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Aric Almirola wins inaugural Xfinity race at Sonoma

Aric Almirola put himself in the right spot late, held off a challenge from Kyle Larson and pulled away from AJ Allmendinger to win the inaugural Xfinity race at Sonoma.

SONOMA, Calif. -- Aric Almirola used a good restart late, held off a challenge from Kyle Larson and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

The victory is Almirola’s fourth in his Xfinity career. It comes in the first Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

“Holy cow!” Almirola said on his team’s radio after winning.

MORE: Xfinity results, driver points

AJ Allmendinger finished second.

“We ran, basically, second all day,” Allmendinger said. “We just ran second to a different person at the end of the race.”

Larson, who led 53 of 79 laps and had a 13-second lead on second place before a caution with 19 laps left, finished third. Larson challenged Almirola for the lead with eight laps to go before clipping a tire barrier in Turn 11. Larson said it knocked the steering wheel out of his hand briefly. Allmendinger passed him and Larson couldn’t get back by.

“I find every way to lose for you guys, sorry,” Larson said on his team’s radio after the race.

Ty Gibbs finished fourth, making it Cup drivers in the top four spots. Parker Kligerman finished fifth.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Larson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Larson

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Parker Kligerman’s fifth-place finish moved him from 14th to 12th in the points, which would the last transfer spot to the playoffs. ... Cole Custer’s sixth-place finish was his eighth consecutive top 10.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Anthony Alfredo had to go to a backup car after a crash in practice Friday. He finished 37th among 38 cars after a suspension issue ended his race Saturday. ... Josh Berry’s 33rd-place finish is his worst result of the season.

NOTABLE: Aric Almirola is the 11th consecutive different winner in the Xfinity Series this season.

NEXT: The series is off next weekend. The series resumes June 24 at Nashville Superspeedway (3:30 p.m. ET on USA).