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Find the Latest News on Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Fontana

Hendrick Motorsports | Race Preview Published 3/19/2014
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EVENT: Auto Club 500
DATE: Sunday, March 23, 2014
TRACK: Auto Club Speedway
LENGTH: 2-mile D-shaped oval
TV: FOX (Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET)
RADIO: MRN (Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET)

News & Notes

POINTS REPORT: Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 24th last weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and currently ranks second in the driver standings. After four NASCAR Sprint Cup events this season, Earnhardt has one win, three top-five finishes and three top-10s. He trails leader Brad Keselowski by 10 points.

AT FONTANA: Earnhardt has scored five top-five finishes and six top-10s in 21 Sprint Cup starts at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. He recorded a career-best runner-up finish at the two-mile racetrack in September 2006 and again in March 2013.

INTERMEDIATE TRACK STATS: In 246 Cup starts on intermediate (one- to two-mile) tracks, Earnhardt has recorded six wins, eight pole positions, 50 top-five finishes and 101 top-10s. He has a 16.1 average starting position and an average finishing position of 16.2 on these racetracks.

CHASSIS INFO: Crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-810 for this weekend's 400-mile event at ACS. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a 15th-place finish at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October 2013.

HENDRICK AT FONTANA: In 24 Cup events (94 starts) at Fontana, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins, 31 top-five finishes and 44 top-10s. A victory this weekend would make Fontana the 11th track where Hendrick Motorsports has 10 or more wins.

ALL-TIME: Jimmie Johnson leads drivers all-time at the two-mile California track in wins (five), top-five finishes (12), laps led (851) and average finish (5.7). Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon ranks second with 622 laps led there and is tied for second in wins (three) and tied for third in poles (two) among all-time drivers at ACS.

FONTANA FOR FIRSTS: Gordon won the inaugural Cup race at Fontana in June 1997 after starting third and leading 113 laps. Johnson won the first race of his Cup career at the two-mile oval in April 2002 after starting fourth and leading 62 circuits. Alan Gustafson, currently crew chief of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS, scored his first career Cup pole position as crew chief of the No. 5 team in February 2005 and his first career Cup win with the No. 5 team in the second ACS event later that year.

Quotes

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (ON CALIFORNIA.): “The last couple of times we’ve been to California, we’ve had some good race cars. It’s a track where we can move around and change our line. The driver can have a little input on how the car is driving. You can find speed out there. If we are tuning on the car and studying hard during practice, I think we’ll have a good weekend.”

Standings
After OSRAM Sylvania 300
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Brad Keselowski 2097 0
2 +1 Joey Logano 2096 -1
3 +1 Kevin Harvick 2090 -7
4 +4 Jimmie Johnson 2080 -17
5 +2 Kyle Busch 2077 -20
6 -1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2077 -20
7 -5 Jeff Gordon 2070 -27
8 +2 Matt Kenseth 2057 -40
9 +3 Carl Edwards 2057 -40
10 +4 AJ Allmendinger 2056 -41
11 -- Kasey Kahne 2055 -42
12 +1 Ryan Newman 2055 -42
Full Standings