Everyone loves seeing a new face in victory lane, and that’s what people got Saturday afternoon.
Kyle Larson fought Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick to win the TreatMyClot.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway, securing his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win. With about 15 laps to go, the three grouped up, and fantastic racing ensued.
It was so beautiful, tears welled up in my eyes. Dive-bombing into every turn, Busch and Harvick tried everything they could to stop their fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver from winning. Busch even smacked the wall in the closing laps, letting the heat of the moment take over. At no point was it certain that Larson would win, but he pulled it out in thrilling fashion.
The final fourth of the race, however, didn’t overshadow the fact that the other three-fourths were quite dry. However, that is customary at Fontana, and it was expected. That battle at the end was a cool pitcher of water.
Point Standings after the TreatMyClot.Com 300
1. Regan Smith (–)
1. Trevor Bayne (–)
3. Ty Dillon (-6)
4. Chase Elliott (-8)
5. Elliott Sadler (-11)
6. Brendan Gaughan (-25)
6. Brian Scott (-25)
8. Dylan Kwasniewski (-36)
9. James Buescher (-40)
10. Mike Bliss (-60)
11. Chris Buescher (-63)
12. Ryan Reed (-68)
FAN REACTION: Many fans thought the finish was amazing, and they are also happy Larson won. This is coming from the group that loathes the dominance of a NSCS driver in the NNS series. Yes, fans dislike it when Busch wins. You can call them hypocrites if you would like. Despite that, they’re all wrong.
Let me explain: Those who follow NASCAR aren’t upset with Busch, they’re upset with the fashion in which he wins. Taking the checkered flag with no competition at all? Snoozer. People feel the same about Jimmie Johnson on the Cup side. Fans feel that it’s unfair.
There are two side to this opinion. Yes, it’s unfair that the same Cup driver wins every Cup OR Nationwide race. It’s due to running for Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske, organizations that dip into both the top- and second-tier series. Former champ Brad Keselowski has suggested a rule to prohibit Cup drivers to run with a Cup-affiliated program. Many agree that this would be a great idea.
The second side? Life isn’t fair, and neither is racing. Someone will always be better, and someone will always be at a disadvantage. If fans are unhappy, it’s nothing new; they’re unhappy with a lot of things. Normally, NASCAR would bend over backwards to please them. Because it didn’t happen this time, they’re throwing a fit.
I use to defend the fan base and wanted the sport to listen to them more, but I can’t do that anymore. They fail to see the things NASCAR has already done to please them. If they can’t appreciate what they’ve been given, then they don’t deserve to have their begging hands refilled.
I love racing fans to death, but they don’t make sense a majority of the time. Hopefully something can change.
This is Larson’s first NNS win, and it is one he should enjoy; he drove the wheels off the car, and that is worth something.