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Race report

NASCAR Fontana: Kyle Larson wins after run-in with Elliott

Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson held off a last-lap charge from Austin Dillon to win in Fontana, having also made contact with Hendrick Motorsports team-mate Chase Elliott in the closing stages.

The race came alive on the restart on lap 179, when Chase Briscoe, who didn’t pit, led the way followed by Elliott, Alex Bowman and Larson. Using a three-wide move, Larson quickly powered to the lead after the restart as Bowman tagged the outside wall, but there was no caution.

On the next lap, Larson clashed with team-mate Elliott and sent his car up the track and into the wall.
With 10 laps remaining, Larson held a 2.2-second advantage over Joey Logano as Dillon ran third.

With Elliott spinning on the backstretch on lap 192, it triggered a record-tying 12th caution and all the lead-lap cars pitted with Larson first off pitroad.

On the restart on lap 197, Larson was challenge by Suarez, with the pair trading overtakes by the penultimate lap, until Larson held his nerve to take the win fending off last-lap pressure from Dillon who had to settle for second.

“It’s always fun to win here in the home state,” Larson said. “Hard work all weekend. I didn’t feel great in practice yesterday but Cliff [Daniels, crew chief] and everybody on the team made great adjustments overnight.

“The car handled a lot better. There were definitely some guys that were quicker than us but they had their misfortune. Just kept our heads in it all day. Long race. Restarts were crazy – the whole runs were crazy.

“It was definitely wild. Definitely cool to get a win here in California. Hopefully, we get on a streak.”

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA Auto Parts, Daniel Hemric, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Poppy Bank

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA Auto Parts, Daniel Hemric, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Poppy Bank

Photo by: Ben Earp / NKP / Motorsport Images

With Elliott pushed out of the frontrunning pack, Erik Jones profited to take third for Petty GMS Motorsports ahead of Trackhouse Racing Team’s Suarez who faded late on.

Joey Logano claimed fifth for Team Penske ahead of Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Daniel Hemric and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club Speedway Fontana - Race results

Cla Driver Laps Gap
1 United States Kyle Larson 200  
2 United States Austin Dillon 200 0.195
3 United States Erik Jones 200 0.445
4 Mexico Daniel Suarez 200 1.768
5 United States Joey Logano 200 1.928
6 United States Aric Almirola 200 2.109
7 United States Kevin Harvick 200 2.155
8 United States Kurt Busch 200 2.239
9 United States Daniel Hemric 200 2.416
10 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 200 2.417
11 United States Cole Custer 200 2.581
12 United States Austin Cindric 200 3.519
13 United States Martin Truex Jr. 200 3.664
14 United States Kyle Busch 200 3.781
15 United States Denny Hamlin 200 4.089
16 United States Chase Briscoe 200 4.215
17 United States Ty Dillon 200 4.802
18 United States Ryan Blaney 200 5.029
19 United States Bubba Wallace 200 5.885
20 United States Todd Gilliland 200 5.890
21 United States Garrett Smithley 200 15.381
22 United States B.J. McLeod 200 17.715
23 United States Justin Haley 200 37.033
24 United States Tyler Reddick 199 1 Lap
25 United States Alex Bowman 199 1 Lap
26 United States Chase Elliott 198 2 Laps
27 United States Brad Keselowski 198 2 Laps
28 United States Corey Lajoie 198 2 Laps
29 United States Ross Chastain 198 2 Laps
30 United States Josh Bilicki 198 2 Laps
31 United States Michael McDowell 193 7 Laps
32 United States Cody Ware 187 13 Laps
33 United States Harrison Burton 157 43 Laps
34 United States William Byron 151 49 Laps
35 United States Chris Buescher 111 89 Laps
36 United States Christopher Bell 94 106 Laps

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