NASCAR Cup in Sonoma: New triumph for Kyle Larson, this time on the road circuit (+ video)
Sunday June 6, 2021 by Julie Bouchard
For a second race in a row, Kyle Larson completely dominated a NASCAR Cup Series event! After the Charlotte 600 on the oval last Sunday, it was on the road circuit of Sonoma Raceway in California that the driver of the Chevrolet No.5 from Hendrick Motorsports won.
This is Larson’s third win this season, his second in a row and, like the previous one in Charlotte, it came with the added victory in the first two segments. Kyle Larson started from pole position for this 16th round of 2021, which he won by crossing the finish line 614 thousandths of a second ahead of his teammate Chase Elliott. Note, however, that Larson had more than 5 seconds in advance when the last neutralization intervened, forcing the officials to declare an extension of two laps.
The event was finally concluded after 3 hours 14 minutes and 13 leader changes occurred. With this new Larson-Elliott double, it is the fourth consecutive double for the Hendrick Motorsports team, tying an old NASCAR series record set by Carl Kiekhafer Racing in… 1956!
Martin Truex Jr (Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing) finished third. He is, with now Larson, the only other driver to total three victories this season. Joey Logano (Ford / Team Penske) and Kyle Busch (Toyota / Joe Gibbs racing) completed the Top 5, ahead of Kurt Busch, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman and Ryan Blaney. For the full ranking, click here.
If on the whole the race was rather monotonous, the numerous yellow flag sequences also broke the pace for the finish. So after what was believed to be the ulktime neutralization with 4 laps to go, caused by a collision between Ryan Preece and Cody Ware, another neutralization happened on the turn following the raise, this time after Alex Bowman was mounted on the back of Anthony Alfredo’s car, which was later hitting that of Christopher Bell. This led to the eighth neutralization of a race contested over 92 laps.
Despite these slowdowns, Kyle Larson never looked like he could lose this race, he who led 57 of 92 laps. With this victory, he gets a little closer to Denny Hamlin, still leader in the championship.
The next NASCAR Cup Series drivers meeting will take place next weekend. But instead of this being the 17th race of the 2021 season, it will be the All Star, a non-championship event presented this year at Texas Motor Speedway (starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 12). The next championship race will be held at the Nashville-Lebanon, Tennessee, Oval on June 20.
For the best moments from this Sunday’s Sonoma race, check out the video below.