FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Harrison Burton held off Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota teammate Riley Herbst for his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory Saturday.
The 19-year-old Burton is the son of NASCAR veteran Jeff Burton, and he finished strong with an impressive final restart.
When Las Vegas winner Chase Briscoe spun on the 126th lap of the 150-lap race and caused the sixth caution of the final stage, Burton was the first off pit row among the lead-lap cars. He kept the lead on the restart, and he hung on for his first win in 12 Xfinity starts with Herbst close behind.
“To get a win feels so good, especially after we struggled a little bit last year,” Burton said after his third top-five finish of the new season. “Once we moved up to the top at the end, it was going to be hard for him to pass us. Just trying to be smart and not put it in the wall leading."
Burton's celebratory post-race burnouts were so enthusiastic that his car wouldn't restart. He had to be towed back to Victory Lane.
Austin Cindric finished third, with Ryan Sieg in fourth and Justin Haley fifth.
Burton, who had five top-10 finishes in nine Xfinity starts last year, is the second first-time winner in the new season's first three races. Noah Gragson got his first victory in the season opener at Daytona.
Kyle Larson also earned his first victory at Fontana back in 2014.
Burton led 40 laps. His Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota teammate, Brandon Jones, led every lap of the first two stages on the weathered asphalt at Auto Club Speedway. Jones finished with 75 laps led, but a tire rub with 49 laps left forced him to pit, and he finished 30th.
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