Fantasy Picks: Who to pick and Who not to pick for the Auto Club Speedway 2015 Auto Club 400

The third and final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series western swing will take place Sunday at the Auto Club Speedway as the 2.0-mile D-shaped oval will host the 19th annual Auto Club 400.

The very driver friendly Auto Club Speedway has produced many different winners since its inception in 1997. Kyle Busch, who will not be participating in this weekend’s Auto Club 400 because of injury, has gone to victory lane in the last two Auto Club Speedway Sprint Cup Series races.

Who To Pick 

Jimmie Johnson – In twenty Auto Club Speedway Sprint Cup Series races, the California native has captured five wins, twelve top-fives, fourteen top-tens and nineteen top-twenty finishes to go along with 955 laps led.

Despite finishing 24th in last year’s Auto Club 400, which happens to be his worst ever finish at the Auto Club Speedway, it would be hard to bet against a driver who has won twenty-five percent of his Auto Club Speedway starts.

Kyle Larson – This may be the weekend to take Larson because he enters the race weekend riding the momentum of back-to-back top-ten finishes, and he finished second in last year’s Auto Club 400.

It’s always risky to pick a driver that has only raced once in the Sprint Cup Series at a certain race track, but you should feel confident knowing his only race at that race track produced a runner-up finish.

David Ragan – I would strongly suggest pulling the trigger on David Ragan this weekend because he will be driving the car that has won the last two Auto Club Speedway Sprint Cup Series races, and in twelve prior Auto Club Speedway races, he has brought home one top-ten, and six top-twenty finishes.

Give Ragan the right equipment, which he will have this weekend, and this could be his first break-out race of the season.

Kurt Busch – At the crack of the bat last weekend in Phoenix Kurt Busch showed he had no rust whatsoever as in his first race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season he started eighth and brought home a finish in the top-five.

Kurt Busch would be a good choice in this weekend’s Auto Club 400 because in his last two Auto Club Speedway races he has claimed two top-five finishes, and overall he has one win, six top-fives and eleven top-tens at the Auto Club Speedway.

Who Not To Pick 

Denny Hamlin – The Fontana, California race track hasn’t been too kind to Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team over the years as in thirteen races he has only one top-five finish and four top-ten finishes, not to mention, he has finished worse than twentieth in five of his thirteen Auto Club Speedway starts.

Hamlin enters the Auto Club 400 weekend coming off of a poor finish in Phoenix last Sunday, and couple that with a finishing average of nineteenth at the Auto Club Speedway overall, and you have a recipe of not capturing enough points with a top-tier driver come Sunday in Southern California.

Kevin Harvick – Picking against Harvick when he enters the weekend having winning the past two races may sound crazy, but his hot streak is bound to hit a hiccup, and that hiccup may be this weekend’s race at the Auto Club Speedway because this happens to be not one of his better race tracks.

In twenty-one races at the Auto Club Speedway, Harvick has only mustered four top-fives, nine top-tens and he has only led sixty-one overall laps at the California race track. His average starting position is seventeenth, and his average finish at the speedway is just one spot higher in sixteenth.

Brad Keselowski – Every driver seems to have that one race track where nothing seems to ever go right, and the Auto Club Speedway would be that race track to Brad Keselowski.

In six Auto Club Speedway races, Keselowski has only one top-twenty finish. Yes that’s right. Keselowski has finished outside the top-twenty in five of his six races at the formerly known California Speedway.

Brad finished twenty-sixth in last year’s running of the Auto Club 400.

Tony Stewart – It really doesn’t matter what kind of track record Stewart has at the Auto Club Speedway because his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team is just in complete disarray right now, and until it stops I wouldn’t waste my pick on him.

Stewart showed glimmers of hope last weekend in Phoenix, but bad luck struck him again, and his team is just trying to find their feet in the early part of the 2015 season.


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