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Kyle Busch leads NASCAR's Auto Club 400 after 100 miles

March 27, 2011 |  1:11 pm


The Auto Club 400 at Fontana started as you might expect with pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya jumping to a lead that he held until the seventh lap when Denny Hamlin took over the top spot.

The first racer to experience trouble was Tony Raines, when his car blew its engine on the sixth lap. He was able to get to the pits without a caution being called. Joey Lagano, who had to start at the back of the 43-car field after changing engines, showed why he had qualified third. He made up 15 spots in the first 20 miles.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is also having a good day having picked up 12 positions in the first 40 miles.

Kyle Busch took his turn in leading the field on lap 21 and he led until a green flag pit stop on lap 32. He was able to regain the lead shortly after returning to the track.

However, Earnhardt had a less than stellar stop, dropping six positions when he returned to the 2-mile oval. J.J. Yeley also ran into an undisclosed problem as he had to coast into pit row.

After 100 miles the leader was Kyle Busch by 5.029 seconds over Hamlin. He was followed by Brian Vickers, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Montoya, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth.

The first 100 miles went without caution, meaning a likely phantom piece of debris will be found soon so as to bunch up the pack. 


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--John Cherwa

Photo: Kyle Busch in the No. 18 car and David Ragan (No. 6) lead Regan Smith (78) and Jeff Burton (31) during the Auto Club 400 in Fontana on Sunday. Credit: Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images for NASCAR