Photo: Logan T. Arce/ASP, Inc.

Up to Speed: Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Preview

By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent

The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to the track this weekend for the Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Last weekend, Kyle Busch scored his second victory of the season, dominating much of the race on his way to victory.

Another appearance by Kyle Busch and Ryan Preece, the final leg of the ‘West Coast Swing,’ the worn racing surface, and restarts will be just some of the storylines to watch for on Saturday. Busch and Preece are the only Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers entered in Saturday’s race.

Coverage for the Production Alliance Group 300 is scheduled to start Saturday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. ET. Auto Club Speedway has been on the Xfinity Series schedule since the track opened in 1997. It has hosted the fifth race of the season since 2011. In 29 races at the 2.0-mile D-Shaped Oval, 16 drivers have claimed victory.

The last four races at Auto Club have produced four different winners. The speedway is guaranteed a fifth different winner in a row with none of the past four winners entered. Busch is the only previous winner entered in Saturday’s race, his most recent win at the track coming in 2013.

The last time the Xfinity Series visited Auto Club, Joey Logano took the victory in dominant fashion, leading 139 of 150 laps. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver held off Xfinity Series regular Justin Allgaier to win by 1.429 seconds. Only five of the drivers that finished in the top-10 that day are entered in Saturday’s race.

By the Numbers

What:Production Alliance Group 300, NASCAR Xfinity Series Season Race 5

Where: Auto Club Speedway – Fontana, California (Opened: 1997)

TV/Radio: Fox Sports 1, 5:00 p.m. ET / MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90

Track Size: 2.0-mile D-Shaped Oval

Banking: 11 degrees on the frontstretch, 14 degrees in the turns, and three degrees on the backstretch.

Race Length: 150 Laps, 300 Miles (Three Stages, 35/70/150)

2018 Race Winner: Joey Logano – No. 22 Discount Tire / America’s Tire Ford Mustang (Started second, 139 laps led).

Track Qualifying Record: Tony Stewart (38.722 seconds, 185.941 mph – 9/3/2005).

Storylines Heading into the Production Alliance Group 300:

There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:

  • Thompson Pipe / Haas CNC will be the primary sponsor of Cole Custer’s No. 00 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing.
  • Ryan Preece returns to the No. 8 Velveeta Shells and Cheese Chevrolet Camaro SS for JR Motorsports.
  • Kyle Busch will be in the No. 18 Extreme Concepts / iK9 Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • America’s Tire / Discount Tire will be the primary sponsor of Austin Cindric’s No. 22 Ford Mustang for Team Penske.
  • Timmy Hill returns to the No. 66 Toyota Supra for MBM Motorsports.
  • Caesar Bacarella returns to the No. 90 Alpha Prime / MAXIM Chevrolet Camaro SS for DGM Racing.
  • Tommy Joe Martins will be in the No. 99 Diamond Gusset Jeans Toyota Supra for BJ McLeod Motorsports.

Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Friday, March 15

  • NXS Practice 1 (32:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m., on Fox Sports 1)
  • NXS Practice 2 (4:35 p.m. – 5:25 p.m., on Fox Sports 1)

Saturday, March 16

  • NXS Qualifying (1:10 p.m., on Fox Sports 1)
  • NXS Production Alliance Group 300 (5:00 p.m. – 150 laps, 300 miles – on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Motor Racing Network)

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Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.