Week 3 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings: Kyle Busch wins Fontana, jumps 11 spots to P6 in the rankings

Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle
3 min readFeb 28, 2023

26 February 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

FONTANA, CA — “Welcome to RCR, baby,” the №8 radio said as he crossed the line. “First of many.” Kyle Busch scores his first win for Richard Childress Racing and Chevrolet in the Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway Sunday. After a strong winter storm of rain and snow cancelled Practice and Qualifying, the pressure was on the crews and their notebooks for setup. The team that had their balance “close” would use an early competition caution to make adjustments and stay ahead of the cold conditions for 400 miles on the two-mile oval.

Busch led 27 of the 200 laps and drove his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro to the checkered flag 2.998 seconds ahead of Chase Elliott who finished second in the №9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Ross Chastain led a race-high 91 laps in the №1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet, finishing third, just ahead of teammate Daniel Suárez as Team Chevy logged a 1–2–3–4 sweep. For Kyle Busch, it was his fifth win at the 2-mile oval and marked the 61st of his Cup Series career. It’s also Busch’s first win in a Chevy since 2007.

Credit: FONTANA, CALIFORNIA — FEBRUARY 26: Kyle Busch, driver of the #8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway on February 26, 2023 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Week 3 NASCAR GFT Top 25 AI Driver Rankings following the Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA on February 26, 2023 (Image: GFT Digital / gofullthrottle.net)

Week 3 GFT NASCAR AI Driver Rankings
Fontana Pala Casino 400 Results BIG MOVERS
With the win, Kyle Busch jumps 11 spots to P6 in the rankings. Ross Chastain, who finished 9th last week at the Daytona 500 and 3rd here in Fontana, takes over the P1 ranking in our Go Full Throttle NASCAR AI Driver Rankings.

Fontana Cali crowd favorite Kevin Harvick led five laps and finished fifth in his 750th consecutive Cup Series start, moving him up to P5 while Suarez moves up to P7. Chase Elliott’s 2nd place moves him up 10 spots to P14.

Dropping down the rankings this week, Christopher Bell, who crashed out of the Fontana finishing 32nd falls 11 spots to P15. AJ Allmendinger falls 13 spots to P20 after a crash and 36th place finish. Pre-race favorite Kyle Larson finished Fontana in 29th and falls 13 spots to P25. Teammate Willaim Byron also had issues at Fontana finishing 25th and falling outside the Top 25 to P28.

GFT MANUFACTURER BOX SCORES

Week 3 NASCAR GFT Manufacturer Box Score following the Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA on February 26, 2023 (Image: GFT Digital / gofullthrottle.net)

Up Next: Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Pennzoil 400

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Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association