Blog: Fontana of truth

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Steve Kim, NASCAR correspondent

Next up is the Fontana Auto Club 400. It's a D-shaped two mile oval track that is far tamer than Bristol or Vegas. Jimmie Johnson has won here five times and Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth three each. Kevin Harvick won last year.

Because of Jimmie Johnson's past dominance at this event, he's shown in published odds as the favorite with expected win rate of 9.6%. Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch sit just behind with 8.4%. The list of expected win rates is shown at the end of the article.

Fontana is the moment of truth for the bottom third of the field. Any racer who is beyond the 25th spot in the Sprint Cup ranking most likely won't make the Chase. In 2011, of the racers that made the Chase, the lowest ranked racer just after Fontana was Brad Keselowski at 23rd place. Denny Hamlin was next at 21st. Both racers qualified through the wildcard process. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were the only non-wildcard racers in the chase that ranked above 10 after Fontana (Gordon was 16th and Dale Jr. was 12th).

Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography


So who's in danger? The visible ones are Kahne (32nd spot currently), Allmendinger (26), Blaney (25), Gordon (23) and Ambrose (24).




Driver (Expected % Win)
Jimmie Johnson (9.6%)
Tony Stewart (8.4%)
Kyle Busch (8.4%)
Matt Kenseth (7.5%)
Jeff Gordon (7.5%)
Carl Edwards (7.5%)
Kevin Harvick (6.1%)
Kasey Kahne (5.2%)
Brad Keselowski (5.2%)
Greg Biffle (5.2%)
Denny Hamlin (3.2%)
Dale Earnhardt Jr (3.2%)
Ryan Newman (2.2%)
Clint Bowyer (2.2%)
AJ Allmendinger (2.2%)
Mark Martin (1.9%)
Martin Truex Jr (1.9)%
Jeff Burton (1.3%)
Marcos Ambrose (1.1%)
Kurt Busch (1.1%)
Jamie McMurray (1.1%)
Juan Pablo Montoya (1.1%)
Joey Logano (1.1%)
Paul Menard (1.1%)
Regan Smith (0.7%)
Brendan Gaughan (0.7%)
Bobby Labonte (0.7%)
David Ragan (0.7%)
Aric Almirola (0.7%)
Other Drivers (1.3%)

Crash scene at Bristol
Crash scene at Bristol

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags busch, edwards, featured, gordon, johnson, kenseth, steve kim, stewart