Harrison Burton scores first Xfinity Series win at Fontana

Jim Utter
motorsport.com

Burton, the 19-year-old son of NASCAR veteran Jeff Burton, held off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Riley Herbst, on a wild final restart and brought home the win in Saturday’s PAG 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

The victory is Burton’s first in 12 series starts and first as a fulltime driver in the Xfinity Series and all-but locks him into this season’s p layoffs.

Burton, a former champion in what is now the ARCA East Series, joins Hank Parker, Jr. (2001) and Kyle Larson (2014) as the only drivers to earn their first series win at Fontana.

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After doing a smoky burnout on the frontstretch following his win, Burton’s No. 20 Toyota had to be towed to Victory Lane for postrace ceremonies.

"Heck yeah, man, this is awesome," Burton said. "All we've heard is that we can't do it - we'll never do what last year's (No. 20 team) did but we're off to a good start. It feels so good to win. There's times when you go through a little bit of a drought and you doubt yourself. But to get a win feels so good, especially after last year. We struggled a little bit (in Trucks).

"Once we moved up to the top (lane) at the end, it was going to be really hard for (Herbst) to pass us. I was trying to be smart and not put it in the wall. The whole team was huge. I'm just so happy, man. This is something I've worked so hard for and my team's worked so hard for.

"Hell yeah, we won - that's awesome."

Austin Cindric finished third, Ryan Sieg was fourth and Justin Haley completed the top-five.

Haley spun off Turn 4 on Lap 82 of 150 to bring out the first non-stage caution of the race. Haley headed right to pit road with a flat right-rear tire.

The race returned to green on Lap 86 and Justin Allgaier jumped quickly to the lead before the caution was displayed again for an incident between Michael Annett and Brett Moffitt that also collected Brandon Brown and Joe Graf Jr.

Daniel Hemric was scored as the race leader when the caution was displayed. The race returned to green on Lap 91. Allgaier quickly returned to the lead on the restart.

Following a brief caution for a spin by Matt Mills, Haley inherited the race lead when he elected not to pit. He led the way on Lap 97.

As Chase Briscoe bolted to the lead on the restart, Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain wrecked off Turn 2 to bring the caution out yet again. The race returned to green on Lap 102 with Briscoe still out front.

On Lap 109, NASCAR displayed the caution for a tire carcass that ended up on the track in Turn 4 after it was hit by Allgaier.

Most of the lead lap cars pit but Chastain remained on the track and inherited the lead on the restart on Lap 114. Briscoe powered quickly to the lead on the restart.

On Lap 118, Burton went to the inside and took the lead away from Briscoe.

After brushing the wall a couple times, Briscoe spun off Turn 4 on Lap 126 to bring out a caution. The lead-lap cars pit with Burton the first off pit road and he led the way on the restart on Lap 132.

With five laps remaining, Herbst had cut Burton’s lead to under a second as he tried to run him down.

Stage 2

Brandon Jones continued his impressive run in the race, leading the first 70 laps on his way to a sweep of the Stage 1 and 2 victories.

Hemric was second in Stage 2, Burton third, Briscoe fourth and Cindric completed the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, the lead lap cars elected to pit with Jones the first off pit road and he remained in the lead on the restart on Lap 43. He was followed by Burton and Hemric.

Austin Hill was penalized for speeding on pit road during his stop and had to restart from the rear of the field.

With 20 laps to go in the second stage, Burton – who dropped back to fifth on the restart – made his way back to second. They were followed by Hemric, Briscoe and Cindric.

After 60 of 70 laps in the first stage, Jones continued to hold a 1.3-second lead over Burton with Hemric in third. Briscoe had tagged the wall but was able to continue.

On Lap 63, Hemric got around Burton to retake second place.

With five laps remaining, Jones’ lead over Hemric held steady at about 1 second.

Stage 1

Jones held off Briscoe to claim the Stage 1 win, his first stage victory of the 2020 season.

Burton was third, Chastain fourth and Hemric rounded out the top-five.

Jones, who started on the pole, took early command of the race, building a nearly 2-second lead through the first 15 laps.

With 10 laps remaining in the first stage, Jones’ lead had expanded to nearly 2.5 seconds over Burton. Briscoe ran third, Chastain fourth and Hemric fifth.

On Lap 28, Briscoe got around Burton to take the second position and was gaining considerable ground on the leader.

1

20

United States
United States

 Harrison Burton

 

Toyota

150

 

40

2

18

Riley Herbst

 

Toyota

150

0.455

 

3

22

United States
United States

 Austin Cindric

 

Ford

150

0.642

 

4

39

United States
United States

 Ryan Sieg

 

Chevrolet

150

6.143

 

5

11

United States
United States

 Justin Haley

 

Chevrolet

150

8.622

3

6

21

Anthony Alfredo

 

Chevrolet

150

8.717

 

7

8

United States
United States

 Daniel Hemric

 

Chevrolet

150

12.328

10

8

10

United States
United States

 Ross Chastain

 

Chevrolet

150

13.198

4

9

51

United States
United States

 Jeremy Clements

 

Chevrolet

150

13.489

 

10

92

United States
United States

 Josh Williams

 

Chevrolet

150

16.731

 

11

93

United States
United States

 Myatt Snider

 

Chevrolet

150

20.572

 

12

7

United States
United States

 Justin Allgaier

 

Chevrolet

150

21.729

3

13

90

Canada
Canada

 Alex Labbé

 

Chevrolet

150

23.970

 

14

02

United States
United States

 Brett Moffitt

 

Chevrolet

150

26.021

 

15

78

United States
United States

 Vinnie Miller

 

Toyota

150

40.075

 

16

61

United States
United States

 Austin Hill

 

Toyota

149

1 lap

 

17

1

United States
United States

 Michael Annett

 

Chevrolet

149

1 lap

1

18

44

United States
United States

 Tommy Joe Martins

 

Chevrolet

149

1 lap

 

19

98

United States
United States

 Chase Briscoe

 

Ford

148

2 laps

16

20

13

United States
United States

 Chad Finchum

 

Toyota

148

2 laps

 

21

6

United States
United States

 David Starr

 

Chevrolet

148

2 laps

 

22

07

United States
United States

 Ray Black Jr.

 

Chevrolet

148

2 laps

 

23

15

Robby Lyons

 

Chevrolet

147

3 laps

 

24

0

United States
United States

 B.J. McLeod

 

Chevrolet

147

3 laps

 

25

52

United States
United States

 J.J. Yeley

 

Chevrolet

147

3 laps

 

26

9

United States
United States

 Noah Gragson

 

Chevrolet

147

3 laps

 

27

5

United States
United States

 Matt Mills

 

Toyota

146

4 laps

 

28

4

United States
United States

 Jesse Little

 

Chevrolet

146

4 laps

 

29

99

United States
United States

 Josh Bilicki

 

Toyota

146

4 laps

 

30

19

United States
United States

 Brandon Jones

 

Toyota

146

4 laps

73

31

08

Joe Jr.

 

Chevrolet

143

7 laps

 

32

47

United States
United States

 Bayley Currey

 

Chevrolet

120

30 laps

 

33

68

United States
United States

 Brandon Brown

 

Chevrolet

115

35 laps

 

34

74

United States
United States

 Kyle Weatherman

 

Chevrolet

97

53 laps

 

35

66

United States
United States

 Stephen Leicht

 

Toyota

78

72 laps

 

36

89

United States
United States

 Landon Cassill

 

Chevrolet

38

112 laps

 

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