Auto Club 400: NASCAR Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 3/18/18
The 2018 Auto Club 400
Auto Club 400: Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm (Auto Club Speedway)
The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
We make one of two scheduled trips out to California this week for the 2018 Auto Club 400. This race debuted back in 1997 and 10 of the 21 races has seen a Ford enter the winners circle. We’re picking up where we’ve left off the last two years, as we’ve produced the winner each of the last two weeks. With a long season to go, we’re not trying to cool off anytime soon.
Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. (Odds weren’t released when this article was posted)
USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Harvick - Kevin Harvick has put money in our pocket the last two weeks, and when he’s won three straight races, he’s damn near impossible to keep off your card. Overall, Harvick has won four of his last seven races and has finished fifth or better in seven of his last eight. Simply on fire. Harvick won this race back in 2011 and finished runner-up in two of his last three appearances at the Auto Club Speedway. Yeah, there’s no betting against Harvick this week.
Jimmie Johnson - Jimmie Johnson has burned me more than he’s helped the last few months, but he’s starting to make progress the last couple of weeks and has shown it doesn’t take much for him to snap out of a funk. Well, Johnson is the only active driver to win this race three times, and he’s finished third or better in eight of his last 14 appearances at this event. That doesn’t include the second Cali race that he’s won three times as well. Simply put, Johnson really shines when he comes back home to his birth state. I’m giving him another chance this week.
Kyle Busch - Kyle Busch has finished runner-up in back-to-back weeks and should like his chances to get over the hump at an event he won in 2013 and 2014. Busch has also finished eighth or better in five of his last six appearances at the Auto Club Speedway. Another west coast guy who performs well in his comfort zone. Busch has a great chance to win this week.
Brad Keselowski - Brad Keselowski could use a victory to kind of bump himself up in the standings, and he has a good chance to get it based on his history. Keselowski not only won this event back in 2015, but he finished runner-up last year as well. Keselowski has top-10 finishes in each of his last three appearances at the Auto Club Speedway. Keselowski has also won a race by the fifth event in each of the last four years. Needless to say, he’s due.
Ryan Newman - Ryan Newman has been quietly solid so far this season, finishing 11th or better in three of the four races. Remember last year we hit big with Newman in Phoenix, one of our bigger wins of the season. Well, Newman has produced a top-10 finish in five of his last eight appearances at the Auto Club Speedway, which is good enough for me to take a chance on likely big odds. He’s consistently in the thick of things when he takes this track, so he’s this week’s dark horse.