Harrison Burton Captures First NASCAR Xfinity Series Victory At Auto Club Speedwayby Hunter Thomas March 1, 2020 0 comments
FONTANA, Calif. – Harrison Burton, 19-year-old son of former NASCAR Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, captured his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series win on Saturday after taking the checkered flag in the Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway.
Burton earned the win in only his 12th series start. The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Dex Imaging Toyota started the race in second on the front row, and throughout the afternoon, he led on three occasions for a total of 40 laps. Following the final caution of the afternoon, Burton took the lead with 20 laps to go and never looked back.
“All that matters is we led on lap 150 and we’ll get there when we get there,” Burton said. “I had a great race car. We led early and lost that track position a little bit on the restart. Our car was so good that it was able to overcome mistakes I had early in the race. I learned a lot. Had a bad-to-the-bone Supra. It feels good to win here in California. What an awesome race track. Hell yeah, what can you say. That’s awesome. I’m so proud of our guys. We were hungry for this one and we’re hungry for more of it.”
Burton’s teammate, Riley Herbst was looking to capturing his first series victory as well. The 21-year-old from Las Vegas started the race in fifth and run toward the front of the pack all afternoon long. In the closing laps, Herbst has Burton in his sights, but his car just didn’t have the speed to challenge for the win. He crossed the finish line in second just 0.455 seconds behind Burton.
“We needed a few more laps for sure,” Herbst said. “I didn’t qualify where we wanted to – we were sixth or something. We kept working our way up. We had some bad lanes on restarts and then we worked our way back up to the front. I knew the 98 (Chase Briscoe) was going to get greedy and he did. I stayed patient and we just needed a little more fire off speed at the end.”
Rounding out the top-five was Austin Cindric, Ryan Sieg and Justin Haley. In his debut series start, Anthony Alfredo finished in sixth, followed by Daniel Hemric, Ross Chastain, Jeremy Clements and Josh Williams.
There were 13 lead changes among eight drivers. Brandon Jones led a race high of 73 laps. Jones looked as if he was going to contend for the win but late in the race, he cut a tire and hit the outside wall in Turns 2.
Throughout the afternoon, there were eight cautions for 36 laps. The largest crash occurred on lap 87, when contact between Brett Moffitt and Michael Annett set off a chain reaction exiting Turn 2. Brandon Brown and Joe Graf Jr. were caught up in the accident down the backstretch as well.
The final multicar crash of the afternoon brought the caution out on lap 98. Noah Gragson attempted to squeeze into line in front of Ross Chastain, and the contact sent Gragson into Cindric and then into the outside wall on the backstretch.
Burton not only captured the win, but he is now the leader in the standings. He leads Chase Briscoe by 10 points.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will wrap up its 2020 West Coast Swing on Saturday, March 7 at Phoenix Raceway. Live coverage of the LS Tractor 200 will broadcast live at 4 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN).
Photo Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images