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Racing Notebook – Saturday, March 1 – Harrison Burton Gets 1st Xfinity Series Win; Clint Bowyer Wins Cup Series Pole

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Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Saturday’s Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook takes a look at Harrison Burton’s first Xfinity Series win plus Stewart Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer wins the pole position for Sunday’s Auto Club 400.

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Harrison Burton Gets First NASCAR Xfinity Series Win:

  • Harrison Burton held off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Riley Herbst to win Saturday’s Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  The win was Burton’s first career victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.  Team Penske’s Austin Cindric finished third followed by Ryan Seig.  Justin Haley rounded out the Top 5.  The race featured 13-lead changes among 8-drivers and was slowed by 8-caution flags for 36-laps.  The Xfinity Series next race is at Phoenix Raceway on March 7. Xfinity Auto Club Results.

Clint Bowyer Wins Auto Club 400 Pole Position:

  • Stewart Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer is on the pole position for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  Bowyer’s fast lap of 179.614 mph (40.086-seconds) in the No. 14 Ford Mustang was 0.007-seconds quicker than Hendrick Motorsport’s Jimmie Johnson, who will line up second in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro with a fast lap of 179.582 mph.  The pole position was Bowyer’s first of 2020 and his second top ten start of the year.  Johnson’s HMS teammate Alex Bowman will start third in the No. 88 Chevrolet with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch on the outside of the second row in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet.  Busch’s CGR teammate Kyle Larson will start 9th.  The race is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.    Auto Club Cup Qualifying.
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NASCAR

Martin Truex Jr Victorious At Martinsville Speedway

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James Gilbert/Getty Images

MARTINSVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Martin Truex Jr passed teammate Denny Hamlin on lap 485 and went on the win the rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.  The victory was Truex’s second of 2021 and 29th of his Cup Series Career.

“He (Hamlin) started getting tight, our car was getting better and better,” said Truex of the late race pass. “We were able to take advantage of it. Really happy. For whatever reason our car really turned on when the lights went down. Always good when a plan comes together and it works out the way you hoped it would.”

Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott finished second, his seventh top-10 finish in 13-races at Martinsville and fourth top-10 of 2021.

“Really, really hard-fought second actually for us,” said Elliott. “We were not great, but had some, I guess our strong suit was kind of early on in the run, then really faded hard, too hard there in the latter part of a run. But we never got one of those super long runs, which is probably a good thing for us because we were struggling on that end. But, yeah, proud we could fight back.”

Hamlin settled for third after leading the most laps in the race (267).

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“Had a really good car on the short run all day,” said Hamlin. “Got great restarts. Was fast for 25, 30 laps. Then it seemed like guys would start catching us. Unfortunately it was just too many laps there at the end that we couldn’t hold those guys off.”

Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson finished fourth and fifth respectively, giving HMS three cars in the top 5.

The race featured 18-lead changes among 7-drivers and was slowed by 15-caution flags for 105-laps.

The next NASCAR Cup Series race is April 18, 2020 at Richmond Raceway.

Martinsville Cup Results

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NASCAR

Josh Berry Gets First Career Xfinity Series Win At Martinsville Speedway

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James Gilbert/Getty Images

MARTINSVILLE, VA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Josh Berry passed Ty Gibbs for the lead on lap 223 and stayed out front for the final 27-laps to get his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in the rain-delayed Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway.  The victory was the first career victory for Berry in 13 Xfinity Series starts.

“Man, I wanted to win so bad for these guys,” said Berry referring to his No. 8 JR Motorsports team. “They’re such a great group. I knew this would be a good opportunity to win. (Crew chief) Taylor (Moyer) called a perfect race. The car was good, and we just kept tweaking on it. The tires were pretty worn out there at the end. I was struggling a little bit with wheel-hop. This is just unbelievable.”

Berry’s JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson finished second and picked up a $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus, which eased the pain of being the runner-up.

“One hundred thousand dollars richer,” said Gragson. “Great 1-2 finish for our team at JR Motorsports. I really wanted to win there, but I was having to protect the bottom to keep the guys behind me from moving me out of the way. I couldn’t open up my arc the way I needed to and make speed.”

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Daniel Hemric finished in third position followed by Gibbs, who faded to a fourth place finish.  Gibbs’ teammate Brandon Jones finished fifth. Jones was the leader Friday night when storms red-flagged the event after completing 91-laps.

The race featured 13-lead changes among 9-drivers.  The race was slowed by 12-caution flags for 75-laps.

The next race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is April 24, 2021 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Martinsville Xfinity Results

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NASCAR

Mother Nature Wins At Martinsville Speedway

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Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images

MARTINSVILLE, VA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Mother Nature is throwing a wrench into this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series Schedules at Martinsville Virginia.

Friday’s Xfinity race is under a red flag following 92-laps of the scheduled 250-lap event after rain showers put an end to NASCAR’s attempt to get the event finished.  Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones is scored as the leader of the race.

NASCAR has rescheduled the remainder of the event for Sunday at Noon ET.

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The Cup Series race was red flagged on lap 43 because of showers.  JGR’s Denny Hamlin is scored as the leader.  Hamlin has led 38-laps.  Team Penske’s Joey Logano started on the pole position and led the other laps.

NASCAR will restart the event on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.

Per NASCAR rules, an event is considered official after half of the scheduled distance has been completed.

Both races will be broadcast live on FS1, the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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