FONTANA, Calif. – Alex Bowman will start from the second row for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway. Bowman is fresh off a top-five finish in the 2023 DAYTONA 500 in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Kyle Larson will line up 15th in the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. William Byron takes to the grid from the 32nd position in the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Chase Elliott is set to start from the 33rd position in the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. 

RELATED: See this weekend's paint schemes for Fontana

The lineup was determined by NASCAR’s metric formula after both practice and qualifying were washed out due to wet weather in Fontana, California. The metric is comprised of four elements: Driver finish in the last race (25%), owner finish (25%), owner points rank (35%) and fastest lap rank (15%).

Christopher Bell will lead the field to green, which is slated to be the last for the track’s 2-mile layout. Planned renovations will keep it off the 2024 Cup Series schedule. This race kicks off NASCAR’s three-race West Coast swing that also includes Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway. 

Bowman and Larson have won the last two races at Auto Club – there was no race at the facility in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No team has won three races in a row at Auto Club.

"What a great track with it’s current configuration," Cliff Daniels, crew chief of the No. 5 team, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio earlier this week of Auto Club. "The age, the character, the character of the bumps, the seams and the different lanes you get to run. It’s one of the most fun ones we go to. It’s a challenge for the drivers and it’s a challenge for the teams."

RELATED: Viewer's guide, fast facts to know for Fontana

In the 2022 race, Larson started at the back for unapproved adjustments as the team had to fix an electrical issue. By Lap 74, he found himself at the front of the field but it was in the closing 34 laps where he really surged. The 2021 champion led 27 of the final 34 laps – including the final seven – to hold off Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez for the victory. The win was the second at the California track for the Elk Grove native and his fifth on a 2-mile track.

The 2020 event saw Bowman dominate the field, leading 110 laps to score his second victory in the Cup Series. He qualified third in the race and never seemed to be outside of the top-three positions all race long. The Tucson, Arizona, native led 62 of the final 68 laps on the afternoon to secure the win. He was running fourth in last year’s race on lap 179 before a flat tire impacted his day and led to a 25th-place finish.

Elliott has one top-five finish and three top-10s in six starts at Auto Club. Last season, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 paced the field for 12 laps before late-race contact in a battle for the lead culminated in a 26th-place result. His 9.39 average finish on active 2-mile venues (Auto Club and Michigan International Speedway) is the best among active drivers and second-best among all drivers. 

Last season, Byron was on target for his best showing at this track after three straight finishes of 15th. However, a flat tire in the final stage caused Byron to lose control of the car and he made contact with Tyler Reddick. While the final results showed 34th, the team finished third and ninth in stages one and two, respectively. Byron had the third-fastest car on green-flag speed (according to NASCAR loop data) in the race and led 16 laps on the day.  

RELATED: Fugle explains what makes Fontana a 'driver's track'

With 12 wins, Hendrick Motorsports is the all-time winningest team at Auto Club and holds a winning percentage of 37.5%. Jeff Gordon won the first race held at the track in 1997. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch each earned their first premier series victories at the facility. All told, Johnson accounts for six of the team’s wins, Gordon has three, while Bowman, Busch and Larson each have one. 

Hendrick Motorsports is also at the top of the board for most wins in the state of California (22) and on the West Coast (41).

Tune in to watch the second race of the 2023 Cup Series season on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).