NASCAR Sprint Cup
Next Event: STP 500, Sunday, April 3, at Martinsville Speedway (Va).
Last Week: Jimmie Johnson won Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles. It was Johnson’s sixth Sprint Cup win there (tops among all Cup drivers), along with 13 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in 22 starts. ... It was also Johnson’s 77th career Sprint Cup victory, moving him past Dale Earnhardt Sr. into sole possession of seventh place on NASCAR’s all-time Sprint Cup wins list. Johnson is now six wins behind sixth-ranked Cale Yarborough and seven wins behind fourth-ranked (tie) Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip. ... Johnson, who grew up in El Cajon, Calif., about two hours south of Fontana, donned a Superman cape after the win. He had a Superman paint scheme on his car for the race to promote the new “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” movie, which is in theaters nationally now. Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove a Batman-themed car during Sunday’s race at Fontana. ... Winners thus far this season have been Denny Hamlin (Daytona), Jimmie Johnson (Atlanta and Fontana), Brad Keselowski (Las Vegas) and Kevin Harvick (Phoenix). ... The Sprint Cup standings remain tight after the first five races of the 36-race season. Kevin Harvick is back in sole possession of first place with 195 points. Jimmie Johnson moved up to second and is 11 points behind Harvick. Carl Edwards is third (-24). Kyle Busch fell from being tied for first prior to Fontana to a tie for fourth with Denny Hamlin (-25 each). Sixth through 10th are Joey Logano (-30), Kurt Busch (-47), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-50), Brad Keselowski (-53) and Austin Dillon (-56).
Next Event: O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, Friday, April 8, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas.
Last Week: Austin Dillon led just one lap in last Saturday’s race at Fontana, Calif., but it was the most important lap – the final one – as he captured the TreatMyClot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway. It was one of the most exciting and also oddest race finishes in recent memory. Erik Jones ran out of fuel with three laps to go. Then, Daniel Suarez ran out of fuel with one lap to go, missing his bid to win his first career Xfinity Series race. Then, Kyle Busch blew a tire on the final lap, yet managed to keep racing. It appeared Busch might be able to win on three tires, but Dillon got past him in the final turn and went on to victory. Dillon’s win also snapped Kyle Busch’s three-race winning streak. ... Winners of the first four Xfinity Series races this season have been Chase Elliott (won Daytona) and Kyle Busch (won Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix) and Dillon (won Fontana). ... Daniel Suarez remains in the lead in the Xfinity Series point standings after Fontana, with 182 points. Elliott Sadler is in second place, 10 points behind Suarez. Justin Allgaier moved up to third place (-19 points), followed by Brandon Jones (-21), Ty Dillon (-23), Brendan Gaughan (-28), Erik Jones (-30), Darrell Wallace Jr. (-48), Ryan Reed (-49) and Brennan Poole (-52).
Camping World Truck
Next Event: Alpha Energy Solutions 250, Saturday, April 2, Martinsville Speedway (Va).
Then and now: Parker Kligerman is the surprising leader in the Truck series points standings. He leads Daniel Hemric by one point, followed by Nemechek (-3), Timothy Peters (-6), Tyler Young (-8), Ryan Truex (-10), Brandon Brown (-12), Ben Rhodes (-12), Grant Enfinger (-13) and Daytona winner Johnny Sauter in 10th place (-14).
Next Event: Phoenix Grand Prix, April 2, Phoenix International Raceway.
Then and now: For the second consecutive year, Juan Pablo Montoya won the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg two weeks ago ... Montoya led the series standings through the first 15 races of last season, only to lose the championship to Scott Dixon in the season finale at Sonoma, Calif. ... Following Montoya (51 points) in the standings is teammate Simon Pagenaud (43 points), Ryan Hunter-Reay (36), Helio Castroneves (32), Mikhail Aleshin (30), Takuma Sato (28), defending series champion Scott Dixon (26), Carlos Munoz (24), Tony Kanaan (22) and Charlie Kimball (20). ... The race in Phoenix marks the first return of the series to the one-mile track in suburban Avondale, Ariz., since 2005.
Next Event: Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, April 3, Bahrain International Circuit.
Last Week: Nico Rosberg won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Lewis Hamilton finished eight seconds behind.
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing
Next Event: April 1-3, DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Then and now: At last Sunday’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., Brittany Force captured her first career Top Fuel win, defeating Terry McMillen, who made his first final round appearance of his career. It was Force’s first win in eight career final round appearances. ... Brittany Force is the daughter of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force. ... Other winners Sunday in Gainesville were Force’s teammate, Robert Hight, in Funny Car; Greg Anderson won his second Pro Stock race of the season, and Eddie Krawiec won the first Pro Stock Motorcycle race of the season. ... With her win at Gainesville, Brittany Force took over the lead in the Top Fuel points standings for the first time in her career. Force has 251 points, followed by Millican (210 points). ... With his win at Gainesville, Robert Hight took over the top spot in the Funny Car standings (280 points), followed by former points leader Ron Capps (279) and John Force (221). ... Jason Line remains atop the Pro Stock point standings (337 points), followed closely by Greg Anderson (331), and Bo Butner (233). ... By winning Sunday, Krawiec leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks (129 points), followed by Hector Arana (99) and defending series champ Andrew Hines (79).