FONTANA, Calif. – A Burton returned to victory lane in an Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway as 19-year-old Harrison Burton (No. 20 Dex Imaging Toyota) rallied to win the Production Alliance Group 300 on Saturday in Fontana.
In just his 12th career start, Burton led for 40 of the 150 laps in a race that included eight cautions throughout the 300-mile race.
“I’m so proud of our guys and it’s something we live for, to end up in victory lane,” said Burton, who races for Joe Gibbs Racing. “All we’ve heard is we can’t do it, and we’ll never do what last year’s No. 20 did. But we’re off to a good start.”
He added: “There are times when you go through a little bit of a drought that you start to doubt yourself. So to get a win after struggling a bit last year in trucks is great. Once we moved up to the top at the end we knew we were going to be tough to pass at the end.
Burton’s father Jeff Burton won 21 career victories in the NASCAR Cup Series, and had his only victory at Auto Club Speedway come in the 2007 fall Xfinity race at the Southern California track. Harrison’s victory marked the eighth time a father-son tandem had won an Xfinity Series race.
Burton’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Riley Herbst (No. 18 Monster Toyota) finished second by just 0.455 seconds. Team Penske’s Austin Cindric (No. 22 Odyssey Battery Ford) was third. Ryan Sieg (No. 39 CMR Roofing Chevrolet) and Justin Haley (No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.
“I’m really, really proud of Harrison because we’ve been working really hard to get here,” Herbst said. “We’re the younger guys and we have to prove we can compete out here.”
Leap Day February 29 is a special date for the Burton family as Harrison’s uncle Ward Burton also won his first career title on this date in 1992 at Rockingham.
“I guess the stars just aligned today,” Harrison said.
Brandon Jones (No. 19 Toyota Service Centers Toyota) won both stages, which ended on Laps 35 and 70, from the pole position. Jones, who led for 74 laps overall, had a tire rub with 49 laps to go that forced him to pit while no others followed and he ended up finishing 30th.
Saturday’s Production Alliance Group 300 was the 31st NASCAR Xfinity Series race run at Auto Club Speedway. The Xfinity Series heads to the LS Tractor 200 at Phoenix Raceway on March 7.