The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season continues today with the Wise Power 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Read on below to see my prediction for who will win the race, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Winner: Kyle Busch- Auto Club Speedway has been a playground for Busch in his career, with 4 wins, 11 top 5’s, and 16 top 10’s in 22 starts at the track. Busch was 2nd in Practice, qualified 3rd for today’s race, and has looked fast all weekend long. Busch has fared better when there is a practice session during race weekend and even though there was just a single 20 minute practice session, that will be enough to get Busch over the hump. Kyle Busch will be taking a bow in Victory Lane today!
Top 10: Joey Logano- Logano has raced about as well as you can without a win at Auto Club Speedway, with 6 top 5’s, 7 top 10’s, and 0 DNFs in 14 starts at the track. Logano has shown fast speed since unloading off the truck, finishing 4th in Practice and qualifying in 7th place for today’s race. Logano may not bring home a win today, but he will be in the hunt all race long and bring home his first top 10 of the season.
Dark Horse: Cole Custer- Hailing from Ladera Ranch, CA, Auto Club Speedway is basically a hometown race for Custer. Even though he finished 18th in his lone Cup start here back in 2020, Custer has a ton of confidence at this track, winning the last two Xfinity Series races held here, including a dominant performance yesterday where he led 80 laps on the way to his second win at the track and his 10th career Xfinity win. Is Custer a legitimate threat to win? No. But I predict he will run better than usual and bring home a solid top 15 run.
Driver to Fade: Michael McDowell- Auto Club Speedway has not been kind to McDowell in his career. In 11 starts at the track, McDowell has never even had a top 20 here, earning a best finish of 22nd in NASCAR’s most recent Cup race here in 2020. Some drivers struggle at certain tracks and this is true for McDowell, who is a lock to finish outside the top 20 today.