By: Becca Cottingham
Headline Photo Courtesy: autoclubspeedway.com
We come into Auto Club with a salute to NASCAR fans. Weather could play a huge factor in today’s race as the cars were covered just prior to the start of the race due to mist. Trash so on the front of the cars too can cause temperature issues. We have had multiple battles for the lead. Cars are locking the tires up on entry to pit road. There were no major issues while the teams were on pit road. Ricky Stenhouse Jr, stayed out as long as he possibly could before pitting. Chase Elliott is having issues with less than two laps to go. He will have to ride out the issue until pit road opens under caution. Alex Bowman will win stage one.
Jimmie Johnson brings us back to the green for the opening of stage two. We also watched five wide racing. We get our first real cautions in the race with a wheel tire going down on Clint Bowyer. Which set us up for some awesome racing where all real estate is being used. The inner valve stem was knocked off and caused the air to be lost quickly on Clint’s car. Ryan Blaney is having an overheating issue due to trash on the front grill. He was able to get up behind another driver and the change in air pressure fixed the issue.
The third stage brings Jimmie Johnson bring us to the start of the last stage. However, it did not last long due to cars going three wide. He is having a solid race and staying in the top ten. Alex Bowman has also had a strong race. Martin Truex Jr had a rough pit stop and one of his crew members are being looked at by medical. Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer were playing the long game with fuel and tires. You could truly see the difference when Alex Bowman passed Clint Bowyer. Ryan Blaney had a tire issue and pitted right before the end of stage three. Alex Bowman was extremely fast and with an over eight second lead he has won his second career race, with his first win at Auto Club.