- The Auto Club 400 is scheduled for Sunday, March 17th at 3:30 pm EST
- Kyle Larson has the best average finish position at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana
- Martin Truex Jr. is the defending champion
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series shifts to California this weekend where the Auto Club 400 will take place on Sunday, March 17th at 3:30 p.m. ET. While the usual big boys are favored this week, there looks to be some good value with drivers like Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr.
It’s a bit of an odd week as there are six drivers inside of 7/1, and then everyone else is beyond 20/1. Let’s take a closer look at the odds.
2019 Auto Club 400 Odds
|Driver||2019 NASCAR Auto Club 400 Odds|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+650|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+5500|
Odds taken 03/13/19.
Track History Suggests You Should Trust Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. rolled through this event last year, leading for 125 (of the 200) laps before picking up the win. He performed well in 2017 here too, leading for 73 laps prior to finishing fourth. Prior to that, he wasn’t that competitive in California but remember, this is a driver who has emerged in recent years.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. WINS IN CALIFORNIA!!!
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) March 18, 2018
Taking a look at his recent form, Truex Jr. has been close, which is encouraging. He has three straight top 10’s, which include a second-place finish at Atlanta three weeks ago and a second-place finish at Phoenix last week.
Larson Looks Good
Larson has only made five starts at Fontana, but those five outings are enough to put him in consideration for this week. He has won the race once and placed second two other times. He has two outliers (39th and 26th) but one of those was the result of an accident.
KYLE LARSON WINS FRIDAY NIGHT IN BRISTOL! pic.twitter.com/b4e0c0mdPF
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) August 18, 2018
Taking a look at things from a different perspective, there are two tracks on NASCAR series that are exactly two miles long (Fontana and Michigan) and Larson has won in Michigan three times and Fontana once. On all other tracks, he’s picked up just one victory.
Take a Flier on Dillon
If we’re looking at longshots this week, Austin Dillon fits the bill. This is a driver that tends to do well at Michigan and Fontana, posted three top 10 finishes in his last six races at either track. He finished 10th in Fontana in 2018, marking the third straight year that he’s placed 14th or better.
Austin Dillon said crew chief Danny Stockman having been a car chief should help as his team is without its car chief for the rest of the week because it failed prequalifying inspection twice Sunday. @NASCARONFOX pic.twitter.com/AL0CBvfsJp
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 13, 2019
He’s someone that might be a sneaky bet for a top 10 result more so than an outright win. Keep an eye on qualifying. If he struggles there, then take a pass.
Pass on Harvick
Of course, Harvick will be a popular pick as he’s one of the favorites this week but he’s someone that I’m going to pass on. He’s raced fairly well to start the season, collecting 168 points so far while earning three straight top 10’s.
— Busch Beer (@BuschBeer) February 5, 2019
At the same time, Harvick doesn’t thrive at California as he hasn’t won the race here since 2010. That was his only win at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana in 25 starts. He did have a pair of second-place results in 2016 and 2015, but he’s followed that up with a 13th in 2017 and a 35th last season.
Harvick has an average finish position of 24.0. When you factor in the price tag of +500, I’m not that excited about betting him to win this week.