Racing prodigy Kyle Larson, 21, won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana after a thrilling battle with Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.
It was the first win for Larson, an Elk Grove, Calif., native, in NASCAR’s second-level Nationwide Series. He’s also a rookie in the sport’s premier Sprint Cup Series.
“It was a blast,” Larson said after he drove his No. 42 Chevrolet prepared by the Turner Scott Motorsports team into Victory Lane. “It means the world to get [the win] here in my home state.”
Harvick finished second, Busch was third and Joey Logano finished fourth.
Larson took the lead on a restart with 16 laps left in the 150-lap race, then dueled with Harvick and Busch.
As the laps wound down and the crowd in the grandstands stood with excitement, Harvick and Busch took turns moving alongside Larson on the two-mile Fontana oval, but they couldn’t clear him to take away the lead.
“Those last 11,12 laps of that race were the longest laps of my life,” Larson said.
Busch, who at one point scraped the outside wall trying to catch Larson, called it a “really cool battle” and that Larson “deserves it, he’s worked hard.”