Jimmie Johnson came into this race as the man at the Auto Club raceway in Fontana. He’d won more races and led more laps there than any other driver and it appeared that he was well on his way to his sixth career win today… until the final lap.
On the final turn of the final lap, Harvick put his bumper right up on Johnson and soon as the five time defending champ went low into the turn, Harvick stayed high and drove right by him for his first career win at Fontana. Harvick had not led a single lap all day until he took lead on lap 400 for the win. Harvick has now won three of his last five races on last lap passes.
Kyle Busch, who had the best car of the day and had led the most laps, finished 3rd about a half second behind the top two. After the race he said they “gave it away.”
“We gave the race away today unfortunately. We seemed to be losing the handle a little bit there at the end especially that last set of tires. We just didn’t have what it took to keep the front end under the car and the back end under the car in the exits of the corners. I just couldn’t get the right speed that I needed.”
Matt Kenseth, a three time winner at Fontana came in 4th and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five.
Carl Edwards continued his strong start to the season finishing 6th and taking over the Sprint Cup Series points lead from Kurt Busch. Ryan Newman took over second with Kurt & Kyle Busch in third and fourth respectively. The five time defending champ, Jimmie Johnson sits in fifth. Harvick’s win vaulted him into the top 10.
Harvick is the fifth different winner in five races so far in the Sprint Cup series. It was the first win for Richard Childress racing at the Southern California track.