Toyota Supra Dominant at Auto Club Speedway
Harrison Burton, age 19, scored his first NASCAR Xfinity Series at the Auto Club Speedway in California, giving his strong rookie season a big boost.
Burton was the leading man in a 1-2 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing and the Toyota Supra racing car, though at first it seemed as though it would be the other car who would win the race.
Burton had started on the front row beside teammate Brandon Jones, who had qualified on pole for the first time this season. Jones then led the first 73 of 150 laps, winning the first two stages, but it was Burton who led after that. On the final lap, he held off his other JGR teammate, Riley Herbst, to secure his first win.
“So proud of our guys,” said Burton. “All we’ve heard is we can’t do it, we can’t do it, we’ll never do what last year’s 20 did. We’re off to a good start. It’s awesome, it feels so good to win.”
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“The DEX Imaging Supra was fast and once we moved up to the top at the end, it was going to be really hard for him to pass us,” he added. “Just trying to be smart and not put it in the wall leading.”
Burton’s rookie season hasn’t been exclusively full of wins, but it’s not been far from it. Having started with three top-five finishes, he has now taken the points lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and given Toyota its 499th NASCAR national series victory.
Kyle Busch, in the main NASCAR series, came ever so close to giving the automaker its 500th win — finishing, like Herbst, in second place. But for Herbst, that result won’t have been quite as disappointing, as it marked a career-best second.
“This Monster Energy Supra was really fast and I’m really proud of Harrison (Burton),” said Herbst. “We’ve worked really hard this off-season. We’ve read everything and heard everything – that we’re not ready for this, that we can’t do this in this series. Keep on talking because we’re coming for more wins this year for sure.”
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Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.