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NASCAR: Alex Bowman edges Busch brothers for win at Fontana

Alex Bowman now sits in third place in NASCAR's Cup Series standings after winning the Auto Club 400 on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI
Alex Bowman now sits in third place in NASCAR's Cup Series standings after winning the Auto Club 400 on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Photo by Edwin Locke/UPI | License Photo

March 2 (UPI) -- Alex Bowman claimed his second career Cup Series win by holding off the Busch brothers and the rest of the NASCAR field at the 2020 Auto Club 400 in Fontana, Calif.

Bowman, 26, led 110 laps before crossing the finish line first Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. Kyle Busch finished in second place and Kurt Busch finished third. Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Aric Albirola, Kevin Harvick and Erik Jones rounded out the top 10.

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"We have started this year so strong," Bowman told Fox Sports. "I feel like I'm doing a lot better on my side."

Joey Logano, last week's Pennzoil 400 winner, finished 12th. Ryan Blaney finished 19th, but leads the Cup Series standings after finishing second in the Daytona 500 and 11th in the Pennzoil 400. The win moved Bowman up to third in the Cup Series standings.

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Bowman slid his No. 88 Chevrolet around the track at Auto Club Speedway, filling the air with smoke and burning his rubber tires to celebrate the victory. The track is about 20 minutes from where he grew up racing in Pomona Valley, Calif.

His Camaro bolted into the lead on the 133rd lap of the race. Bowman briefly surrendered the top spot before snatching in back for the final time on lap 167. He beat Kyle Busch to the finish line by nearly nine seconds.

"We've unloaded [worked a lot on the car] the last two weeks -- I don't think we've had to make a change in the race car from how it came off the truck," Bowman said. "That makes my job a heck of a lot easier. I'm just so proud of this team. We put a lot of effort into this new car, and it's obviously worked out really well."

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Blaney led 54 laps of the 200 laps in the 400-mile race. Johnson and Clint Boyer each led for 10 laps. Ross Chastain raced in Ryan Newman's car and finished 17th. Newman missed his second consecutive race after wrecking his No. 6 Ford on the final lap of the Daytona 500. He is recovering from a head injury.

The Cup Series continues with the FanShield 500 at 3:30 p.m. EST Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. Logano now sits behind Blaney for second place in the Cup Series standings. Bowman, Johnson, Chase Elliott, Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Larson and Almirola round out the top 10 of the standings.

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