Austin Cindric proved he was the real deal with a victory in the Daytona 500 earlier this month, and he added an exclamation point in Fontana by acquiring the pole position at Auto Club Speedway on Feb. 26.
It was his first pole in nine NASCAR Cup Series career races and enabled him to keep up his momentum in anticipation of the WISE Power 400 at the Fontana track on Feb. 27.
Cindric, a 23-year-old rookie, will be followed by Eric Jones and Kyle Busch when the race begins at 12:30 p.m.
Since the Daytona 500 became the season-opening race in 1982, Cindric has become the third different driver to win the Daytona 500 and the pole for the race the following weekend, joining Joey Logano (2015, Atlanta) and Jamie McMurray (2010, Fontana).
Auto Club Speedway is celebrating its 25th year.Â The track did not host a race in 2021 because of coronavirus concerns.