In the past four Nationwide Series races at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Kyle Busch has a win, two seconds and a third but, if you're Roush Fenway Racing's Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle, Busch's effort is merely a good start.
Kenseth has four Nationwide wins at Fontana, Biffle three and, while the latest Daytona 500 champion is not tackling the supporting series this weekend, Busch and Biffle will be among the eleven Sprint Cup regulars entered in Saturday's Stater Bros 300.
Tony Stewart, who won the race last year, is also absent from the starting list in 2009, leaving Biffle, who has not won a Nationwide race since winning at Fontana three years ago, and Busch, who has six top tens in eight starts, and has led 213 laps - second only to Biffle's 353 among drivers racing Saturday - to start as favourites. Busch has finished in the top five - with two wins - in his past five starts dating to Lowe's last October, but Biffle will be looking to break a 75-race winless streak in California this weekend.
Last year's Nationwide Series runner-up, Carl Edwards, will be in action and, having finished fifth and second at Fontana last year, will be a decent bet to repeat his 2005 victory at the circuit.
Away from the Buschwackers, Jason Keller is the only non-Cup regular currently in the top ten in Nationwide points but, with Stewart, Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr not entered this weekend, has the opportunity to move up from the eighth spot overall.
Likewise Brad Keselowski will be looking to make up ground. Combining a Nationwide season with limited appearances in the Cup competition, Keselowski finished 22nd at Daytona and heads to a track where he has a 33.8 average finish in five starts - with two DNFs. Keselowski also started out slowly last year, however, with finishes of 16th, 32nd and 23rd before he caught fire on the way to finishing third in the standings.
Joey Logano will also be in action and is looking for an upturn in form after a tough initiation at Daytona.
“I'm looking forward to going out to the Auto Club Speedway because it's a track where I have experience," he noted, "Daytona was more like learning on the job. I'll know what to expect this weekend, and I know the feeling I'm looking for in the racecar.”by Bill Marx
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service