It was a photo finish, and Sprint Cup rookie Kyle Larson wins his first Nationwide Series race on Saturday afternoon after 37 starts, and five runner-up finishes. The 21 year-old driver beat veteran driver, Kevin Harvick by 0.342 seconds in the TreatMyClot.com 300 at the Fontana California Speedway while Kyle Busch came in third, 0.4 seconds behind Harvick.
Kyle Larson, who is from Elk Grove near Sacramento, California took the Checkered flag in his #42 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet and made his way to victory lane. With 50 laps left, and the clouds lifted, Larson’s Chevy got hooked up, and went to the front, beating Joey Logano who dominated most of the race, leading 96 laps. Logano’s car didn’t respond to the changing track conditions, and came home fourth.
“I’m shaking still; this is awesome,” said Larson, who got an ice-water bath in Victory Lane. “I thought maybe we could get away [after the last restart], but the 54 (Busch) and 5 (Harvick) were really good behind us, and I had to race with those guys.
“Man, it was amazing. Those last 11 or 12 laps were the longest laps of my life… It was pretty cool to beat those guys. The 54 and the 22 (Joey Logano) have dominated the series for a while now, and Harvick’s with a good team. It was a blast.”
It was an epic battle with Larson, Harvick, and a motivated Kyle Busch slicing and dicing for position during the final 16 laps. Kyle Busch’s Toyota failed pre-race inspection and had to come back from the back of the pack because of a skewed rear axle housing during the knock-out qualifying round.
“The fans won today,” Busch said, summing up the electric atmosphere of the closing laps.
As usual, The Nationwide series continues to provide fans with very exciting races. It’s too bad that there are so many Sprint Cup drivers in the line up and the kids who need wins cannot compete. With any luck, fans will be treated to a nice race on Sunday with the Auto Club 400!
You can follow Les on Twitter @Spin_47