news 5 days ago

NASCAR starting lineup at California: Austin Dillon wins Auto Club 400 pole with time of 0.00

Sporting News — (Thomas Lott)

In possibly the most bizarre qualifying run ever seen, Austin Dillon won the pole for the Auto Club 400 on Friday without running a lap.

All the drivers were waiting to run their final lap in the third round of qualifying and no one wanted to be the first off the line. With the new system of qualifying, drivers can be on the track in close proximity, and they like to use that to their advantage to gain a draft.

MORE: NASCAR VP says driver made a 'mockery' of qualifying

But in hopes of getting a draft, no one wanted to get off the line, and by the time they started to try to make their runs with less than a minute on the clock, they were too late.

No one made it to the line to start an official run and Dillon won by virtue of the fact he posted the fastest time in the second round.

As the seconds counted down in the final session, Dillon waited, knowing he had the pole if no one else moved in time. When the clock ticked below 47 seconds (the time it would have taken to get from the end of pit road back to the start/finish line), the pole was his.

“When the 18 (Kyle Busch) made a little bit of a move there, I just rode on his door, because I was going to follow him and just have one car to beat," Dillon said. "I didn’t have to make it back around. And then the 12 (10th-place qualifier Ryan Blaney) came through the grass — I thought he demolished his car. It looked like he left the ground over there. I don't know what he did, but it was pretty wild.

"At that point my spotter said, 'It's over. You can bring it around here,' and I knew we had gotten the pole."

MORE: California odds, prediction, sleepers

Kevin Harvick will start second and Aric Almirola will be third.

Brad Keselowski (13th) and Kyle Larson (15th) failed to make it to the final round of qualifying.

Defending champion Martin Truex Jr. struggled and will start 27th.

The Auto Club 400 can be seen at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox.

Material from the NASCAR Wire Service was used in this report.

Auto Club 400 starting lineup

Here is the starting lineup for Sunday's race:

Start pos. Driver Car No.
No. 1Austin Dillon3
No. 2Kevin Harvick4
No. 3Aric Almirola10
No. 4Kyle Busch18
No. 5Joey Logano22
No. 6Denny Hamlin11
No. 7Ryan Newman6
No. 8Chase Elliott9
No. 9Clint Bowyer14
No. 10Ryan Blaney12
No. 11Jimmie Johnson48
No. 12Ricky Stenhouse Jr.17
No. 13Brad Keselowski2
No. 14Chris Buescher37
No. 15Kyle Larson42
No. 16Ty Dillon13
No. 17Daniel Hemric8
No. 18Erik Jones20
No. 19David Ragan38
No. 20Daniel Suarez41
No. 21Kurt Busch1
No. 22William Byron24
No. 23Alex Bowman88
No. 24Matt DiBenedetto95
No. 25Paul Menard21
No. 26Ryan Preece47
No. 27Martin Truex Jr.19
No. 28Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr.43
No. 29Michael McDowell34
No. 30Corey Lajoie32
No. 31Ross Chastain15
No. 32Matt Tifft36
No. 33Landon Cassill00
No. 34Cody Ware51
No. 35Reed Sorenson27
No. 36BJ McLeod52
No. 37Garrett Smithley77
No. 38Joey Gase66

What channel is the Auto Club 400 on?

The Auto Club 400 will be broadcast nationally on Fox. The race can also be live-streamed on the Fox Sports Go app or by subscribing to fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.

Auto Club 400 schedule, how to watch

All of the events leading up to the week, including practices and races for the Xfinity Series, can be seen on NASCAR.com, PRN, MRN and FS1.

Here's a daily schedule of events leading up to the Auto Club 400 .

(All times Eastern)

Friday, March 15

Time Event Channel
1 p.m.Cup Series First PracticeNASCAR.com
2:05 p.m.Xfinity Series First PracticeNASCAR.com
4:35 p.m.Xfinity Series Final PracticeFS1
6:30 p.m.Cup Series qualifyingFS1/MRN

Saturday, March 16

Time Event Channel
12:05 p.m.Cup Series Second PracticeFS1/MRN
1:10 p.m.Xfinity Series qualifyingFS1
3:30 p.m.Cup Series Final PracticeFS1/MRN
5 p.m.Production Alliance Group 300FS1/MRN

Sunday, March 17

Time Event Channel
3:30 p.m.Auto Club 400Fox/MRN