Tonight, the G-Force Grand National Series powered by The JuiceBox Podcast finishes up their West Coast swing at Auto Club Speedway. This will be the series’ third visit to a track 1.5 miles or longer with Gerald Campbell able to bring home the victory at both Charlotte and Las Vegas. We’re in store for 150 miles (75 laps) of racing starting in the daylight and ending under the bright lights.
Last week Bo Brady was able to end his streak of second place finishes with a victory at Phoenix on a late restart. Brady was able to lead the final 16 laps working pit strategy in a caution filled race. He improved his points position to 8th, 167 points behind Campbell in the standings. Campbell was able to salvage a 6th place finish in Phoenix to stretch his points lead to 104 over John Weitendorf. Hank Steinmiller, Dallas Myhand, and Jake Hounshell round out the top 5 in points entering tonight. 4th (Dallas Myhand) to 8th (Bo Brady) are separated by just 25 points, the equivalent of about 6 positions on track.
Campbell grabbed the pole at Phoenix and will be vying for his 6th straight pole position. Each pole position is worth 2 bonus points in the driver’s standings. Campbell leads all drivers with 46 bonus points this season. Both Jeff Green and Dallas Myhand could use a strong qualifying run for bonus points and are looking to rebound from bad luck at Phoenix to get back in the championship hunt. At this point, it looks like it is Campbell’s championship to lose.
Auto Club is a wide, two mile speedway that could see up to five-wide racing. What sets it apart from other cookie cutter mile and a half tracks, aside from it being two miles, is the relatively flat corners. Drivers will have to be patient getting back on the throttle or risk turning their car around in front of the entire field early. Assuming the race is run fairly clean given the room on the track, tire conservation will play a huge factor in who will be around at the end. Expect this race to only see a few yellow flags and potentially have a long green flag run to the finish. Don’t expect a race marred by 15 cautions like last week.
Catch all the action on Flatout Racing Network on YouTube with qualifying starting at 9 pm et. The race will be underway around 9:10. Follow the link below to see how the championship battle shapes up as the back half of the season gets underway.
Gerald Campbell 3/1
John Weitendorf 5/1
Chris Morse Jr 5/1
Bo Brady 7/1
Jake Hounshell 8/1
Over/Under on Cautions 3.5