Royal Purple 300 Preview

Joey Logano celebrates after winning this race last year. Photo- Getty Images
Joey Logano celebrates after winning this race last year. Photo- Getty Images

West Coast racing returns this weekend as the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads out to the Auto Club Speedway in Southern California. The drivers will take on the daunting two-mile “D” shaped-oval this weekend after racing at Bristol which is just about the complete opposite type of track. Fans will surely see a different race on Saturday, compared to last weekend since the field will likely spread out all-over the track versus having  bumper-to-bumper racing which we saw at Bristol. The transition between one of the smallest tracks on the circuit to one of the biggest will be a tough animal to tame for the drivers but, it will surely make the racing interesting.

The Royal Purple 300 will be taking place on Saturday March 23, 2013 and the green flag is set to wave at 5:18 PM EST/2:18 PM PT. The drivers will be racing hard during each of the 150 laps which make up the 300 miles of the race. The whole event is expected to get in on Saturday with a fabulous weather forecast of mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 76 F. You can catch a television broadcast of the race on ESPN and a radio broadcast of the race can be heard on MRN.

Last year’s version of this race featured Joey Logano holding up the trophy at the end of the day after Logano put on a show in front of the stars of NASCAR and Hollywood. With the win, Logano ended Kyle Busch’s streak of Fontana Nationwide victories at three in-a-row. Logano will not be in this year’s race which leaves the door open for a new winner. Many young Nationwide Series drivers are going to be fighting for the win but, they will have to fend off some of the Cup regulars who will be competing in the race. Without a doubt, the race is wide-open for any driver to get to victory lane on Saturday and a first time Auto Club Speedway winner will likely emerge.

The Nationwide Series regulars have been competing very well with the Cup regulars so far this season but, as the season progresses we should see the Nationwide drivers start overpowering the Cup drivers. Last weekend’s race at Bristol showed just how well the Nationwide regulars can compete with the Cup ones since Kyle Larson just barely lost to Kyle Busch at the line. Larson turned some heads last Saturday and he will try to better this performance this weekend in his home-state of California.

Point’s leader Sam Hornish Jr. has had a couple of flawless races so far this season where he has ran up front and was competing for the win throughout the race. Hornish Jr. currently has a 22 point cushion over Justin Allgaier in the point’s standings. Allgaier has been showing a lot of strength so far this season and this weekend at Fontana could be the week where Allgaier surpasses Hornish Jr. in the standings. Brian Scott, Regan Smith and Brain Vickers are among the drivers who continue to lurk behind the drivers at the top of the standings and they too could pass Hornish Jr. in the coming weeks. Hornish Jr. will need to continue his streak of decent runs this weekend if he would like to avoid playing defense in the standings.

West coast racing is always great and every year when the Nationwide Series takes to the Auto Club Speedway, the racing heats up. The fastest drivers in this Saturday’s race will be the ones competing for the trophy and any driver who starts their engine prior to the event could end up in victory lane. I believe that the Nationwide Series regulars will be exceptionally strong this weekend and one of them will cross the finish line first. Auto Club Speedway will be rocking this Saturday afternoon as the Nationwide Series competes in their fourth race of the season and anyone could take the checkers at the conclusion of the race.

By Jason Schultz

Event Schedule

1:40 PM PT-4:00 PM PT (4:40-7:00 PM EST) (Friday) Nationwide Series Final Practice, televised on SPEED

10:35 AM PT (1:35 PM EST) (Saturday) Nationwide Series Qualifying, televised on SPEED

2:00 PM PT (5:00 PM ET) (Saturday) the Nationwide Series’ Race, the Royal Purple 300, televised on ESPN

Next Race- 4/12 O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX

Entry List via







1 00 Jason White Headrush 13 Toyota Melissa Sciavicco
2 01 Mike Wallace TBA 13 Chevy Johnny Davis
3 2 Brian Scott White Tail 13 Chevy Richard Childress
4 3 Austin Dillon AdvoCare 13 Chevy Richard Childress
5 4 Danny Efland TBA 13 Chevy Gene Vess
6 5 Brad Sweet Great Clips 13 Chevy Rick Hendrick
7 6 Trevor Bayne Cargill 13 Ford Jack Roush
8 7 Regan Smith 13 Chevy Kelley Earnhardt-Miller
9 07 Daryl Harr TBA 12 Chevy Kertus Davis
10 10 Jeff Green [PC1] TriStar Motorsports / DoubleTree 13 Toyota Mark Smith
11 11 Elliott Sadler OneMain Finanacial 13 Toyota J D Gibbs
12 12 Sam Hornish Jr Wurth 13 Ford Roger Penske
13 14 Eric McClure Hefty / Reynolds / DoubleTree 13 Toyota Mark Smith
14 15 Juan Carlos Blum VMP Nutrition 13 Ford Rick Ware
15 19 Mike Bliss Double Tree by Hilton Claremont 12 Toyota Mark Smith
16 20 Brian Vickers Dollar General 13 Toyota Joe Gibbs
17 22 Brad Keselowski(i) America’s Tire / Discount Tire 13 Ford Roger Penske
18 23 TBA Rick Ware Racing 13 Chevy Robert Richardson Sr
19 24 Blake Koch I Am Second 13 Toyota Jason Sciavicco
20 27 Michael McDowell(i) TEAMBOOM 13 Toyota Derek White
21 30 Nelson Piquet Jr Qualcomm 13 Chevy Harry Scott Jr
22 31 Justin Allgaier Brandt 13 Chevy Steve Turner
23 32 Kyle Larson Eveready 13 Chevy Harry Scott Jr
24 33 Dakoda Armstrong(i) Winfield / 13 Chevy Richard Childress
25 40 Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing 12 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
26 42 J J Yeley(i) Curtis Key Plumbing 12 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
27 43 Reed Sorenson Pilot 13 Ford Richard Petty
28 44 Hal Martin American Custom Yachts /   DoubleTree 13 Toyota Mark Smith
29 46 Chase Miller Curtis Key Plumbing 12 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
30 51 Jeremy Clements USS James E. Williams DDG 95/ASE,   Inc. 13 Chevy Tony Clements
31 52 Joey Gase TBA 12 Chevy Jimmy Means
32 54 Kyle Busch(i) Monster Energy 13 Toyota J D Gibbs
33 55 Jamie Dick Viva Auto Group 13 Chevy Jimmy Dick
34 60 Travis Pastrana Roush Fenway Racing 13 Ford Jack Roush
35 70 TBA TBA 13 Chevy Mary Louise Miller
36 74 Mike Harmon Dave Novak Racing 12 Chevy Mike Harmon
37 77 Parker Kligerman Toyota 13 Toyota Kyle Busch
38 79 Paulie Harraka Crackle “It’s on” 13 Ford Archie St Hilaire
39 87 Joe Nemechek AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet   Stoves 13 Toyota Andrea Nemechek
40 92 Dexter Stacey Maddie’s Place 13 Ford Kristin Hamelin
41 98 Kevin Swindell Carroll Shelby Engines 10 Ford Mike Curb
42 99 Alex Bowman TBA 13 Toyota Robby Benton

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