Sunday's Auto Club 400 marks the only Southern California race of the 2020 NASCAR season. This event in Fontana, California will feature the top drivers in the Cup Series, as well as several prominent celebrities in attendance. This includes NCIS and That '70s Show star, Wilmer Valderrama.
The man who created fans with his character Fez will be present for Sunday's battle at the Auto Club Speedway. He will be among many celebrities in attendance for the big race, including the cast of SEAL Team, Dylan McDermott (The Practice), Jennifer Aspen (Glee), and Robert Patrick (Terminator 2) among others.
This is not Valderrama's first interaction with professional stock car racing. He previously served as the honorary starter during the Ford EcoBoost 400 back in 2016. This was the Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which was won by Jimmie Johnson. Valderrama also attended the 2017 Auto Club 400 in Fontana.
"I've always been a fan of racing so being an Honorary Starter for a NASCAR race is incredible," Valderrama said in 2016. "I'm looking forward to waving the green flag and hearing the cars fly by as they compete for the 2016 Sprint Cup Series championship."
The Auto Club 400 is expected to be a tightly-contested race, especially after issues arose during Friday's qualifying laps. Martin Truex Jr. was listed among the favorites to win on Sunday, but he will be starting at the rear of the 38-car field after his car failed inspection three times. Truex last won at Auto Club Speedway in 2018.
Truex was not allowed to qualify on Saturday due to these penalties. In addition, his car chief, Blake Harris, has been ejected for the weekend. Joe Gibbs Racing will also face a 30-minute practice penalty next weekend in Phoenix.
"It's been difficult for us," crew chief James Small said to FOX Sports 1. "We failed a really small spot on the body first time through. Mechanically everything was super legal. Then rolled back through the next time, another spot on the body came up, and then we failed mechanical. The right rear toe jumped crazy all of a sudden."
Whether or not Truex can mount a comeback and secure another victory at Fontana remains to be seen, but the answer will be provided after 400 miles have been covered.0comments
The NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 will be televised on FOX starting at 2:50 p.m. ET. The green flag starting the race is set to be waved at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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