In a dramatic turn of events, regular season champion Johnny Avila punched his ticket into the championship race by winning at Auto Club Speedway.
Avila took advantage of late-race contact between Hunter Waters and Steve Yenisch, who were locked into a back-and-forth battle for the lead in the closing laps. On the last lap, Yenisch attempted a slide job, but made contact with Waters, sending him up the track and opening the door for Avila to seize the lead. Yenisch and Waters recovered to finish second and third, respectively. Joshua Sarif and Adam Matz rounded out the Top 5.
Eliminated from the playoffs are William Kempf (did not start), Josh Connors, Todd Cray and Jesse Bunnell. Cray and Bunnell were caught in mid-race accidents, which took them out of contention. Connors put together a strong 10th place showing, however it wasn’t enough to beat out the other four drivers who advanced.