FONTANA, Calilf. -- If you're the guy chosen to take the wheel from hyper-popular Dale Earnhardt Jr., you had better show some on-track chops.
On Sunday, March 1, at Auto Club Speedway, Alex Bowman did just that as he recorded a dominating win in the Auto Club 400 in Fontana.
The victory was the second for Bowman since taking over the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet full time at the start of the 2018 season. The first came at Chicagoland Speedway last July.
Bowman's win Sunday came in fairly dominating fashion as he led 110 of 200 laps at the 2-mile oval.
The win gave him his 11th top-five finish in 156 Cup starts.
Defending Cup champion Kyle Busch finished second, but over nine seconds behind Bowman. That finish gave the Joe Gibbs Racing driver his first podium finish of the season. In fact, it gave him his first top-14 finish of 2020.
Behind Busch was his older brother, Kurt, in the No. 1 Chip Ganassi car.
Rounding out the top five were Bowman's teammate, Chase Elliott, and Team Penske's Brad Keselowski.
Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who has announced that this will be his final full-time season, had a good weekend on what may be his final start at his home track.
The native of Southern California started on the front row after qualifying second fastest on Saturday.
Johnson, who has not won a race since the 2017 season, ran near the front of the field all day Sunday, led 10 laps and finished seventh at a track where he has won six times.
Clint Bowyer started from the pole -- the fourth of his career -- and led the first 11 laps. Taking over up front was Bowman, who went on to lead 44 laps in claiming the first 60-lap stage.
Stage 2 was dominated by Ryan Blaney, who collected the stage win by more than three seconds over Bowman.
Joe Gibbs Racing's Martin Truex Jr. started from the rear of the field after his car failed pre-qualifying inspection three times on Saturday. Truex, the 2017 Cup champion, was barred from the qualifying session. None of that mattered, however, Truex moved into the top 12 before 10 laps had been completed.
On Lap 130 of the 200-lapper, Truex moved to the lead.
Also sent to the rear of the field for failing inspections were JTG Daugherty drivers Ryan Preece and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.