FONTANA, Calif. — Martin Truex Jr. saw nothing but clean air and green flags down the stretch in his first Cup Series victory of the season.

Truex didn’t get much of a look at Kevin Harvick, whose bid for four straight wins was ruined by an early crash.

So even while Truex’s Furniture Row Racing Toyota team celebrated, it was a wee bit disappointed not to get a duel with the early-season king.

“I think we would have had something for him today,” team owner Barney Visser said.

Truex, last year’s series champion, roared to victory on Sunday, beating Kyle Larson by 11 seconds.

Truex won both stages before rolling to the checkered flag for his 16th career victory and his first since that glorious championship day at Homestead last November. His first victory at Fontana even moved Truex into the overall points lead, thanks to Harvick’s woes.

Harvick dragged his damaged car to a 35th-place finish after early contact with Larson ruined his day. But after dominating at Auto Club Speedway, Truex’s team was no longer certain Harvick has the fastest ride in the field.

“It just feels good to win,” said Truex, who became the third driver to win from the pole at Fontana. “I don’t really worry about who else is fast. Obviously (Harvick) has been quick. They’ve got a great team, and Kevin is an awesome driver. But as we’ve seen today, we can put together a run as well.”

Truex took the lead for good with 32 laps left, getting past Kyle Busch, who finished third. Brad Keselowski was fourth.

“People kept asking, ‘When are you going to win again?”‘ said Truex, who led 125 laps overall. “‘When are you going to win any stages?’ Well, here you go.”

When Truex got a series of postrace questions about Harvick, the defending champ suggested that Furniture Row proved early on that it can hang with Stewart-Haas Racing.

“That first pit stop was under green, and he came in pretty close (to me),” Truex said. “We left pit road, and I drove away from him. That was the only gauge I really had of that. … I’m sure we’ll have plenty of chances to race each other throughout the rest of the season.”

Harvick’s bid to become the 14th driver ever to win four straight races ended when he hit the wall after side-to-side contact with Larson on the 37th lap. Harvick’s flapping bumper was the most obvious problem, but he made a nice save down the track to avoid an interior wall.

Harvick took the blame for the mistake.

“I went down to side-draft and (Larson) was coming up and we touched, and it just knocked the thing to the right and spun out,” Harvick said. “I don’t know that it’s his fault. I think that’s my fault for coming down the racetrack right there and trying to side-draft, and then as we touch, it just came back up the racetrack. I was just trying to get a little too much right there.”

Harvick’s car was repaired, and he managed to earn two standings points. Harvick had won in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix before arriving in his home state for an attempt to become the second driver in this century to win four straight.

Truex won both stages and a race for the third time in his career. He also accomplished the feat at Las Vegas and Chicagoland during his championship 2017 season.

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