• NASCAR Cup Series
  • Xfinity Series
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RESULTS

START POS

FINAL STATUS

LAPS COMPLETED

LAPS LED

POINTS

PLAYOFF POINTS

1

Kyle Larson

5 |

13

Running

200

28

52

5

2

Austin Dillon

3 |

16

Running

200

0

35

0

3

Erik Jones

43 |

2

Running

200

18

52

0

4

Daniel Suárez

99 |

15

Running

200

0

33

0

5

Joey Logano

22 |

7

Running

200

14

44

0

6

Aric Almirola

10 |

31

Running

200

0

34

0

7

Kevin Harvick

4 |

32

Running

200

1

30

0

8

Kurt Busch

45 |

36

Running

200

0

29

0

9

Daniel Hemric

16 |

5

Running

200

0

0

0

10

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

47 |

17

Running

200

0

28

0

11

Cole Custer

41 |

21

Running

200

0

31

0

12

Austin Cindric

2 |

1

Running

200

0

31

0

13

Martin Truex Jr

19 |

12

Running

200

0

24

0

14

Kyle Busch

18 |

3

Running

200

0

23

0

15

Denny Hamlin

11 |

4

Running

200

0

23

0

16

Chase Briscoe

14 |

24

Running

200

20

28

0

17

Ty Dillon

42 |

18

Running

200

0

20

0

18

Ryan Blaney

12 |

6

Running

200

1

29

0

19

Bubba Wallace

23 |

34

Running

200

0

18

0

20

Todd Gilliland

38 |

26

Running

200

0

17

0

21

Garrett Smithley

15 |

29

Running

200

0

16

0

22

BJ McLeod

78 |

30

Running

200

0

15

0

23

Justin Haley

31 |

35

Running

200

0

14

0

24

Tyler Reddick

8 |

11

Running

199

90

33

2

25

Alex Bowman

48 |

14

Running

199

0

17

0

26

Chase Elliott

9 |

8

Running

198

12

11

0

27

Brad Keselowski

6 |

9

Running

198

0

10

0

28

Corey Lajoie

7 |

25

Running

198

0

9

0

29

Ross Chastain

1 |

33

Running

198

0

8

0

30

Josh Bilicki

77 |

28

Running

198

0

0

0

31

Michael McDowell

34 |

23

Electrical

193

0

6

0

32

Cody Ware

51 |

27

Running

187

0

5

0

33

Harrison Burton

21 |

22

Accident

157

0

4

0

34

William Byron

24 |

10

Accident

151

16

13

0

35

Chris Buescher

17 |

20

Accident

111

0

2

0

36

Christopher Bell

20 |

19

Engine

94

0

1

0

  • POS 1 | LEADER

    Kyle Larson

    POS1

    LEADER

    Kyle Larson

    Driver badge number 5 |

  • POS 2 | 0.195

    Austin Dillon

    POS2

    0.195

    Austin Dillon

    Driver badge number 3 |

  • POS 3 | 0.445

    Erik Jones

    POS3

    0.445

    Erik Jones

    Driver badge number 43 |

Kyle Larson hangs on in late restart, surges to Auto Club victory

Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson waited until late in Sunday‘s Wise Power 400 to flex his muscles.

But in the end, the driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet held off a charging Austin Dillon by .195 seconds at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., to notch his first victory of the season, his second at the 2-mile track and the 17th of his career.

RELATED: Official results | At-track photos

In a race that featured 12 cautions for 59 laps, Larson, who started from the rear of the field because of unapproved adjustments to his Camaro, took the lead from Joey Logano on Lap 167 of 200 and held it for 27 of the final 34 circuits on the way to the victory.

That was after the dominant car of Tyler Reddick suffered a flat left-rear tire while leading on Lap 152, and in the aftermath of that incident was collected by the sliding car of William Byron.

Reddick had led 90 laps to that point—17 more than in his first 75 Cup starts combined—and had won the first and second stages in convincing fashion.

MORE: Reddick’s hopes dashed at Auto Club

Larson, however, outlasted arguably stronger cars and was in position to win at the end of the race.

“It‘s always fun to win here in the home state,” said the Elk Grove, Calif., native Kyle Larson. “There were definitely some guys that were quicker than us, but they had their misfortunes.

“Just kept our heads in it all day — long race. Restarts were crazy. The whole runs were crazy. So definitely wild, but cool to get a win here in California and hope we get on a little streak.”

James Gilbert | Getty Images

Larson‘s victory came at the expense of teammate Chase Elliott, who fell two laps down after scraping the wall on Lap 33 and spinning off Turn 2 five laps later.

As the beneficiary under two cautions, Elliott regained the lead lap, drove through the field and was battling Larson and Logano for the lead when Larson shot up the track and pinched Elliott‘s Chevrolet into the outside wall. Larson said on his radio that he didn‘t know Elliott was there.

It was Elliott who spun on Lap 192 to cause the final caution and set up a dramatic four-lap sprint to the finish that saw Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suàrez briefly wrestle the lead from Larson, thanks to a push from Petty GMS Motorsports’ Erik Jones. But Larson regained the lead off Turn 4 with just over two laps left and held it the rest of the way.

In a testament to the relative parity achieved by NASCAR‘s new Next Gen race car — admittedly with a small sample size so far — nine different Cup organizations finished in the top 10 at Fontana.

One of those was the Trackhouse Racing team of Suàrez who rolled home fourth behind the Chevrolets of Larson, Dillon and Jones.

“We’re going to win a few races very soon here,” Suàrez said. “I just can’t thank everyone enough on my team. We had a fast car, but we went through a lot of adversity. We had a few issues. We hit the wall once. We had an issue with a diffuser. My pit crew, those guys are legends, it’s unbelievable.

“It’s the best pit crew I’ve ever had, and it’s a lot of fun to race like that. The Freeway Insurance Chevrolet, everyone that helps Trackhouse out, to be able to be here and perform this way. … I can tell you that I’m going to work very, very hard to go to Victory Lane very, very soon here.”

Logano ran fifth, followed by Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch (who started from the rear and served a pass-through penalty to start the race because of three inspection failures). Daniel Hemric and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completed the top 10.

Pole-sitter and Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric finished 12th after suffering damage in a four-car accident involving Brad Keselowski, Bubba Wallace and Harrison Burton on Lap 158.

Larson, who won 10 races last year in his first season at Hendrick Motorsports, led four times for 28 laps, second only to Reddick‘s 90. All told, there were 32 lead changes among nine drivers in an event in which radical shuffling of the running order was commonplace.

The Cup Series’ next race is scheduled Sunday, March 6 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Note: Inspection in the Cup Series garage is complete, confirming Kyle Larson as the official race winner.

Contributing: Staff reports