2012 Auto Club 400

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2012 Auto Club 400
Race details[1][2]
Race 5 of 36 in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season


Date March 25, 2012 (2012-March-25)
Location Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California
Course Permanent racing facility
2 mi (3.2 km)
Distance 129 laps, 258 mi (415.2 km)
Scheduled Distance 200 laps, 400 mi (643.7 km)
Weather A few showers; wind out of the SSW at 9 mph.
Average speed 160.166 miles per hour (257.762 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
Time 38.626
Most laps led
Driver Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing
Laps 80
Winner
No. 14
Tony Stewart
Stewart Haas Racing
Television in the United States
Network Fox Broadcasting Company
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds

The 2012 Auto Club 400 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on March 25, 2012 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Shortened to 129 laps because of rain showers, it was the fifth race of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season. The race was won by Tony Stewart for the Stewart-Haas Racing team. Kyle Busch finished second, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who started fourteenth, clinched third.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Auto Club Speedway, the race track where the race was held.

The track, Auto Club Speedway, is one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races.[3] The standard track at Auto Club Speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2 miles (3.2 km) long.[4] The track's turns are banked at fourteen degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at eleven degrees. The back stretch has 3 degrees of banking.[4] The racetrack has seats for 92,100 spectators.[4]

Before the race, Greg Biffle was leading the Drivers' Championship with 157 points, nine points ahead of Kevin Harvick in second and twelve ahead of Matt Kenseth. Martin Truex, Jr. followed fourth with 139 points, two ahead of Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in fifth and sixth. Tony Stewart, with 130, was in the seventh position ahead of Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano. Paul Menard rounded out the first ten positions with 123 points.[5] In the Manufacturers' Championship, Ford was first with 25 points, one ahead of Chevrolet and four ahead of Toyota. Dodge was in the fourth positions with 18 points.[6] Kevin Harvick was the race's defending winner from 2011.[7]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

Three practice sessions were held before the Sunday race—one on Friday and two on Saturday. The first session lasted 90 minutes. The Saturday morning session lasted 50 minutes, and the final practice session lasted 60 minutes.[8] During the first practice session, Bowyer was quickest with a time of 38.896, ahead of Mark Martin and Kasey Kahne in second and third. Brad Keselowski followed in the fourth position, ahead of Hamlin in fifth.[9]

During qualifying, forty-six cars were entered, but only forty-three were able to race because of NASCAR's qualifying procedure.[10] Hamlin clinched is tenth career pole position, with a time of 38.626.[11] After his qualifying run, Hamlin commented, "We're four weeks in, and we've had two good weeks and two bad weeks. There's light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like this weekend we've got a little bit more speed than we had in Vegas. We're getting better, and we've got some good stuff coming with our team. We're obviously heading in the right direction."[12] He was joined on the front row of the grid by Kyle Busch.[11] Martin qualified third, Biffle took fourth, and Kahne started fifth.[11] The three drivers that did not qualify were Robby Gordon, Joe Nemechek, and Timmy Hill.[13]

Hamlin was quickest in the second practice session with a time of 38.706 seconds. Kenseth and Ryan Newman followed in second and third, ahead of Tony Stewart in the fourth position. Kevin Harvick was fifth, less than five-hundredths of a second quicker than Kyle Busch. Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, and Kahne rounded out the first ten positions.[14] During the third and final practice session, Hamlin, with a fastest time of 39.553, remained quickest.[15] Jeff Gordon and Bowyer followed in second and third with times of 39.700 and 39.732 seconds.[15] Jamie McMurray was fourth fastest, ahead of Kyle Busch and Johnson.[15] Harvick, Kenseth, Martin Truex, Jr., and Stewart completed the first ten positions during the session.[15]

Race[edit]

The race, the fifth in the season, began at 3:12 p.m. EDT and was televised live in the United States on Fox.[1] The conditions on the grid were dry before the race while cloudy skies were expected.[16] Jeff Hamilton, of Motor Racing Outreach, began pre-race ceremonies, by giving the invocation. Next, Night Ranger performed the national anthem, and the Three Stooges gave the command for drivers to start their engines.[16]

Pole position winner, Hamlin maintained the lead throughout the first lap, but was overtaken by Kyle Busch on the following lap. As the weather became worse for racing conditions, many teams adjusted their cars during the first set of green flag pit stops. On the 85th lap, Stewart claimed the lead from Kyle Busch. Shortly after, Stewart moved back into the lead ahead of Hamlin and Kyle Busch after pitting. On lap 125, rain prompted the first caution of the race. During pit stops, Stewart refused to pit, while Hamlin in the second position and a few others did. Also during the caution, Johnson, who had been in the top-ten for most of the race, began having problems with a potential oil leak, causing the smoke to run out of under the car. Afterward, the caution flag turned to a red flag, stalling the race because of the rain shower. Afterward, NASCAR decided the end the race, making Stewart the winner. Kyle Busch finished second, ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Harvick and Edwards. Biffle, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex, Jr., Kurt Busch, and Johnson rounded out the first ten positions.[16][17]

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.626 186.403
2 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.807 185.534
3 55 Mark Martin Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 38.807 185.534
4 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 38.812 185.510
5 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 38.812 185.510
6 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 38.850 185.328
7 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 38.877 185.199
8 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 38.878 185.195
9 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 38.880 185.185
10 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 38.893 185.123
11 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 38.908 185.052
12 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 38.919 185.000
13 56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 38.977 184.724
14 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 39.018 184.530
15 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 39.062 184.322
16 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 39.116 184.068
17 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 39.121 184.044
18 10 David Reutimann Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 39.149 183.913
19 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 39.185 183.744
20 30 David Stremme Inception Motorsports Toyota 39.259 183.397
21 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 39.263 183.379
22 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 39.333 183.052
23 51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 39.413 182.681
24 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 39.439 182.560
25 22 A. J. Allmendinger Penske Racing Dodge 39.443 182.542
26 47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 39.464 182.445
27 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 39.481 182.366
28 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 39.540 182.094
29 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 39.559 182.007
30 26 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 39.760 181.087
31 83 Landon Cassill BK Racing Toyota 39.812 180.850
32 98 Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford 39.865 180.610
33 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford 39.880 180.542
34 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 39.904 180.433
35 23 Scott Riggs R3 Motorsports Chevrolet 39.921 180.356
36 49 J. J. Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Racing Toyota 39.934 180.297
37 33 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 40.087 179.609
38 34 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 40.119 179.466
39 19 Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Motorsports Toyota 40.157 179.296
40 74 Reed Sorenson Turn One Racing Chevrolet 40.194 179.131
41 93 Travis Kvapil BK Racing Toyota 40.254 178.864
42 38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 40.313 178.602
43 32 Ken Schrader FAS Lane Racing Ford 40.374 178.333
Failed to Qualify
7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 40.343 178.470
87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 40.349 178.443
37 Timmy Hill Rick Ware Racing Ford 40.464 177.936
Source:[11][13]

Race results[edit]

Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 9 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 129 47
2 2 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 129 44
3 14 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 129 41
4 7 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 129 40
5 12 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 129 39
6 4 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 129 38
7 6 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 129 37
8 13 56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 129 36
9 23 51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 129 35
10 10 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 129 35
11 129 34
12 129 32
13 129 31
14 129 30
15 129 29
16 129 28
17 128 27
18 128 26
19 128 25
20 128 24
21 128 23
22 128 22
23 128 21
24 128 20
25 128 19
26 128 19
27 127 17
28 127 16
29 127 15
30 127 14
31 127 13
32 126 12
33 126 11
34 125 10
35 125 9
36 124 8
37 51 7
38 40 6
39 36 5
40 18
41 17 3
42 6
43 37 33 Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 1 1
Source:

Standings after the race[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sprint Cup Series Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ Brown, Brian (March 20, 2012). "The Auto Club 400". Rotoworld.com. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "NASCAR Tracks—The Auto Club Speedway". Auto Club Speedway. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Pre-race Drivers' Championship Standings". NASCAR. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site – 2012 Manufacturers Championship Standings". Jayski.com. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ "2011 Auto Club 400". Racing-Reference.info. March 27, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  8. ^ "NASCAR Race Information: Auto Club 400". Jayski.com. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Practice 1 Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Qualifying Order". NASCAR. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d "2012 Auto Club 400 Qualifying Statistics". Motor Racing Network. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Hamlin leads Gibbs' front row sweep for California". Sports Network. News Observer. March 23, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "2012 Auto Club 400 Starting Grid". Motor Racing Network. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Practice 2 Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. March 24, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Practice Three Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c "Race Summary". NASCAR. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Tony Stewart wins 2nd race of season". Associated Press. ESPN. March 26, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 


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