Kyle Larson Had the Car and the Strategy to Win NASCAR Race at Sonoma [VIDEO]

Sunday (6/9) NASCAR was in California wine country for the Toyota / Save Mart 350. The repaved Sonoma Raceway provided fans with something a little different to see in the race.

NASCAR Cup Series races at Sonoma had become strategy and fuel milage races. After the new racing surface was put down, the racing got faster and a bit more treacherous.

During qualifying, 26 cars were able to break the old track record. That should tell you how much more speed the teams were able to get on the newly repaved Sonoma Raceway.

There are typically just a few caution periods for incidents on the track during a NASCAR race at Sonoma Raceway. Yesterday there were a total of eight. All eight came in the first two stages of the race and included the stage end cautions.

Nine drivers exchanged the lead 11 times during the race. Tyler Reddick won stage one and had the most laps lead in the race at 35. Chris Buescher won stage two and led the second most laps in the race at 32.

It did seem that it was a new kind of racing at Sonoma with drivers racing hard every lap. However, the race still came down to a strategy call that was a bit of a gamble.

When green-flag pit stops began during stage three, Kyle Larson remained on the track for 13 laps longer that the rest of the field. That meat as laps were winding down his tires had better grip remaining to run down the leaders. The strategy worked as Kyle passed Martin Truex Jr. for the lead with nine laps to go.

Kyle was able to hold the lead for the finals laps to score his 2nd Cup Series win at Sonoma Raceway. The win gives him three for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season and 26 career wins in NASCAR’s top division. Michael McDowell claimed a second-place finish with Chris Buescher taking home third. Martin Truex Jr. ran out of fuel coming to the finish line. He was able to eventually cross the finish line to finish 27th. See the complete Toyota / Save Mart 350 race results here.

Following the race at Sonoma, Kyle Larson moves up a spot to take the lead in the point standings. Chase Elliott also moves up a spot to second-place. Denny Hamlin’s engine gave out on lap two of the race at Sonoma. That misfortune caused him to drop two spots in the standings to third. See the complete NASCAR Cup Series Point Standings here.

Next up for the NASCAR Cup Series is the Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol at Iowa Speedway Sunday, June 16th.

By: Buck Stevens

Buck Stevens