The West Coast Swing and Harrison Burton on Hot Topics this Week

The West Coast Swing and Harrison Burton on this week's Hot Topics

The West Coast Swing for NASCAR’s Cup and Xfinity Series’ and Harrison Burton’s breakthrough Xfinity Series win at Auto Club Speedway is at the center of this week’s hot topics. Las Vegas is first on West Coast schedule, with Auto Club Speedway the mid-point, and Phoenix at the close. How significant is the West Coast Swing to the rest of the season? Read Andy Laskey’s views, then post your thoughts in the comment section below.

Is the West Coast Swing Indicative of the Whole 2020 Season?

The short answer is no, it’s not.

While it’s clear that the two most competitive teams to start the year have been Team Penske and Hendrick Motorsports, it should be noted that other teams haven’t been able to change or do much to improve their cars. Cars for the west coast races were likely prepared before the season even began making it difficult for teams to make any sort of significant changes in areas that can be improved upon.

When NASCAR returns to the east coast in the coming weeks at Atlanta and Homestead, it’s reasonable to expect that teams who have struggled to start 2020 will go there with something other than what they brought to the west coast. Expect some new players at the top of the running order in the coming weeks and look for the teams of Stewart Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing to improve as time goes on.

A much clearer picture of who the true players are should start to take shape at the end of the month, after NASCAR runs Atlanta, Homestead, and Texas. The sport is ever-evolving and you can bet the powerhouse teams that have started the season slow will continue to improve and get back to their winning ways.

Harrison Burton Scores First Career Xfinity Win

It’s always a milestone when a driver earns their first career NASCAR national series victory. Yet this victory seems to solidify the presence of Harrison Burton as a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver for Joe Gibbs Racing.

The driver of the No. 20 Dex Imaging Toyota, Burton earned his first career win at Auto Club Speedway this past Saturday and the win puts him in the playoffs. This win is big as Burton came off a full-time Truck Series campaign that saw him go winless and miss the playoffs driving an entry for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Burton, however, did run a limited schedule last season in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in which he earned five top-tens in only nine starts.

Burton is off to a hot start this season with three top-fives and a win in only three starts. It validates that he not only belongs in NASCAR but may also become a serious threat to win the championship in his rookie season. He’ll be one to watch throughout the season.

In Focus: Harrison Burton with Joe Gibbs Racing

Harrison Burton after earning his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Auto Club Speedway on February 29, 20
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 29: Harrison Burton, driver of the #20 Dex Imaging Toyota, applies the winner’s sticker after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway on February 29, 2020, in Fontana, California. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Harrison Burton is making his mark in the NASCAR Xfinity Series early in the 2020 season

Three races into the year, there are three race winners in the series. Harrison Burton is the most recent winner at Auto Club Speedway. Noah Gragson won the season opener at Daytona. Then, Chase Briscoe won last weekend in Las Vegas. But only one sits at the top of the series point standings and that is 19-year-old Harrison Burton.

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Team Penske is Finding Early Success in 2020

Team Penske driver, Ryan Blaney at Auto Club Speedway February 28, 2020.
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 28: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, prepares for practice laps at Auto Club Speedway on February 28, 2020, in Fontana, California. Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the third consecutive week, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney looked to be THE driver to deal with for a NASCAR Cup Series checkered flag. And while tough luck circumstances resulted in another ‘near miss’ rather than Victory Lane celebration – his work has still been stellar enough to propel him into driver standings lead for the first time in his five-year career.

The 26-year-old holds that top position in the championship for the second straight week as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Phoenix Raceway for Sunday’s FanShield 500 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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Fan4Racing NASCAR Race Review of Fontana

Our guest in this episode is…

Tony Eury Jr

The General Manager at Fury Race Cars will discuss the success of his organization in the racing world.

Fan4Racing NASCAR Race Review is hosted by Sharon Burton and co-host Sal Sigala every Monday night at 8:30 pm ET. Gear up for 90 minutes of the smartest race talk around with our guests, then stick around for more with Hot Topics Sound Off at 10 pm ET with co-host Andy Laskey and our Fan4Racing crew!

Our review centers around NASCAR Cup, and Xfinity Series at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. We also give some updates from the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck, ARCA Menards Series, East, and West, and sometimes more. We’ll include post-race review audio from the winning teams when possible.

Join the conversation throughout our LIVE broadcast or leave comments while listening to the Podcast.


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As always…Thanks for listening!

Alex Bowman Soars to Victory at Auto Club Speedway

Alex Bowman wins the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 2, 2020
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 01: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Cincinnati Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 01, 2020, in Fontana, California. Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Alex Bowman becomes the third driver to qualify for the Cup Series playoffs.

Auto Club Speedway hosts the third NASCAR Cup Series race of the season, with a 400 hundred mile run on a track surface that provides a challenge for the cup series. The track surface has not been repaved since the speedway began hosting Cup races back in 1997. The racing surface along with its multiple racing grooves provides a style of racing that is fun and exciting.

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Jimmie Johnson Enjoys Strong Run in Swan Song at Auto Club Speedway

Five Wide Salute with Jimmie Johnson NASCAR Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway, March 1, 2020
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 01: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars prior to the start of the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 01, 2020, in Fontana, California. Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

FONTANA, Calif. – Before the green flag waved Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, Jimmie Johnson took prime position behind the pace car as the rest of the NASCAR Cup Series field fanned out five-wide behind him in a respectful salute to the seven-time champion.

When the green flag waved to signal the beginning of the Auto Club 400, Johnson saw his wife Chandra and daughters Genevieve and Lydia doing the honors from his second-place starting position.

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Corded Tire Knocks Ryan Blaney Out of Runner-Up Spot at Fontana

Ryan Blaney at Auto Club Speedway NASCAR Cup Series March 1, 2020
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 01: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, races in the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 01, 2020, in Fontana, California. Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Ryan Blaney had one of the fastest cars in Sunday’s Auto Club 400, but at the end of the day, he had very little to show for it.

Blaney finished second to eventual race winner Alex Bowman in the first stage. He turned the tables on Bowman in Stage 2, winning the segment by a wide margin. But Blaney got shuffled back after a restart on lap 128 and found himself in fifth place when Bowman passed Martin Truex Jr. for the lead on lap 133.

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Kurt Busch Recovers from Pit Road Miscue to Run Third on Sunday

Kurt Busch finishes third in NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway. March 1, 2020
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 01: Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, races in the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 01, 2020, in Fontana, California. Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

The pit stop during the break between the first and second stages of Sunday’s Auto Club 400 certainly didn’t go the way Kurt Busch or his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing team had planned it.

Under caution on lap 63, Busch missed his pit stall, failed to get service and had to return to pit road to correct the mistake a lap later. From fifth at the end of the stage, Busch dropped to the back of the lead-lap cars for the subsequent restart on lap 67.

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Alex Bowman Scores Dominating NASCAR Cup Victory at Fontana

Alex Bowman wins the NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway on March 1, 2020
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 01: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Cincinnati Chevrolet, applies the winner’s sticker after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 01, 2020, in Fontana, California. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

FONTANA, Calif. – Alex Bowman had a new nose for the finish line Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.

Driving the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet—a sleeker version of the Camaro with a new front fascia—Bowman ran away with the final stage of the Auto Club 400 at the two-mile track in the Inland Empire.

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Fan4Racing Race Day Chat: NASCAR Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway

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Fan4Racing Race Day Chat for NASCAR Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway - March 1, 2020

Fan4Racing Race Day Chat is with our Fan4Racing crew during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway. We’ll open the chat room at least 30 minutes before the green flag and close the door at 30 minutes after the checkered flag.

Join the conversation in our Fan4Racing Race Day Chat below:


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