What a finish to California! One writer is happy, while one driver is off to the hospital.
And everyone thought Bristol had the best post-race events thus far...that certainly changed on Sunday.
The final laps alone made the race at California the most memorable to date for every fan in attendance and those watching on FOX. The two individuals that argued last week were left to battle for the win. Neither were giving an inch, both wanting that trophy. Rubbing, beating, hitting...it was exactly what NASCAR was made for.
Joey Logano vs. Denny Hamlin lasted to the middle of turns 3 and 4, with both getting together enough to spin, with Hamlin taking the worst brunt of it. Meanwhile, the most dominant car on the afternoon stayed back enough to take advantage and the win.
Then afterward, Logano gets into a shoving match with Tony Stewart, all about his blocking on the final restart. Stewart said in an interview exactly what he thought, no mincing words.
At the same time, Hamlin got out of his car, and immediately sat on the track. Safety workers loaded him into an ambulance, and soon he would be taken to the local hospital for further evaluation.
Meanwhile, lost in all this, it was Kyle Busch taking advantage of all the chaos on the last lap to get his first win of the season, his first in nearly one year.
It meant one writer would get his first win of the season too, and took a big jump in the standings. Things have gotten closer up front, although there is still a big gap from second to third, although from third on back the separation is just 26 points. Still early, and still time to get caught up.
Take a look at how everyone shook out after one exciting Auto Club 400:
Patti Rodisch (197) Matt Kenseth finished 7th (0)
Rob Tiongson (189) Jimmie Johnson finished 12th (1)
Sal Sigala Jr. (164) Jimmie Johnson finished 12th (0)
Michael Hirshbein (163) Kyle Busch WON (1)
Billy Fellin (163) Matt Kenseth finished 7th (0)
Kelly Crandall (159) Matt Kenseth finished 7th (0)
Rob Blount (159) Jimmie Johnson finished 12th (0)
Dustin Parks (148) Kevin Harvick finished 13th (0)
James Broomhead (145) Matt Kenseth finished 7th (0)
Ryan O'Hara (144) Greg Biffle finished 5th (0)
Misan Akuya (140) Matt Kenseth finished 7th (0)
Kara Martin (140) Jimmie Johnson finished 12th (0)
Christopher Leone (138) Jimmie Johnson finished 12th (0)
Next Race: Why must NASCAR now go on a break? There has been so many great storylines through the first five races, and the way Sunday's race ended has everyone talking what to expect next.
It seems like it's wrong that NASCAR must go into a break, but with Easter happening next weekend, it gives everyone a week to relax, or in a few cases, a week to plan their attack on a fellow competitor.
How appropriate that up next on the schedule is the shortest track on the circuit, where bumping is required, banging is a tradition, and the hot dogs sell as quick as the laps get clicked off the scoreboard. The next track for these racers, the "Paper Clip" at Martinsville.
Writers, you get a little reprieve and rest this week, although we all will be having many chats about what happened on Sunday as the week progresses.
You have until Thursday, April 4, to turn in your picks for the STP Fuel Booster 500.