One of the big changes NASCAR has brought in recent years has been a more diverse lineup of tracks and races. But for Sonoma, it’s the same old same old.
NASCAR has been racing at Sonoma Raceway since 1989, and it is now one of the seven road course races in the Cup Series. It’s a nice change of pace, and Kyle Larson must agree after taking victory in California on Sunday.
The 90-lap race features three stages. The first two are both 20 laps in total, while the final features 50. While Larson reached the final line first on June 6, it is almost unsurprising that he was dominating before that.
The driver is already coming off a huge win at the Coca-Cola 600 last weekend that made history alongside throttling Larson up in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. He has three victories in the Cup Series this year. But even when he’s not winning full races, no one in the sport has won more stages than Larson.
The 28-year-old notched two more stages on Sunday, winning Stage 1 and 2 to give him 11 on the season. Denny Hamlin may have still had more points than anyone coming into Sunday, but Larson’s always in the mix and typically leading.
However, the likes of William Byron, Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch were all close behind. That’s the beauty of road courses. They always set up for close, intense racing.
As mentioned the final stage was the longest and it set up for a ton of drama. Larson initially fell out of the lead spot, but roared back after around the halfway point in the stage.
But the story of the day was the wrecks and caution flags. At least three flags went up in the final 10 laps, and it eventually led to overtime. However, it didn’t end up mattering as he continued his dominant display and took the checkered flag.
Notable Finishes from NASCAR Toyota Save Mart 350
Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. finished second and third respectively on Sunday. Joey Logano hung around the top spot all day, but locked up a fourth-place finish.
Like clockwork, Denny Hamlin added another Top 10 finish. The NASCAR Cup Series leader never got a chance at the top spot, but was able to still get to the 8th spot. Hamlin has yet to win a race this year.
However, the man driving a car he owns, Bubba Wallace, had an average day at best. The 23XI Racing driver finished in 15th after a slow start pushed him back, but multiple caution flags allowed him to get out of the caboose to for a mid-range finish.
Kyle Busch was very much in the mix and even led at points, but the veteran driver wrapped up his day with a fifth-place finish.