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Toyota / Save Mart 350 Race Results

Sonoma Raceway

June 9th, 2024

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RESULTS

START POS

FINAL STATUS

LAPS COMPLETED

LAPS LED

POINTS

PLAYOFF POINTS

1

Kyle Larson

5 |

5

Running

110

19

48

5

2

Michael McDowell

34 |

12

Running

110

0

40

0

3

Chris Buescher

17 |

26

Running

110

32

44

1

4

Chase Elliott

9 |

4

Running

110

3

40

0

5

Ross Chastain

1 |

9

Running

110

0

36

0

6

AJ Allmendinger

16 |

11

Running

110

3

0

0

7

Ryan Blaney

12 |

3

Running

110

1

39

0

8

Tyler Reddick

45 |

2

Running

110

35

39

1

9

Christopher Bell

20 |

15

Running

110

0

28

0

10

Todd Gilliland

38 |

14

Running

110

0

31

0

11

Corey LaJoie

7 |

17

Running

110

0

28

0

12

Kyle Busch

8 |

29

Running

110

0

32

0

13

Brad Keselowski

6 |

35

Running

110

0

29

0

14

Daniel Suárez

99 |

7

Running

110

0

26

0

15

Alex Bowman

48 |

8

Running

110

0

28

0

16

Zane Smith

71 |

20

Running

110

0

21

0

17

Carson Hocevar

77 |

13

Running

110

0

20

0

18

Ryan Preece

41 |

30

Running

110

0

28

0

19

Erik Jones

43 |

38

Running

110

0

22

0

20

Bubba Wallace

23 |

18

Running

110

0

17

0

21

Joey Logano

22 |

1

Running

110

16

18

0

22

Austin Cindric

2 |

28

Running

110

0

15

0

23

Kaz Grala

15 |

36

Running

110

0

14

0

24

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

47 |

33

Running

110

0

13

0

25

Harrison Burton

21 |

22

Running

110

0

13

0

26

Noah Gragson

10 |

19

Running

110

0

11

0

27

Martin Truex Jr

19 |

21

Running

110

1

18

0

28

Daniel Hemric

31 |

34

Running

109

0

9

0

29

John H. Nemechek

42 |

37

Running

109

0

8

0

30

William Byron

24 |

6

Running

108

0

7

0

31

Will Brown

33 |

24

Running

107

0

6

0

32

Josh Berry

4 |

32

Suspension

95

0

5

0

33

Justin Haley

51 |

27

Steering

88

0

4

0

34

Chase Briscoe

14 |

23

Transmission

73

0

3

0

35

Cam Waters

60 |

31

Accident

66

0

2

0

36

Austin Dillon

3 |

16

DVP

39

0

1

0

37

Ty Gibbs

54 |

10

DVP

16

0

1

0

38

Denny Hamlin

11 |

25

Engine

2

0

1

0

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  • POS 1 | LEADER

    Kyle Larson

    POS1

    LEADER

    Kyle Larson

    Driver badge number 5 |

  • POS 2 | 4.258

    Michael McDowell

    POS2

    4.258

    Michael McDowell

    Driver badge number 34 |

  • POS 3 | 6.453

    Chris Buescher

    POS3

    6.453

    Chris Buescher

    Driver badge number 17 |

Kyle Larson avoids early chaos, surges down stretch for Sonoma victory

SONOMA, Calif. — The hometown hero Kyle Larson executed as he needed to, making a pass for the lead with eight laps remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series’ Toyota/Save Mart 350 to claim his second win at the Sonoma Raceway road course and third trophy of the season.

It was a frantic start to the day on the newly repaved 1.99-mile course through the rolling Northern California hills with seven caution flags falling before the 110-lap race‘s halfway point — more yellow flags than the previous two Sonoma races had combined.

But the final 51 laps ran caution-free with varying pit-stop strategies playing a vital role in track position. The Hendrick Motorsports driver Larson was among the last to make his final stop — coming out on track in eighth position with 20 laps remaining and then moving forward by picking off one car, sometimes two cars at a time.

RELATED: Race results | At-track photos

Larson — who is from Elk Grove, California, about an hour from the track — ultimately put his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet out front to stay after a dramatic three-way battle with four-time Sonoma winner Martin Truex Jr. and Chris Buescher with eight to go.

After Larson passed them both, Truex kept Larson honest for much of the closing laps only to run out of gas on the final corner. His No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota came to a stop in front of the frontstretch grandstands about 40 yards shy of the checkered flag. And with the other cars zooming by, Truex ultimately inched his car forward to a cheering crowd limping across the finish line in a heartbreaking 27th place.

“I didn‘t know what we were doing as far as strategy,” said the 31-year-old Larson. “I was just out there banging laps away. … So I was like, these guys have to pit another time maybe but then when they said I had to go race and then pass those guys, I got a bit nervous. I knew I‘d be quick from the get-go but thought once the tires came up to temp it would even off too much.

“Thankful we had enough grip. Thankful too, those guys got racing and Martin never got clear really to where I‘d be stuck in third. Just an awesome, awesome race.”

After making a last-lap pass of Buescher and then benefitting from Truex‘s situation, Front Row Motorsports driver Michael McDowell came across the line in second place — 4.258 seconds behind Larson.

Buescher‘s No. 17 RFK Racing Ford was third followed by Hendrick‘s Chase Elliott and Trackhouse Racing‘s Ross Chastain, who had a collision with Richard Childress Racing driver Kyle Busch on the last lap that sent Busch‘s No. 8 Chevrolet off track and dropped him from a likely top-10 finish to 12th place.

“Proud of everybody,” Buescher said of his 32 laps led and Stage 2 win despite starting the race 26th. “That was a good one to be close and in the hunt. … Kind of a tough weekend until today. If you had told us we‘d gather some playoff and stage points, we‘d be happy. Just needed a bit more coming to the finish line.”

Kaulig Racing‘s AJ Allmendinger was sixth followed by Team Penske‘s Ryan Blaney and 23XI Racing‘s Tyler Reddick, who won the opening stage and led a race-best 35 laps. Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Christopher Bell finished ninth and Front Row Motorsports‘ Todd Gilliland claimed 10th-place — the 23-year-old driver‘s second top-10 finish of the season.

Polesitter Joey Logano finished 21st and the two Australian Supercar Series drivers making their NASCAR debuts — Will Brown and Cam Waters — finished 31st and 35th, respectively.

It was a significant win for the 2021 series champion Larson, giving him the championship lead by 14 points over his Hendrick teammate Elliott. It comes on the heels of last week‘s news that Larson would be granted a playoff waiver from NASCAR despite missing the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway two weeks ago.

The multi-talented Larson had competed in a rain-delayed Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend with plans to run racing‘s celebrated “Double” — the Indy 500 and Charlotte‘s Coca-Cola 600. Bad weather, however, ruined those plans. There was a rain delay in Indianapolis, where Larson finished 18th and by the time he arrived in Charlotte to assume driving duties in that NASCAR race, rain had forced officials to call it early and he never was able to turn a lap.

RELATED: NASCAR official explains waiver decision

Larson‘s victory Sunday — his 26th career win — was significant for him in the championship standings, but the race was also a big deal for the opposite reasons for Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Denny Hamlin, who had held the points lead entering the race. Hamlin‘s No. 11 Toyota suffered an engine problem after just two laps and he finished 38th — last — in the field. He dropped to third in the championship standings, 26 points behind Larson.

“No [warning], it‘s just the gearing is a little weird for the track,” said Hamlin, who snapped a five-race streak of top-five finishes that included a win at Dover and a runner-up at Gateway last week.

“It‘s a lot of high-end RPM stuff, but the same as everyone else and I‘m just not really sure. They‘ll look at it and figure it out, but certainly not ideal.”

MORE: Hamlin exits early with engine trouble

His JGR teammate Ty Gibbs was out just 14 laps later after his No. 54 Toyota clipped the Turn 11 wall, damaging his right-front and sending his car into the Turn 1 barrier.

The Cup Series’ next race is the Iowa Corn 350, scheduled next Sunday (7 p.m. ET, USA Network, NBC Sports App, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Iowa Speedway. The event is the Cup Series’ first at the 0.875-mile oval in the Hawkeye State.

Note: Post-race inspection in the Cup Series garage was completed without issue at Sonoma Raceway, confirming Larson’s victory. No cars were selected for further inspection at the NASCAR Research & Development Center.

Contributing: Staff reports