It was a beautiful day for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Auto Club Speedway for the Production Alliance Group 300. For one driver it was even more special as he is one of the few who can say he won his very first Xfinity Series race on Leap Day. Who is the lucky driver? It was Harrison Burton in only his 12th start. Burton, who drives the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, took the checkered flag after a caution filled final stage.
“It’s awesome!” Burton exclaimed, “I’m so proud of our guys, it’s really awesome, it feels so good to win.” He further stated, “When you go through a little bit of a drought, you doubt yourself especially after last year, we struggled a little bit.”
Stage 1 went caution free with Brandon Jones taking the stage win.
Stage 2 went pretty much the same as stage one. There weren’t any cautions and Jones won the second stage too. It was looking as if no one would be able to touch Jones, until the third stage.
The final stage of the race was the exact opposite of the first two. They say that cautions breed cautions and this stage was proof of that. There were several drivers vying up front including Chase Briscoe and Daniel Hemric. The cautions flew fast mostly for cut tires and a couple of spins. There was a mini big one that a few drivers like Brandon Brown and Michael Annett got caught up in but most cars were able to continue the race.
The two drivers who could get the closest to Jones were Riley Herbst who took second in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and Austin Cindric who placed third in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford.
When asked what he needed at the end to catch Burton, Herbst commented,” A few more laps. This Monster Energy Supra was really fast. I’m really proud of Harrison, me and him have worked so hard this off season.”
Austin Cindric said, “Obviously it is great to continue the consistency. I think we had a car capable of winning, especially with some of the attrition there at the end. Execution kind of bit us today. I had to get brave on some restarts. We were better than the 20 and 18 there at the end but you just need track position sometimes. Overall, I couldn’t be prouder of my Odyssey Battery Ford Mustang team for where we came from after unloading to being a race winning car. Just not enough laps in the race for us.”
Rounding out the top five were Ryan Sieg and Justin Haley. Anthony Alfredo, Daniel Hemric, Ross Chastain, Jeremy Clements, and Josh Williams finished sixth through 10, respectively.
Harrrison Burton has the points lead with 136 points over second place Chase Briscoe with 126 points.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads next to Phoenix Raceway on March 7.