to the best of your ability, where you get a little stuck in some of the places that are more newly paved.
“Everyone’s going to have better answers about the Gen-6 cars as we go through more races, but I think they’re awesome cars. Something that we do know right now is they look really cool. That, in itself, is neat. They’re easy on the eye and that helps connect with the fan and engage the fan more. From a driving perspective, we’ve taken downforce away from them, so a lot more is going to be based on mechanical grip. And with some of these repaves, as the tracks wear in, we can go back with softer tires and we’ll actually have some tire fall-off and then the racing should get more and more exciting.
“It’s just neat to go home. And to have family and friends there is icing on the cake. Plus, it’s a great racetrack to race on. It’s one of my favorite places to go.”