With four races down on the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, there have been four different winning drivers and four different winning teams, with all three manufacturers visiting Victory Lane.
Ryan Newman stunned the NASCAR community last week at Phoenix, where he ended a 127-race winless streak for himself and a 112-race winless streak for car owner Richard Childress.
And that begs a couple of questions: 1. Will we see a fifth different winner in today’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway (FOX, 3 p.m. ET)? And, 2. If there is a first-time 2017 winner, who will it be?
Here are 10 drivers who could break on through on Sunday in Southern California to win their first race of the year:
Getty ImagesRobert Laberge
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Fresh off a fourth-place finish at Phoenix, Stenhouse wound up fifth in this race a year ago. He’ll start 16th this time out.
Hard to believe, but Hamlin hasn’t led a single lap in any of the first four races of this season. This week, he qualified on the outside of Row 1.
Because he crashed in practice, the six-time ACS winner and seven-time NASCAR champion never made a qualifying attempt and will have to start the race from way back in 37th place. On the other hand, his average finish here is 6.50.
On Friday, Logano’s car failed to make it out of tech inspection in time to make a qualifying run, so he’ll start 35th. That will make winning a challenge.
It seems like we say this every weekend, but Elliott continues to be on the verge of winning. He’s tops among the Hendrick drivers so far this weekend.
On Saturday, Larson won the NASCAR XFINITY Series race here. Three years ago at ACS, he won the XFINITY race and was second in the Cup race. Right now, he leads the Cup points standing and today he will start from the pole.
Gary A. VasquezGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
A three-time winner at ACS, Busch has been the best of the Joe Gibbs Racing bunch this season and by a fair measure. He hasn’t had much luck this year, but he’s got speed and he’s going to win sooner rather than later.