Five time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson has yet to win a race this year, but Fontana just may be the place to change that. Johnson has five victories at Auto Club speedway, the most of any any driver, he's led more laps at the track than any other driver and he's the only man to have ever won back to back races in Southern California.
Johnson will be starting in the 16th position this afternoon at 3pm eastern on FOX. Juan Pablo Montoya took the pole and seemed surprised, "I didn't think we were going to qualify that well," a smiling Montoya said. "Overall, I was really happy. Actually, I'm really surprised we qualified that well."
Kyle Busch, winner of last week's race at Bristol and yesterday's Nationwide race at this track, will be starting 8th. Matt Kenseth will also be a guy to watch from the 11th position as he's won this race three times.
This will be the one and only race at Fontana this year after the track had hosted two races a year since 2004. However, in recent years attendance has dropped off and NASCAR the reason for that was the poor economy was forcing people to choose going to one race or the other rather than both. So the old law of supply and demand should mean more butts in the seats this weekend right? That remains to be seen, but SoCal native Jimmie Johnson understands why the move was made and thinks it will pay off.
"I hate to see it leave, but at the same time, if we don't have the support, then we have to find the areas that will support our sport and fill up the grandstands and all that kind of thing. Only time will tell how this will work out. I feel in my heart that one race will create a buzz."