How to watch NASCAR at Fontana: TV info, weather, odds for Auto Club
How to watch NASCAR at Fontana: TV info, weather, odds originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The 2023 NASCAR season is off and running after an exciting Daytona 500.
After 16 cars crashed out of the race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. officially scored his third career victory (first since 2017) and first Daytona 500.
Now the series heads across the country for the annual “West Coast Swing,” with upcoming races at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.), Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. It all starts in Southern California this weekend, where plenty of drivers will be looking to change their fortune after Daytona.
Here’s everything you need to know for the race at Auto Club Speedway:
What is the Fontana entry list?
There are 36 drivers on the entry list for Fontana. Since up to 40 drivers can qualify for a race, all 36 teams are guaranteed a starting spot.
Here’s the full entry list:
No. 1, Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing
No. 2, Austin Cindric, Team Penske
No. 3, Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing
No. 4, Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing
No. 5, Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports
No. 6, Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing
No. 7, Corey LaJoie, Spire Motorsports
No. 8, Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing
No. 9, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports
No. 10, Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing
No. 11, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 12, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske
No. 14, Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing
No. 15, J.J. Yeley, Rick Ware Racing
No. 16, A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing
No. 17, Chris Buescher, RFK Racing
No. 19, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 20, Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 21, Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers Racing
No. 22, Joey Logano, Team Penske
No. 23, Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing
No. 24, William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports
No. 31, Justin Haley, Kaulig Racing
No. 34, Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports
No. 38, Todd Gilliland, Front Row Motorsports
No. 41, Ryan Preece, Stewart-Haas Racing
No. 42, Noah Gragson, Legacy Motor Club
No. 43, Erik Jones, Legacy Motor Club
No. 45, Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing
No. 47, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing
No. 48, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports
No. 51, Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing
No. 54, Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 77, Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports
No. 78, B.J. McLeod, Live Fast Motorsports
No. 99, Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing
When is the Auto Club Speedway race in 2023?
The Pala Casino 400 is set for Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Before the race on Sunday, there will be practice and qualifying sessions. The 36-car field will be split into two groups, with each group practicing for 15 minutes on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. CT.
Qualifying will start immediately after practice. Each car from the two practice groups will make a single lap, with the five fastest times in each group advancing to the final round. In the final round, the 10 drivers each make a single lap to set the starting order.
What is the NASCAR schedule at Fontana?
Saturday, Feb. 25 (FS1 and streaming)
Practice: 1 p.m. CT, FS1, FoxSports.com
Qualifying: 1:45 p.m. CT, FS1, FoxSports.com
Sunday, Feb. 26 (FOX and streaming)
Pala Casino 400: 2:30 p.m. CT, FOX, FoxSports.com
Who are the past Auto Club Speedway winners?
Kyle Larson, a California native, won at Fontana last year for his second career victory at the track.
Five other active drivers have won Auto Club: Kyle Busch (2005, 2013, 2014, 2019), Alex Bowman (2020), Martin Truex Jr. (2018), Brad Keselowski (2015) and Kevin Harvick (2011).
Is this the last race at Auto Club Speedway?
As we know it, yes.
There will be no race at the circuit in 2024 as the track owners weigh reconfiguration plans, where they are expected to convert the two-mile oval into a half-mile short track. Dave Allen, the track president, said in January that “it’s possible” there won’t be a race at Auto Club in 2025, either, because of how long the conversion would take.
The only thing we do know for sure is that Sunday will be the final NASCAR race at the current layout. Construction of Auto Club Speedway began in 1995 and the track first hosted a NASCAR race in 1997. It has hosted at least one race annually ever since, with the exception of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who is favored to win NASCAR this weekend?
After a chaotic and volatile race at the superspeedway of Daytona, there should be more normalcy in predicting this weekend’s results.
Busch has been stellar at Auto Club, leading all active drivers in wins (4), top-fives (11), top-10s (16) and average finish (9.8) across 23 career starts. He’s with a new team in Richard Childress Racing this year after 15 years at Joe Gibbs Racing, so this is his first real opportunity to prove that he’s still a contender despite the switch.
Beyond Busch, Erik Jones (10.2 average finish in five starts), Chase Elliott (12.2 in six starts), Joey Logano (12.5 in 15 starts) and Larson (13.0 in eight starts) have been among the best Fontana finishers.
Here are some of the odds for the Pala Casino 400 before qualifying and practice, courtesy of our partner, PointsBet:
Kyle Larson, +600
Chase Elliott, +750
Denny Hamlin, +850
Kyle Busch, +850
Ryan Blaney, +1100
Martin Truex Jr., +1200
Joey Logano, +1200
Christopher Bell, +1200
Tyler Reddick, +1200
Ross Chastain, +1400
William Byron, +1500
Alex Bowman, +2000
Kevin Harvick, +2200
Erik Jones, +2500
Bubba Wallace, +3300
Daniel Suarez, +4000
Brad Keselowski, +5000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., +7000
How to buy tickets for the Pala Casino 400
Tickets for the Pala Casino 400 – and all events throughout the weekend – are available for purchase online here. Prices are as low as $71 for a ticket.
What’s the weather for NASCAR in Fontana this weekend?
It’s shaping up to be a cold and rainy weekend in Fontana, according to NBC Los Angeles. There is a 100% chance of rain on Saturday, which could cancel practice and qualifying. On Sunday, there’s a 24% chance of rain showers and temperatures in the 40s. Auto Club Speedway does have lights to race at night if rain pushes back the race start time.
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.