Larson holds off late rally by Logano to win Xfinity race at Fontana

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Kyle Larson held off a late surge by Joey Logano to win Saturday’s Service King 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Logano and Larson jousted for the lead over the last 20 laps, but it wasn’t until a final restart with four laps to go that allowed Larson to gain an advantage and remain ahead of Logano the rest of the way to the checkered flag.

Larson won by 0.127 seconds over Logano to earn his sixth career triumph in the Xfinity Series, including the second at Fontana in his home state.

“The racing there at the end with Joey was awesome,” Larson said on Fox Sports 1. “We just had a couple lap fresher tires than he did and was able to chase him down. I was trying to be patient.

“… It was a heck of a race. I honestly didn’t think we’d be here yesterday. I was struggling bad in practice, fought the balance a lot throughout the race, and then finally the last two runs we hit it.”

Kyle Busch finished third, followed by Erik Jones and William Byron.

Sixth through 10th were Darrell Wallace Jr., Elliott Sadler, Brennan Poole, Justin Allgaier and Ty Dillon.

MORE: Race results of Service King 300 Xfinity Series race at Fontana

MORE: NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings after Service King 300 at Fontana

Despite finishing second, Logano was exceptional and overcame several bits of adversity, including a pit road speeding penalty.

Then on Lap 96 Logano was leading and suffered a major pit malfunction. A jack broke before crew members were able to put left-side tires on, leaving the car on the ground.

NASCAR officials allowed Logano’s team to use a second jack, helping the team finally lift the left side of the car. Logano returned to the track in 26th but quickly worked his way back to the lead with 32 laps left.

Unofficially, Logano gained more than 60 positions on the racetrack from start to finish.

Larson now goes for a second consecutive win, starting from the pole in the weekend’s main event: Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Cup race at the 2-mile oval about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

“I’m happy, this is our second win here in California, and I hope we can do it again tomorrow,” Logano told FS1.

Winner of first stage (laps 1-35): Kyle Busch

Winner of second stage (laps 36-70): Kyle Busch

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Six-time Fontana Xfinity winner Kyle Busch struggled at times, but like Logano, kept finding – and fighting – his way back to the front, finishing third. … Rookie William Byron finished fifth, giving him back-to-back top-five Xfinity finishes (he was fourth at Phoenix last week).

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Paul Menard was running fourth on Lap 94 when he was pushed into the wall by Erik Jones. Menard’s car caught fire, but he escaped unharmed. Menard finished 36th. … A small fire also started when Cole Custer wrecked on Lap 106. He was OK and finished 35th.

NOTABLE: Logano led the most laps (70) in the 150-lap event. Kyle Busch led 55 laps and Larson 21. … The No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford was ruled to have an improperly installed lug nut during post-race inspection. Also, the cars of Larson, Logano and Kyle Busch were taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center for routine inspection.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’ll start from the pole and hopefully be right here tomorrow.” – Race winner Kyle Larson, who has four runner-up finishes in his past five Cup starts (dating to last season), including the past three races.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Xfinity Series is off next weekend (the Camping World Truck Series returns from hiatus). Both the Trucks and the Cup Series will compete at Martinsville Speedway. The Xfinity Series returns with the My Bariatric Solutions 300 on April 8 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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