2011 Auto Club 400 – Post-Practice Predictions, Picks and Preview – Top 5 Drivers and Sleeper
2011 Auto Club 400 Post-Practice Predictions, Picks and Preview – Favorites and Sleepers to Win 2011 Auto Club 400: Auto Club Speedway is a 2.0-mile track where drivers can crack 200 mph on a regular basis. Couple the high speeds with the long green flag runs that the track has become famous for, and it is easy to understand why teams put extra emphasis on dialing in their cars during practice. An ill-handling car is quickly exposed at 200 mph, and a lack of cautions means a lack of chances to make adjustments. Following a pair of practices for Sunday’s Auto Club 400, bettors should take advantage of a few drivers that appear to be ahead of the game.
Auto Club 400 Post-Practice Top 5
1. Tony Stewart: Stewart was nothing short of dominant throughout the practice sessions. He posted the second and sixth-fastest laps in the two sessions, along with the fifth-best 10-lap average speed and top 10-lap average speed. Not to mention the fact that Stewart won at ACS last fall and has four straight top-10 finishes at the track.
2. Carl Edwards: The hottest driver in NASCAR stayed that way during practice Saturday. Edwards posted the third-fastest laps in both practice sessions, and he also recorded the top overall average speed between the two sessions. Edwards is a former winner at ACS, and he has finished seventh or better in 10 of his 13 starts. He has had a shot to win every race in 2011, and the No. 99 machine is running well enough to contend for the win once again.
3. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has been relatively quiet by his standards in 2011, but that could change this weekend. He posted the sixth-best 10-lap average speed in the opening session Saturday, and he had the third-best 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. No driver has more wins at ACS than Johnson’s five, and he could add to that total in Sunday’s race.
4. Kyle Busch: His No. 18 Toyota showed plenty of balance throughout the practices Saturday, popping up in the top-10 on a consistent basis. Busch put down the fourth and sixth-fastest laps in the two sessions, and he managed the sixth and ninth-best 10-lap average speed. Busch is a former winner at ACS and has reeled off 10 straight top-10 finishes at the track in the past. He could start another streak this weekend.
5. Jeff Gordon: It has been a while since he has won in Fontana, but he did finish second in both races in 2009. He also had a fast car throughout the practices Saturday. Gordon posted the fifth-fastest laps in both sessions, and he managed the sixth-best 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. The biggest knock on Gordon in recent years has been his inability to win, but he showed that is no longer the case with his win at Phoenix a few weeks ago.
Auto Club 400 Post-Practice Top Sleeper
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: His career record at ACS doesn’t inspire confidence, but Junior’s practice times were among the best of any driver. He posted the top 10-lap average speed in the opening practice, and he followed it up with the fourth-best 10-lap average speed in the final session. He didn’t have the best top speed, but if the race comes down to some long runs, Junior could be a surprise contender.
Check out the opening 2011 Auto Club 400 Lines for Betting on the Auto Club 400 this Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.