FONTANA, Calif. — Alex Bowman won the Auto Club 400 in Fontana with a dominant performance in his No. 88 Chevrolet on Sunday.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver won by nine seconds over second-place Kyle Busch, who won the race last year. Bowman, who started third, also led 110 of the NASCAR Cup Series race’s 200 laps, including the final 35.
Kurt Busch, Kyle’s older brother, finished third and Bowman teammate Chase Elliott was fourth.
Bowman, 26, demonstrated that he was a favorite immediately after the teams arrived in Fontana by posting the fastest speeds in both practice sessions Friday on the two-mile oval.
It was Bowman’s first Cup victory at Auto Club Speedway in five starts and his second career Cup win overall. His first win came at Chicagoland Speedway last year.
“We were up front when it counted,” Bowman said. “I don’t think we made a change in the race car from how it came off the truck. That makes my job a heck of a lot easier.”
Jimmie Johnson, making perhaps his final start at the track, tried to write a Hollywood ending to his Fontana career by starting second, leading 10 laps and having one of the strongest cars all day.
But Johnson, another of Bowman’s teammates, faded a bit in the second half of the race and finished seventh. He plans to retire from full-time Cup driving after this year and holds the record for most Cup wins at Fontana with six.