Auto Club Speedway has been a memorable track for NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch, winner of the Pala Casino 400 at the 2-mile speedway on Sunday.
Busch won his first Cup Series race for his new team at Richard Childress Racing. It was also the last NASCAR Cup Series race at the speedway, adding to his legacy at the track. The property around the track was recently sold and there are plans to replace the 2-mile track with a half-mile short track.
Auto Club Speedway was the site of Busch’s first NASCAR Cup Series win, with Joe Gibbs Racing on Sept. 4, 2005. The win in Sunday’s race also gave Busch at least one Cup Series victory in 19 straight seasons, breaking the record set by Richard Petty.
Busch won the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday by nearly 3 seconds ahead of runner-up Chase Elliott. Busch took the lead on lap 180 of the 200-lap race and held it for the rest of the race. The final 55 laps of the race were run under green flag conditions.
“I can’t thank Richard and Judy (Childress) enough, Austin (Dillon) for calling me and getting me talking and getting me the opportunity to come over here to RCR,” said Busch, the two-time Cup Series champion.
“The guys did a great job. (Crew chief) Randall (Burnett) — everybody that worked so hard in the offseason. We did a lot of sim stuff, a lot of testing in general, just trying to get up to speed. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to go to Victory Lane.”
Busch’s win at Auto Club Speedway comes in his second start with Richard Childress Racing. He and brother Kurt Busch have 95 combined NASCAR Cup Series wins, one more than brothers Bobby and Donnie Allison.
Ross Chastain led a race-high 91 laps and finished third after winning the first two stages of the race. Daniel Suarez was fourth, followed by Bakersfield’s Kevin Harvick, who was making his 750th consecutive Cup Series start.
Busch led 27 laps. He moved to the front of the field for the first time in the race on lap 165, passing Chastain. It was the 61st win of his career, most among active drivers and ninth in NASCAR Cup Series history.
John Hunter Nemechek, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, won the NASCAR Xfinity race at Auto Club Speedway, which was postponed a day because of rain and snow.
Nemechek won the Production Alliance Group 300 by 0.761 seconds over runner-up Sam Meyer. It was the third Xfinity Series win of Nemechek’s career. He was the runner-up at the season-opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida last week.
“Man, this whole 20 team gave me one heck of a race car,” said Nemechek, driver of the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. “Just a huge shout-out to all the guys who work on this 20 team.”