Cole Custer surged to victory, holding off a charging Kyle Busch, to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday in the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.
This marks Custer’s third career win in the Xfinity Series.
RELATED: Unofficial race results
Outside pole sitter Busch, who was on the verge of making history with his 200th win, took Stage 1 and Stage 2 and led a race-high 98 laps in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. But a bad late-race pit stop and an uncontrolled tire penalty caused him to restart 13th with 35 laps to go. Custer made a quick jump out front and was able to hold off Busch for the remainder of the race.
Busch’s teammate Christopher Bell in the No. 20 Toyota finished third followed by pole sitter Tyler Reddick in the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and Chase Briscoe in the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, in association with Biagi-DenBeste Racing, rounding out the top five.
Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones, Ryan Preece, Justin Allgaier and Justin Haley all finished in the top 10.
It was a relatively calm race until the final stage. It started when John Hunter Nemechek got turned into the grass when he cut down across Ryan Sieg in the No. 39 Chevrolet. Nemechek caught the end of the pit road wall at full speed and ricocheted up the track. He was evaluated and released from the infield care center.
Reddick, who was running in the top three for the entire race, had a late-race run-in with the fence in Turn 4 but was able to rally back to the front after an unscheduled pit stop. Shortly after, Austin Cindric in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford took a spin, which brought out the fourth caution on Lap 111. Another caution flag was thrown with 26 laps to go when Ryan Preece and Brandon Jones went for a spin.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series has a weekend break before heading to Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 30 for the My Bariatric Solutions 300 (1 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).