For the second consecutive year, the NASCAR XFINITY Series race came down to the wire with California native Kyle Larson (No. 24, ENEOS Chevrolet) holding off a fast-charging Joey Logano (No. 22, America’s Tire/Discount Tire Ford) to win the 19th Annual Service King 300 on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway.
The 24-year-old Larson from Elk Grove near Sacramento won for the second time at the Fontana track and for the sixth time in 94 Xfinity Series races. It was the first victory and third top-10 finish in 2017. It was also Larson’s fifth top-10 finish in five races at the two-mile track.
"The racing there at the end with Joey was awesome," said Larson. “It was a heck of a race and I was able to chase him down. I wish that last caution would have come out because it would have been easier for me to win it. I honestly didn't think we'd be here yesterday because I’ve had some bad practices. That was a lot of fun and I hope we can do it again tomorrow.”
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Larson led four times for 21 laps.
Nothing came easy for Larson, who will start on the pole on Sunday in the Auto Club 400, as he overcame a pit-road speeding penalty to hold off race pole-sitter Logano over the last 20 laps.
“Winning the pole and winning the race helps my confidence for sure,” Larson later told the media. “But these are two totally different races.”
Logano posted his ninth top-10 finish in nine races at Auto Club Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2017.
“I’ll vote for two races at Auto Club Speedway,” Logano said. “There’s everything here. It’s the best race track we race at all year.”
Kyle Busch (No. 18, NOS Energy Drink Toyota) was third and posted his 15th top-10 finish in 18 races at Auto Club Speedway.
Elliott Sadler (No. 1, OneMain Financial Chevrolet) leads the point standings by 17 points over William Byron (No. 9, Axalta/DuraCoat Chevrolet) who was fifth and the highest finishing rookie. “It was a blast out there,” Byron said. “I have never been here, but there are a lot of options out there. There’s so many places to run your car and makes it so fun.”
Last year, the 2013 XFINITY Series champion Austin Dillon passed Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez on the final lap in yet another exciting finish in the Saturday race at Auto Club Speedway.