Fuel and Tires

All about auto racing with Gazette staffer Dave von Falkenstein.

Fuel & Tires: A look at who's racing this weekend, March 21-22

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Dave von Falkenstein
March 20, 2015

With the start of the IndyCar season still a week away and Formula One also not hitting the track until next Sunday, what's on tap in the racing world this weekend? Let's take a look.


—The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, for the Auto Club 400 on Sunday. The 2-mile oval, located east of downtown Los Angeles, has played host to NASCAR since 1997. From 2004-10, the track hosted two annual events on the Sprint Cup calendar with one race in spring and one in fall.

—As I mentioned in my column earlier this week, Jimmie Johnson has the most wins at the track with five. Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth have three wins there and Tony Stewart has two. Kyle Busch, who will not race this weekend due to injury, has won four times at the track.

—Qualifying for Sunday's race at 6:30 p.m. Friday and will air on Fox Sports 1. The race will air on Fox at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

—Look for Kevin Harvick, who won this race in 2011, to try and make it three wins a row in this fifth race of the season. Harvick has not finished lower than second so far this season. Martin Truex Jr. and AJ Allmendinger look to continue their momentum while Dale Earnhardt Jr. hopes to rebound from his last-place finish last weekend at Phoenix. I would also look for Kyle Larson to run well after finishing second at this race last season and winning the Xfinity Series race that weekend,as well. Kurt Busch is another one to watch as he won this race in 2003 and has 10 top-ten finishes in 14 races at Fontana.

—The series heads to Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia, for the STP 500 on Sunday, March 29.


—The NASCAR Xfinity Series also heads to Auto Club Speedway for the Drive4Clots.com 300 on Saturday. Qualifying precedes the race at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with race action starting at 2:30 p.m. Both will air on Fox Sports 1.

—As mentioned, Larson won here last season for his first series victory. Ryan Reed is the only Xfinity Series regular who has won a race this season, but with only six full-time Sprint Cup drivers on the entry list this weekend, there may be a second series regular winning this weekend. Points leader Ty Dillion would love nothing more than to add a win to his four top-ten finishes so far this season.

—Following this weekend's race, the series will be off until Saturday, April 10, when the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 hits Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.


—The Twelve Hours of Sebring will be run Saturday, with coverage beginning on Fox Sports 1 at 9:30 a.m. and continuing onto Fox Sports 2 from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and from 9-11 p.m.

—The race is held at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida, which opened in 1950. This endurance race has been held there every year since 1952, save for 1974 during the energy crisis.

—Among the drivers in this year's race are IndyCar regulars Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud. Not participating this year is Patrick Dempsey (yes, the actor), who had a last-minute filming commitment. Dempsey is a team owner/driver in the series, and his team finished third in its class at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

—Last year's winner was the Ganassi Racing team of Marino Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. That team has Joey Hand, Pruett, and Dixon in the car this year. Dixon was part of the winning team at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

—The TUSC Series next heads to Long Beach, California, for the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase on Saturday, April 18.

Dave von Falkenstein is a digital content coordinator for The Gazette and an auto racing fan. Follow him on Twitter at @achtungvon or email him at [email protected].

Dave von Falkenstein is a digital content coordinator for The Gazette and an auto racing fan. Follow him on Twitter at @achtungvon or email him at [email protected].

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