Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Fontana is sold-out

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Even before Saturday’s outstanding finish in the Nationwide Series race, where Kyle Larson held off Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch for his first career NASCAR win, Auto Club Speedway president Gillian Zucker had a big smile on her face.

The reason: track officials early Saturday afternoon declared that Sunday’s Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup main event is sold-out.

All that’s left are standing room only tickets. And after Larson’s inspiring win, don’t be surprised if those get scooped up pretty quick on race day morning.

“Southern California fans have proven the Auto Club Speedway is the place to be March 23rd,” Zucker said in a statement released by the track. “Let’s go racing!”

Matt Kenseth will start from the pole, with Sprint Cup points leader Brad Keselowski on the outside pole, the fourth consecutive race that the 2012 Sprint Cup champ has sat on the front row to start an event this season.

Six-time and defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, a California native, starts third alongside Kevin Harvick.

The race begins at 3 pm ET/Noon Pacific.

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Alex Zanardi showing signs of interaction three months after crash

Alex Zanardi recovery
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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MILAN — Italian racing driver turned Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi has started responding to treatment with signs of interaction, more than three months after he was seriously injured in a handbike crash.

Zanardi has spent most of that time in intensive care after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

“For several days now. Alex Zanardi has undergone cognitive and motor rehabilitation sessions, with the administration of visual and acoustic stimuli, to which the patient responds with momentary and initial signs of interaction,” the San Raffaele hospital in Milan said in a statement Thursday.

The hospital said that is “significant progress” but added that his condition remains serious, and that it would be “absolutely premature” to make a long-term prognosis.

Zanardi, 53, suffered serious facial and cranial trauma in the crash and was put in a medically induced coma. Doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

He was operated on several times to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face and the Milan hospital added that he recently had undergone another surgery to reconstruct his skull and would have another one in the coming weeks.

Zanardi lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago. He won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.