Harrison Burton wins first career Xfinity Series race
Harrison Burton held off teammate Riley Herbst to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway and claimed his first career win in the series in his 12th start.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver led the final 19 laps under green and beat Herbst by less than half a second.
Burton, 19, is the son of former Cup driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton. He victory comes after he went winless last year as a full-time driver at Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series.
“So proud of our guys,” Burton told FS1. “All we’ve heard is we can’t do it, we can’t do it. We’ll never do what last year’s 20 (Christopher Bell) did. We’re off to a good start. It’s awesome, it feels so good to win. There’s times when you go through a little bit of a drought, you just doubt yourself. To get a win it feels so good, especially after last year, we struggled a little bit. ... Once we moved up to the top at the end it was going to be really hard for (Herbst) to pass us. Just trying to be smart and not put it in the wall while leading.”
The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, Ryan Sieg and Justin Haley.
Burton is the second first-time winner in the first three races of the season. Noah Gragson was the first in the season-opening race at Daytona.
Burton led 40 of the race’s 150 laps. After going caution free in the first two stages, there were six cautions in the final stage of the event.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Brandon Jones led every lap in the stage and won over Chase Briscoe
STAGE 2 WINNER: Brandon Jones led every lap in the stage and won over Daniel Hemric
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Justin Haley finished fifth after he spun from a flat right-rear tire as he tried to enter the pits on Lap 82. Haley’s tire was cut from contact with Anthony Alfredo ... Alfredo finished sixth in his first career Xfinity start ... Ryan Sieg earned his second straight top five. He has finished in the top 10 in all three races this year.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brett Moffitt triggered a wreck that collected Michael Annett and Brandon Brown on a restart. Annett finished 17th and Brown finished 33rd ... On a restart with 54 laps to go, Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain wrecked on the backstretch. Gragson had to check up as he bore down on Alfredo. That resulted in Gragson hitting Chastain and triggering the wreck. Gragson placed 26th and Chastain finished eighth ... After leading 16 laps, Chase Briscoe finished 19th after he spun with 25 laps to go.
NOTABLE: Harrison Burton’s win came on Leap Day (Feb. 29). His uncle, Ward Burton, earned his first Xfinity win on Leap Day in 1992 at Rockingham ... 20 Years, 2 Months, 12 Days is average age of the top-two finishers, third youngest top-two ever in the Xfinity.
WHAT’S NEXT: LS Tractor 200 at Phoenix Raceway at 4 p.m. ET March 7 on FS1