I highly doubt that anyone who was there during the grassroots years of NASCAR would have ever imagined that the Southern based sanctioning body would ever stretch it’s way to the left coast, but today is the running of the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Raceway (more affectionately known as Fontana), a stone’s throw away from Los Angeles.
Martin Truex Jr, the defending and reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, sits on the pole in a Toyota, his second pole in a row.
Toyota occupies three of the top four starters with Kyle Busch going from second, and Erik Jones from fourth.
Kyle Larson is the top qualifying Camaro, and will start on the inside of the second row.
Larson won the last race at Fontana from the pole position beating Brad Keselowski.
Chevrolet has won seven of the last ten races at Fontana, including the last two.
There is a lot of star power that will be starting in the back of today’s field. Thirteen cars failed to post a qualifying time due to not passing pre-race inspection, including Chase Elliot, Jimmie Johnson (six time winner at Fontana), Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, and Kasey Kahne among others.
All four Hendricks cars failed pre-race inspection.
With so many cars not passing inspection, we have to ask ourselves where the problem lies, because although nine of the 13 cars who failed were Monte Carlos, two Toyotas and two Fords also failed.
NASCAR is using new digital inspection equipment, and as we have seen in other areas of endeavor that are mandated by NASCAR utilizing NASCAR equipment, the validity and trustworthiness of the equipment being used has to be questioned.
Coverage of the Auto Club 400 is on FOX at 3:30.
Kevin Harvick who is starting from the tenth spot shoots for his fourth straight* win, but I think that Kyle Larson is going to finally break through and make his way to Victory Lane today.
Props to Jeff Gordon on his induction into the Motorsports Hall Of Fame, as a member of the Class of 2018. Gordon is the lead nominee for this year’s NASCAR HoF class, which many pundits and irrational fans disagree with, claiming that he has not been out of the sport long enough to be considered.
While there may be other drivers or people who deserve the accolade, if there is one person for whom we waive any length restrictions for, it is Jeff Gordon.
It must be noted that the NASCAR HoF does not have any restrictions as relate to the length that a driver or person has been retired from the sport.
Gordon is third on the all time wins list with 93, and is a four time series champion.
Gordon is also a popular ambassador for the sport, and has earned his rightful place in the pantheon of all time greats.
Not NASCAR related but how about the UMBC Retrievers who just pulled the second greatest basketball upset of all time when they beat the Virginia Cavaliers, the overall #1 in the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, as a #16 seed.
One of the last teams to make the field, and they not only beat the team chosen by the majority of bracketeers to win it all, but they beat them soundly by 20 points.
I call it the second greatest basketball upset of all time because the distinction of being the greatest belongs to the Mississippi State women’s team who stopped UConn’s win streak at 111 last season during the NCAA WBB tournament.
My reason for bringing this up is because some are saying that UMBC’s win over Virginia was greater than the Miracle On Ice, when US Hockey beat Russia in the 1980 Olympics.
Not even close. Not in the same time zone. The same Universe.
The Miracle On Ice will FOREVER reign as the greatest upset of all time. Ever. Anywhere. At any time.
A group of college kids, the youngest to ever play an Olympic hockey game for the Untied States, beat the strongest group of professional hockey players ever amassed.
The Russians had beaten the NHL stars!
While UMBC beating Virginia ranks in the top five greatest ever, it does not surpass the Miracle On Ice, and yes, I do believe in miracles.
Keep it shiny side up!