Auto Club 400 returns, with some NASCAR stars still seeking first win of season – Los Angeles Times

NASCAR returns to Southern California this weekend with a new race format, a new series sponsor and most of the sport’s biggest names looking for their first win of the season.

Stock-car racing’s top circuit is now called the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series after energy drink maker Monster Beverage Corp. took over title sponsorship this year from Sprint Corp.

The Auto Club 400 on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, which is 23 miles from Monster’s headquarters in Corona, will be the fifth race of the Cup Series’ 36-race season.

The winners so far this year are Kurt Busch, the 2004 Cup champion who won the season-opening Daytona 500, along with 2012 champion Brad Keselowski (Atlanta), Martin Truex Jr. (Las Vegas) and veteran Ryan Newman (Phoenix).