A song by R&B group Toni! Tony! Tone! once stated “It never rains in Southern California”.
The same couldn’t be said for this weekend’s activities at Auto Club Speedway. Due to the weather, the lineup for the Production Auto Group 300 was set by NASCAR metrics. Austin Hill sat on the pole with John Hunter Nemechek on the front row with him. Last year’s race winner Cole Custer started in 8th.
For a good chunk of the race, it seemed as if Custer would run away with the 150 lap event. However, on lap 91 Custer would cut down a right front tire that would send him into the wall and collect the Kaulig Racing 10 car of Austin Dillon in its aftermath. Dillon was making his first appearance of 2023 in the Xfinity Series, a ride that will be shared by several drivers this season. Dillon would rally to finish 8th, but Custer would limp home 27th after leading 46 laps.
The final restart of the night would come on lap 139 and it would see John Hunter Nemechek bring home the checkered flag, having lead a race high 49 laps. It’s Nemechek’s first victory in the Xfinity Series since Texas in 2021, and his third victory overall in the series. Coming home second was Sam Mayer, who continues a strong start to his season. Justin Allgaier, Chandler Smith and Josh Berry would round out the top 5.
Next up for the Xfinity Series will be the Alsco Uniforms 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where Ty Gibbs took home the win in last year’s race.
Photo Credit: FONTANA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 26: John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #20 Vons/Albertsons Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway on February 26, 2023 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)