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Kyle Larson wins wild Sonoma race | NASCAR


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Sunday’s race featured eight caution periods, one shy of the track record.

SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson ran down the leaders using fresher tires after a late pit stop to win the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday.

Larson led 19 of the race’s 110 laps, including the final eight laps after passing Martin Truex Jr. for the top spot. Truex had just taken the lead from Chris Buescher before Larson made the move.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver was on a different strategy than Truex, Buescher, and other leaders. He hit pit road from the lead on lap 80 and fought his way to the front. 

“I didn’t know what we doing as far as strategy,” Larson said after the win. “I was just out there banging laps away. Just an awesome race car.”

Truex stayed near Larson’s bumper in the closing laps but ran out of fuel on the final lap, settling for 27th. Michael McDowell finished second.

The race featured eight caution periods, all of which happened in the first two stages. The caution record at Sonoma is nine, set in 1990.

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Joey Logano started on the pole and led before pitting under caution early to bank on strategy. 

An old NASCAR axiom proved true on Sunday: Cautions breed cautions. Over half of the race’s first 50 laps ran under yellow for many crashes and mechanical mishaps.

Denny Hamlin, who came into Sunday with the points lead, was the first victim of Sonoma’s calamity when he blew an engine on lap four. 

After a relatively lengthy eight-lap green flag run, Ty Gibbs smashed the turn 11 wall and badly damaged the right front part of his car, ending his day. 

Within a lap of the next restart, Chase Briscoe suffered major damage after contact with Austin Cindric. Logano was caught in the wreck when he was spun out and hit by Harrison Burton.

The largest crash happened on the next restart after Josh Berry piled through the field in the hairpin turn after contact with Erik Jones. Berry smashed into Christopher Bell and Martin Truex Jr. while also collecting Austin Dillon, William Byron, and others.

Cindric, Noah Gragson, and Will Brown all suffered issues that brought out other cautions.

The abundance of cautions split strategies across the race. Most of the lead drivers like Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott opted to stay out as long as they could to maintain track position while Buescher and Truex were able to pit early and get an advantage later in the race.

Buescher was in position to win in the waning laps but Truex kept the pressure on. After a late pit stop under green, Larson used his new tires to run down the leaders and fight for the win.

By the time Truex finally caught Buescher, Larson gained all his time back and passed both of them for the lead with eight laps to go. Larson held on for his third win of 2024. 

McDowell, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, and Ross Chastain rounded out the top five. 

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The NASCAR Cup Series is next in action on June 16 for the first Cup Series race at Iowa Raceway. 


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Kyle Larson wins wild Sonoma race | NASCAR

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