Now that the chaos of the Daytona 500 is in the rearview mirror, the focus shifts to sunny California’s Auto Club Speedway. This two-mile, low-banked, D-shaped oval located in San Bernardino County’s Fontana was left off of the 2021 schedule due to the COVID pandemic restrictions, but has returned to the 2022 NASCAR schedule.

The status of this track’s future is still in limbo with plans to tear down and create a short track temporarily shelved, so this could be the final race on the worn two-mile surface, or maybe not. Fords have dominated victory lane so far in 2022 capturing the Busch Clash at the Coliseum, both Duels at Daytona, and of course rookie Austin Cindric’s Daytona  500 victory.

Cody’s Betting Card for Fontana

Ryan Blaney entering his car for the Bristol Dirt Race
Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

#JordanJinx: Ryan Blaney to Win (+1400)

If you are familiar with Fantasy Racing Online’s content, the #JordanJinx is nothing new to you. Here’s the gist of it: whenever Jordan McAbee bets on a driver to win a race, that driver becomes jinxed. When I saw Jordan tweet this out, my heart immediately sank. I was all aboard the Ryan Blaney to win at Fontana train going into the week. His odds have since shifted to +1200, however, I still believe in Blaney and think his Ford-powered Wurth #12 car can overcome this jinx, but you’ve been warned!

Cody’s Best Bet: Ryan Blaney over Kevin Harvick (-115) 

Blaney has been great at Auto Club Speedway, dominating in 2020 until a late-race tire issue cost him. He had three straight top 10 finishes here prior to that race. Blaney also won in 2021 at Michigan International Speedway, the other regular two-mile track on the schedule. A win at Talladega and a great showing last week at Daytona show us the raw speed in this #12 car. Stewart-Haas hasn’t been impressive lately, and after nine wins in 2020, Harvick went winless in 2021. At 46 years old, has Harvick crossed out of the “prime” stage of his career? If so, now is a great time to start fading him, until he proves that theory wrong.

Rest Of Cody’s Card 

Aric Almirola over Ross Chastain (-110)

This seems to be a clear case of one guy having better equipment and experience over the other. In his last two starts at Auto Club, Almirola has scored top 10 finishes. Chastain has three Cup series starts here, two in sub-par Premium Motorsports Equipment and one in a spot start filling in for an injured Ryan Newman in his Roush-Fenway Ford, which resulted in a 17th-place finish. Almirola has announced this is his final year of full-time competition, and that should have his fire lit. Fords have been dominant as we referenced before, and despite my previous argument against Stewart-Haas, until we see a top-tier effort from Chastain in this Trackhouse Racing Chevy, take the Stewart-Haas Ford with the experienced proven driver.

Kyle Busch to Win (+850)

Fontana is the home of Kyle Busch’s first of his 59 Cup Series wins, and he has three straight top 3 finishes at Auto Club Speedway. He knows and loves this track, and we’ve seen him get off to a good start with a 2nd-place finish at the Busch Clash, followed by a sixth at the Daytona 500. One of the best drivers of this generation, don’t expect a new generation of car to slow Kyle Busch down. He is looking for a new primary sponsor for 2023m as M&Ms will exit the sport after being a sponsor in NASCAR since 1998. Busch is ready to prove he’s still got it, and he can get it done here.

As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.