The 20th anniversary celebration at Auto Club Speedway turned out to be one giant party for Kyle Larson. Kyle Larson, the runner-up for three races running, finally pulled through for an overtime victory Sunday in the Auto Club 400.
NASCAR’s hottest driver dominated the field at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., leading 109 of 202 laps and overcoming a flurry of late cautions to capture the second win of his young career and his first this season. The 24-year-old edged out veterans Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer in the top three.
Larson, the race’s pole winner, was cruising through Stage 1 but saved his best for the stretch run.
The No. 42 team was running in first place when it decided to pit with seven laps remaining, falling to fourth on the restart. Larson made quick work of the field with four fresh tires to pass Denny Hamlin and reclaim the top spot with four laps to go. He held on with ease, in spite of a late Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spin-out that forced the race into overtime.
Larson, named the NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 2014, had one win to his name, a victory last season at Michigan, the sister track to Auto Club Speedway.
It was Larson’s first Cup win since last summer when he took the checkered flag at Michigan International Speedway, which Fontana was modeled after.
The California native entered fresh off three straight runner-up finishes, most recently last weekend at Phoenix.
Larson became the third driver in history to win at Fontana starting from the front row. He also won Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.
Source: Sporting News