Danica Patrick was fined for her actions at Fontana last year. After NASCAR decided not to punish Austin Dillon for his actions in the Xfinity Series race at Phoenix, Danica Patrick wishes NASCAR had previously used that monetary discretion when it comes to giving drivers consequences. Dillon used his wrecked car to pinch Cole Custer into the wall during last week’s race after contact with Custer led to Dillon’s initial incident.
NASCAR Cup rookie Erik Jones was fastest in the first of two practice sessions Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Auto Club 400. Jones drove his No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota to the top of the speed charts at the Fontana, California track with a best lap of 187.251, the only driver to exceed 187 mph. Jones was followed by Chase Elliott (186.843), Ryan Newman (186.732), Jimmie Johnson (186.384) and Brad Keselowski (186.292). There were two incidents of note during the session: * With just over nine minutes remaining in the practice session, Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet hit hard into the outside retaining wall, sustaining damage on the right side.
Kurt Busch filed a multimillion-dollar countersuit Friday in the U.S. District Court’s Eastern District of Michigan against Sports Management Network, which sued the NASCAR driver for $1.4 million. Busch, who is demanding a jury trial in the counterclaim lawsuit, alleges that the sports management company and its law firm “improperly advantaged themselves” along with the interests of clients Team Penske and Andretti Autosport. The countersuit states that Busch wasn’t made aware of such conflicts and wasn’t advised to seek independent counsel. Busch and SMN entered into a representation contract in 2005 that was extended Aug. 11, 2010 while Busch was driving for Penske (he previously was with Roush Fenway Racing).