After getting close to winning last year, Kyle Larson would hold off Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch in an exciting finish to win the Treatmyclot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway for his first career Nationwide Series victory.
“I wasn’t very happy when we got the last caution,” Larson commented. “I was on the bottom for the restart and that wasn’t a good spot so I was surprised to get the lucky dog. Man that was an awesome race! I had a heckuva race with those guys. The last 11 or so laps were the longest laps of my life. It was great racing them near the end. I thought I’d run away from them, but they were side-by-side and not going anywhere. That was a blast. Hats off to all these guys. That was a blast out there and I’m pretty sure tomorrow will be a heck of a race.”
With 20 laps to go in the 300 mile race, a caution would come out for debris bringing the leaders down pit road. Harvick would win the race off pit road, followed by Larson, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Elliott. Once the field went back to green with 16 laps to go, Larson grabbed the lead and started to pull ahead in front of the field.
As the race wore down, Harvick and Busch closed the gap while battling for second and third and each took shots at passing Larson and each other all hte way to the checkered. None of their tricks worked, as Larson used the momentum on the high side to keep ahead of them both just enough.
Kevin Harvick finished second for his third top five in three Nationwide starts this year for JR Motorsports so far.
“I’d rather win but when you’re involved in a race like that you can’t be too disappointed,” Harvick said.
Kyle Busch finished third after having to start at the rear of the field due not posting a time during qualifying as a result of failing pre-race technical inspection five times.
“Shouldn’t be anybody happier than the fans in the stands. The fans won,” Busch said afterwards. “He deserves it, he’s worked hard and that’s why he’s in the Cup series.”
Joey Logano finished fourth, followed by pole sitter Elliott Sadler. Rookie Chase Elliott came back to finish sixth following contact with the wall on lap 73 due to contact from Dylan Kwasniewski as Kwasniewski got loose.
Matt Kenseth finished seventh, followed by Ty Dillon, Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith. Bayne and Smith are now tie for the points lead.