TV Schedule March 25-27

David Hasselhoff chats with Carl Edwards about KITT ... or not ... during the September 2010
race weekend at Auto Club Speedway. (Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR goes Hollywood as the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series head west to the bright lights of Fontana, Calif. Traditionally the second stop on the schedule, Auto Club Speedway was pushed back from February to March after losing its second race weekend to Kansas. The track used to sell out its sole date before it expanded to two dates in 2004. Whether that will be the case this weekend remains to be seen.

As well as a new date, the race also has a new length: 400 miles. The Auto Club 400 used to be 500 miles long, but was trimmed after the fall race last year was shortened to 400 miles and produced exciting racing. Auto Club Speedway has been criticized for its lack of action; the cars often get strung out at the 2-mile, D-shaped oval, making it hard to pass.

The relatively flat track has 14-degree banking in the turns, 11 degrees on the frontstretch and 3 degrees on the backstretch. The track has been known to take its toll on engines, so we could see more than normal engine failures here this weekend.

The Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup race is Sunday and the Royal Purple 300 Nationwide race is Saturday. The Camping World Truck Series will return next weekend at Martinsville.

Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson has won four of the last seven Sprint Cup races at Auto Club Speedway, while Joe Gibbs Racing has had a stranglehood on the Nationwide Series.

The following are last year's winners at Fontana:

Spring: Jimmie Johnson
Fall: Tony Stewart (first Cup win at Auto Club  Speedway)

Spring: Kyle Busch
Fall: Kyle Busch

The following is a schedule of track events and TV coverage at Auto Club Speedway (all times are in Eastern Standard Time):

Friday, March 25:
2:30 p.m. NASCAR Live, SPEED
3 p.m. NSCS Practice, SPEED
4:30 p.m. NNS Final Practice, SPEED
7 p.m. NSCS Pole Qualifying, SPEED
10 p.m. Trackside at Auto Club, SPEED. Guest: Jimmie Johnson.
11:30 p.m. NSCS Pole Qualifying, SPEED

Saturday, March 26:
12:30 a.m. NASCAR Now presented by Wrangler, ESPN2
12 noon Trackside at Auto Club, SPEED
1 p.m. NNS Pole Qualifying, SPEED
2:30 p.m. NSCS Practice, SPEED
3:30 p.m. NASCAR Live, SPEED
4 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, SPEED
5 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN
5:30 p.m. NNS: Royal Purple 300, ESPN
9 p.m. NSCS Practice, SPEED
10 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, SPEED
11 p.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED

Sunday, March 27:
4 a.m. NNS: NASCAR Nationwide Race, ESPN2
11 a.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED
11 a.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
12:30 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, SPEED
2:30 p.m. NSCS Pre-Race Show, FOX
3 p.m. NSCS: Auto Club 400, FOX. Green flag: 3:15 p.m.
8 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED (reruns at midnight at 9 a.m. Monday)
TV Schedule March 25-27 TV Schedule March 25-27 Reviewed by Admin on Friday, March 25, 2011 Rating: 5