Larson Sweeps Sonoma

Larson Sweeps Sonoma

While Sonoma, California may be known for its peaceful vineyards, sweeping countryside, and beautiful coastline, the county also has a wild side that’s filled with aggressive side-by-side racing and bad crashes. So, it comes as no surprise that fans were excited to see Sonoma back on the schedule for the 2021 season, as it was missed in 2020 due to the pandemic. While Kyle Larson dominated the majority of the race Sunday, the on-track battles and strategy proved why Sonoma is always a treat.

LAP 1: Last week’s winner, Kyle Larson, started in pole position for the second consecutive week, while his teammate Chase Elliott, started beside him on the front row. Larson pulled away to a 6-second lead once the green flag flew.

CAUTION – LAP 10: The yellow flag waved for the competition caution so teams could check tire wear and make adjustments. Larson and Elliott remained in P1 and P2 for the restart.

STAGE 1 END – LAP 20: Unsurprisingly, Kyle Larson won the stage with a 3.8-second lead over second-place, Chase Elliott. Behind them, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, and Austin Dillon rounded out the top 5. Larson won the race off pit road, but Kurt Busch in the #1 Chevrolet stayed out during the stage break and claimed the lead. Thirteen other drivers stayed out which put  Larson in P15 for the restart however, he was able to quickly drive through the field to take the lead.

CAUTION – LAP 31: The right-front tire on the #47 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr went flat and caused him to make heavy contact with the wall in Turn 1. The entire right side of the #47 was damaged and Stenhouse was out of the race.

STAGE 2 END – LAP 40: Once again, Larson won the stage and picked up the playoff point. This time, he crossed the line with a 6-second lead over the second place of Joey Logano. Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, and Chase Elliott made up the top 5 at the end of the segment. Elliott stayed out during the break and ran away with the lead following the restart.

LAP 63: After surrendering the lead to Larson, and then 2nd place to Martin Truex Jr, Elliott’s #9 team decided to pit for fresh tires before losing any more track position or time. Truex and Larson pitted in the following laps, and when the field cycled through, Larson retook the top spot.

CAUTION – LAP 71: The yellow flag came out for the #00 of Quin Houff, whose engine expired – leaving a trail of smoke and oil on the track.

CAUTION – LAP 76: A multi-car wreck in Turn 11 caused another caution to come out. Lajoie turned himself across the nose of Ross Chastain’s #42. They collected Kevin Harvick, William Byron, and Alex Bowman. No one pitted, which put Larson back in the lead.

CAUTION – LAP 85: With 5 laps remaining, the caution came out for the #37 of Ryan Preece and #51 of Cody Ware. The two made contact twice in Turn 8, which kicked up a lot of dirt and debris. All drivers stayed out, leaving Larson and Elliott to make up the front row once more.

CAUTION – LAP 87: On the restart, the field stacked up in Turn 7, causing several cars to bump and bang into one another as Erik Jones and Anthony Alfredo spun. This caution triggered an overtime finish.

CHECKERED FLAG – LAP 92: Despite his best efforts, Chase Elliott wasn’t able to catch his teammate in time, allowing Larson to grab his second win in a row. Hendrick Motorsports have notched 1-2 finishes in the last 4 races.

RESULTS:

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Chase Elliott
  3. Martin Truex Jr
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Ross Chastain
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Alex Bowman
  10. Ryan Blaney
  11. Erik Jones
  12. Daniel Suarez
  13. Austin Dillon
  14. Bubba Wallace
  15. Brad Keselowski
  16. Chris Buescher
  17. Chase Briscoe
  18. Corey Lajoie
  19. Tyler Reddick
  20. Cole Custer
  21. Ryan Preece
  22. Kevin Harvick
  23. Matt DiBenedetto
  24. Christopher Bell
  25. James Davison
  26. Scott Heckert
  27. Aric Almirola
  28. Michael McDowell
  29. Josh Bilicki
  30. Ben Rhodes
  31. Anthony Alfredo
  32. Garrett Smithley
  33. Ryan Newman
  34. Cody Ware
  35. William Byron
  36. Quin Houff
  37. Ricky Stenhouse Jr
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