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Trip To California Next On Nascar Schedule

Kevin Harvick looks to defend his title at Auto Club Speedway in California this weekend (Getty Images)

After last week’s stop at the half mile track at Bristol it’s back out west again to the two-mile track at Auto Club Speedway, 50 miles east of Los Angeles in Fontana, California where Kevin Harvick will look to defend his title from last year. Harvick passed Jimmie Johnson on the final lap to win by inches in the closest finish in that track’s history.

The last two spring races have come down to duels between Johnson and Harvick. In 2010, Harvick was battling Johnson for the lead when he scraped the wall four laps from the end allowing Johnson to sail home to victory.

Johnson has five victories at the track and in the last 9 races there the worst he’s finished is ninth.

Jeff Gordon is a three-time winner of this race, including the first one back in 1997, but he’s failed to crack the top-15 the past two years.

In addition to Gordon, three other drivers have competed in all 21 races at Auto Club Speedway – Bobby Labonte, Joe Nemechek and Jeff Burton.

The pole sitter has never won this race in its 15-year history but three drivers have won it after starting third.

Greg Biffle heads to California as the points leader. Harvick stands in second place 9 points back.

Earlier this week Hendrick Motorsports won its final appeal of the suspensions handed out after an inspection of Jimmie Johnson’s car before the Daytona 500 found an illegal part. The 6-race suspensions of crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec were overturned, but they’ll remain on probation. Also restored were the 25 driver and owner points. The $100,000 fine assessed against Knaus will stand.

Mark Martin had his Twitter account hacked last week at Bristol and the account name changed to “Epic Swag”. Martin says he’ll use that name on his driver’s side door of his Number 55 Toyota in Sunday’s race.

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