For the first time in 462 days, NASCAR has finally returned to the state of California. California NASCAR fans may have lost the Auto Club 400 this year but they were still able to see a great race at Sonoma Raceway. Long fuel runs and lots of strategy played a role at Sonoma and led to Kyle Larson dominating.
Kyle Larson Wins Stage 1
Stage 1 flew by with the only caution being the competition caution. Kyle Larson dominated this stage as he finished 1st winning his fifth straight stage. Chase Elliott finished right behind him in 2nd. Finishing in 3rd was the 18 of Kyle Busch. The 4th place finisher was teammate Denny Hamlin. Rounding out the top 5 would be Alex Bowman.
Kyle Larson Wins 6th Straight Stage
Trouble struck with 9 laps remaining as Ricky Stenhouse Jr smacked the wall and put him in the dirt of turn 1. This ended his day as he finished in the 37th position. Trouble struck with 2 laps remaining in stage 2 when Bubba Wallace’s tire went down. He was able to continue and no caution was thrown. At the end of stage 2 Kyle Larson continues his domination in NASCAR as he won his 6th straight stage in the last 2 weeks.
3 Stages would not be enough
The trouble with 19 laps remaining when Quin Houff’s engine blew. This ended a long green-flag run and has changed strategy entirely. More trouble in turn 11 when Ross Chastain drove too hard into the corner causing a chain reaction. Chastain got into Corey Lajoie and caused Kevin Harvick to slam into Chastain. All would continue after this wreck. More trouble with 5 laps to go as Ryan Preece spun out and when he came back on track Cody Ware slammed into him. This created a very exciting finish to come. 3 laps remaining Anthony Alfredo and Christopher Bell spun out and caused another caution. This led to Overtime.
Kyle Larson Completes Sweep in OT
In the final laps of OT Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott battled it out to the finish. Larson was able to drive away and earn a sweep for the second straight week. Chase Elliott finished right behind him in 2nd. Finishing in 3rd was the 2019 Sonoma winner Martin Truex Jr. The fourth-place finisher was Joey Logano. Rounding out the top 5 was Kyle Busch.
Kyle Larson has once again shown that he is a true threat for a title. It has now led to the new debate of who is the road course king Chase Elliott or Kyle Larson? Regardless of who it is, Rick Hendrick is loving this. Hendrick Motorsports has dominated the last several weeks as HMS has finished 1-2 four straight races. Next up for the NASCAR Cup Series will be All-Star weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Events kick off at 6 pm with the All-Star Open at 6 pm Eastern Time and conclude with the All-Star race at 8 pm.