Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Danica Patrick earns first top-10 finish in two years in Dover Cup race


After a frustrating start to her 2017 season, something finally went right for Danica Patrick on Sunday at Dover International Speedway.

Thanks to pit strategy and late cautions, Patrick placed 10th for her first top-10 finish in more than two years. The last time her No. 10 Ford was in the top quarter of the field was an eighth in the April 2015 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“A good day for us,” Patrick said of her fourth lead-lap finish this season. “We got a bit lucky with staying out at the right time and catching the yellow flags. It’s the stuff that hasn’t been happening for us all year, and it’s just nice to catch some breaks today.”

Entering Sunday’s race, Patrick’s best result in the first 12 events was 17th at Atlanta. She’d been plagued by five DNFs, which are more than she earned in each of the previous three seasons.

“We weren’t the fastest car today, not sure we were a top-10 car,” Patrick said. “A lot of times we have been a 10th-place car and weren’t able to get the finish we needed. I’ll take the lucky days anytime I can because there has been plenty of times where it went the other way.”

Patrick started 31st, and her average running spot during the 406-lap event was 22.2. She was responsible for a caution when she spun on Lap 146. Her No. 10 Ford wasn’t damaged in the accident.

Patrick took the wavearound on Lap 197 to get back on the lead lap.

On Lap 331, Patrick and seven drivers pitted after staying out just long enough during a green flag pit sequence before Regan Smith wrecked. It was the same pit sequence in which Ty Dillon took the lead.

“We put scuffs on two or three times on pit stops,” Patrick said. “It was an issue, but we saw that all weekend, a lot of yellows. We survived and caught the right breaks when we did. I’ll take it.”

Patrick now has seven top 10s in her Cup career. Her previous best result at the Monster Mile in 10 starts was 13th in this race last year.

Patrick and her Stewart-Haas Racing team now head to Pocono Raceway ranked 30th in the points standings.

and on Facebook

Today’s Cup race at Auto Club: Start time, lineup and more

Getty Images
Leave a comment

NASCAR’s West Coast swing comes to a close this afternoon with the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

Kevin Harvick will attempt to win his fourth consecutive race for the first time in his career. He has one win at the 2-mile speedway (2011).

Below is all the info you need for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: The cast of the movie Super Troopers 2 will give the command to start engines at 3:37 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:47 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (400 miles) around the 2-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 120.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 10 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1:30 p.m. Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. Cassadee Pope will sing he National Anthem at 3:31 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race beginning at 3:30 p.m. Race coverage begins at 3 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2:30 p.m. and also can be heard at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: calls for a high of 61 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kyle Larson won this event last year. Brad Keselowski placed second and Clint Bowyer was third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup

Results, Xfinity point standings after Auto Club Speedway

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Joey Logano led 139 of 150 laps to win the Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway. It is his 29th Xfinity win.

The Team Penske driver beat Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric.

Team Penske has won the last two Xfinity races.

Click here for results

Point Standings

With a top-10 finish in all five races so far, Elliott Sadler retains a four-point lead over teammate Tyler Reddick.

The top five is completed by Justin Allgaier (-5), Christopher Bell (-27) and Daniel Hemric (-30).

Click here for the full standings.

Joey Logano wins Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway

Getty Images

Joey Logano led all but 11 laps on his way to winning Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway.

The Team Penske driver led the final eight laps to secure the victory in the Roseanne 300, the team’s first at the 2-mile track in the series.

Logano beat Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric.

“Total team effort there,” Logano told Fox Sports 1. “Great pit stops, great car, oh my gosh. It’s one of those races that you feel relieved when you win. … Man, you’re supposed to win when you have a car that fast.”

Logano led 139 of 150 laps. He took the lead for the first time on Lap 5. He didn’t relinquish it until he was the only leader to pit on Lap 122 during a debris caution.

He restarted 16th and was back in the lead within four laps.

Logano was the only one to pit because on the previous caution he was the only leader who stayed out. He managed to retain the lead.

“I did not opt to do that, (crew chief) Brian (Wilson) opted to do that,” Logano said. “It ended up working out. I thought we were going to lose more track position than we did. … Just shows how fast our car was.”

It’s the second consecutive win for Team Penske after Brad Keselowski won last week at ISM Raceway.

The win, Logano’s 29th, is his first in the Xfinity Series since the March 2017 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Joey Logano

STAGE 2 WINNER: Joey Logano

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Austin Dillon finished fourth after starting 19th … Daniel Hemric finished fifth for his best finish of the season … Ross Chastain finished 10th for his ninth top 10 and just his third on a non-restrictor plate track.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Matt Mills brought out the first caution on Lap 33 after getting into the Turn 2 wall … John Hunter Nemechek lost his right front tire on Lap 70. It caused significant damage to his No. 42 Chevrolet. He finished 29th … Pole-sitter Christopher Bell spun on Lap 97 into the frontstretch grass … On Lap 104, Bell was involved in a crash with Michael Annett on the frontstretch when Annett came up the track and forced him into the wall. Bell finished 21st … After starting in the top 12, Kaz Grala wrecked coming to the checkered flag while racing with Ryan Truex and Brandon Jones. He finished 14th.

NOTABLE: Team Penske is now winless at three active tracks in the Xfinity Series … Joey Logano joins Jack Ingram as the second driver to finish in the top seven in his first 10 starts at a track (Ingram did it at three different tracks).

POST-RACE INSPECTION: Ryan Preece‘s No. 18 Toyota had one unsecured lug nut.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “When you have a car that’s that strong and a driver that’s this good, sometimes he has to dig you out of some holes.” – Brian Wilson, crew chief for Joey Logano.

WHAT’S NEXT: My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on April 7 on Fox


Kyle Busch tops final Cup practice at Auto Club Speedway

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kyle Busch was fastest in the final Cup practice for Sunday’s race at Auto Cub Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver posted a top speed of 185.668 mph.

Busch was followed by the pole-sitter for race, Martin Truex Jr. (185.319).

“We feel OK about it, obviously I’d like to feel a titch better,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “We kind of slowed up a little bit as the practice went along. I know everybody did but it felt like a couple of guys got closer to us as it went along. We were really good firing off there.”

The top five was completed by Jimmie Johnson (184.525), Kevin Harvick (184.308) and Brad Keselowski (184.280).

Harvick, fastest in the first two practice sessions for the Auto Club 400, will seek his fourth consecutive Cup win tomorrow. He had the best 10-lap average at 180.161 mph.

Busch recorded the most laps in the session with 45.

There were no accidents in the session. Kyle Larson did cut a tire, but his No. 42 Chevrolet was not damaged.

Click here for the final practice report.