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.
Every once in a while something odd will stop NASCAR track activity. On Friday, it was either the bravest or dumbest owl in the world. In the middle of the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Auto Club Speedway, the session was red flagged to remove the owl from the track surface. The owl sat near the middle of the track on the fronstretch, not far from the exit to pit road, as cars sped by at full speed in the top groove. The bird eventually took flight as track workers attempted to corral it. This isn’t the first time an animal has been gotten in the way at a NASCAR track. Last year at Michigan International Speedway, a groundhog forced a pause in the middle of Xfinity Series
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.