The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)
NEXT RACE: PALA CASINO 400
Auto Club Speedway 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX
• Location: Fontana, California • First race: 1997 • Distance: 400 miles (643.737 km) • Laps: 200 (stages 1,2: 60 each; final stage, 80) • Previous names: California 500 (1997–1999); NAPA Auto Parts 500 (2000–2002); Auto Club 500 (2003–2010); Auto Club 400 (2011–2020) • Surface: Asphalt • Length: 2.0 mi (3.2 km) • Turns: 4
QUICK HISTORY LESSON
2021: Then-reigning Cup champ Kyle Larson waited until late in the Wise Power 400 to flex his muscles. The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet held off a charging Austin Dillon by .195 seconds to notch his first victory of the season, his second at the 2-mile track and the 17th of his career.
2019: Kyle Busch earns his 200th win after sweeping all 3 stages and coming back from a penalty on pit road, tying Richard Petty for the most NASCAR National Series wins.
2016: After a late-race caution, Jimmie Johnson pulls out of the crowd to hold of leaders Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin to claim his 77th career win in the Superman car, passing Dale Earnhardt in career wins. Johnson would later win his 7th Championship, tying Earnhardt and Richard Petty in most career championships.
2014: Denny Hamlin missed the race when he came down with a sinus infection that impacted his vision about an hour before the race, necessitating Joe Gibbs Racing to hire Sam Hornish, Jr. to drive the car. The race was marred by a massive rash of tire failures, with over 20 tire failures happening in the race itself. A spin by Clint Bowyer with two laps to go set up a dramatic green-white-checkered finish. A side-by-side battle for the lead between Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson nicknamed the “Kyle and Kyle Show” unfolded. Larson looked like he was going to win his first Cup race, but Busch cleared and moved in front of Larson out of turn 4 and took his second straight win at Auto Club.
2013: Kyle Busch won after Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin crashed fighting hard for the lead on the last lap; first Fontana victory in Cup Series for both Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota.
1997: After nearly a decade, NASCAR came back to Southern California on June 22 with the inaugural California 500. The race featured 21 lead changes among a dozen different drivers. Jeff Gordon passed Mark Martin with 11 laps remaining and sped to victory. Terry Labonte took second, giving Hendrick Motorsports another 1-2 finish.