NASCAR at Sonoma results: Kyle Larson holds off Martin Truex Jr. to earn third win of 2024

Kyle Larson put an exclamation point on his homecoming to Northern California, as the Elk Grove, Calif. native took the checkered flag in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway to earn his third win of the 2024 season. Larson prevailed in a strategy race, using 13-lap fresher tires to run down Chris Buescher and Martin Truex Jr. and take the lead for the final time with nine laps to go.

After a rash of cautions in the first two stages gave way to a long green flag run in the final stage, Larson made his final stop of the day from the lead with 30 laps to go, putting him on offense as he was tasked with running down drivers who pitted far earlier than he did from eighth place. Larson was able to make up the deficit and made his move with nine to go, first following Truex through as he passed Buescher for the lead then taking the top spot for himself when Truex went wide in Turn 4.

Larson would pull away over the closing laps as both Truex and Buescher then went into fuel conservation mode, with Truex running out of fuel on the final lap and Buescher holding on to finish third.

Toyota/Save Mart 350 unofficial results

  1. #5 - Kyle Larson
  2. #34 - Michael McDowell
  3. #17 - Chris Buescher
  4. #9 - Chase Elliott
  5. #1 - Ross Chastain
  6. #16 - AJ Allmendinger
  7. #12 - Ryan Blaney
  8. #45 - Tyler Reddick
  9. #20 - Christopher Bell
  10. #38 - Todd Gilliland

The victory for Larson ties him for the most wins this season with Denny Hamlin and William Byron, and it comes only five days after he was formally absolved of missing the Coca-Cola 600 due to inclement weather altering his attempt at the Indy 500-Coke 600 double. Larson was granted a playoff waiver, and he is now firmly back in position for the regular-season championship and much beyond that.

"Once we had to go race and pass those guys, I got a bit nervous. I knew I'd be quick from the get-go, but I thought once the tires would come up to temp that it would even off too much," Larson told Fox Sports. "Thankful that we had enough grip. Thankful too that those guys got racing and Martin never got clear really to where I would get stuck in third. That really saved the race.

"And I thought too once (Truex) got to the lead, I'm like, 'Man, I hope he doesn't have somebody to judge off of here into four and he misses the apex,' and sure enough he did and I had a big run. Just an awesome, awesome racecar. ... Cool to win at home, drink some wine here in a little bit and go celebrate."

Thanks to the 26th win of his Cup career, Larson has retaken the points lead with 10 races to go in the regular-season championship, capitalizing on Denny Hamlin's race lasting just two laps before he blew an engine coming to Lap 3. Larson's win also moves him into a tiebreaker for 32nd on NASCAR's all-time wins list with Hall of Famers Fred Lorenzen and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

California caution country

In two races with NASCAR's Next Gen car, Sonoma's annual Cup date had seen only four cautions in 2022 and just two in the entirety of 2023's race. But with newly-paved asphalt and a new set of barriers lining Turn 11, Sonoma was a different and much more treacherous racetrack, with the yellow flag flying constantly in the first half of the event.

The first two stages of Sunday's race would see eight cautions in total, including a number of multi-car pileups that altered numerous drivers' days. Joey Logano would lead much of the opening part of the race from the pole, but his day would wind up being dramatically altered when he was tagged by a spinning Chase Briscoe at the top of the esses. Then, contact from Erik Jones to Josh Berry would send Berry sliding into the entry to Turn 11 and bowling into a tight pack of cars he had been racing just behind.

That didn't even account for the number of cars that spun or went off-track without drawing a yellow. Gateway winner Austin Cindric was the most notable to make the highlight reel, as he went for a spin in the uphill section of the course entering Turn 2 that saw his car get some airtime and come close to biting and rolling over before thankfully settling down on all four wheels.

The amount of caution flags had a major impact on the flow of the race and subsequently strategies, as by the time things finally settled down and virtually the entire final stage ran under green, the field was put in a position where they could make it to the end on a one-stop strategy. That's what ended up occurring, but exactly when everyone's final stops occurred was largely set up by a combination of when they came to pit road during the opening stages and how much caution laps allowed them to stretch the fuel they had.

In the end, Sunday's race would wind up featuring a high attrition rate as seven drivers failed to finish due to both crashes and mechanical problems. One of those was Chase Briscoe, whose transmission failure was especially undesirable given that he entered Sonoma just below the playoff cut line.

With Martin Truex Jr.'s issues on the final lap bringing the last caution out at the finish, Sunday's race would feature nine cautions in total, tying the track record for most cautions in a single race first set back in 1990.

Last lap mayhem

One week ago at Gateway, the complexion of the race changed dramatically coming to the white flag when race leader Ryan Blaney ran out of fuel, giving the win to Austin Cindric. Kyle Larson was spared such a dramatic turn as he cruised to the checkered flag, but those behind him certainly weren't.

The last lap would see two former Cup champions running inside the top five have their races change for the worse: Kyle Busch was on pace for a fifth or sixth-place finish, but he wound up losing several spots after getting spun by Ross Chastain in Turn 4. Busch recovered to settle into what looked to be a top 10, but his car would sputter out of fuel and he would end up 12th, missing out on valuable points and continuing what's become one of the worst slumps of his career.

However bad Busch had it, Truex ended up having it worse: He would run out of fuel completely on the final lap, going from running second to puttering without power and crawling to a practical stop just short of the finish line. Truex would end up crossing the finish line -- to the delight of the crowd and with several safety trucks behind him ready to assist -- in 27th at less than walking speed.

Race results rundown

  • For the very first time, Michael McDowell is a runner-up. McDowell capitalized on Truex running out of fuel on the last lap to earn his first second-place finish ever, giving him his best finish of the 2024 season and the 10th top five of his Cup career. Front Row Motorsports teammate Todd Gilliland, who signed a multi-year contract extension with the team this week, also capitalized on the last lap shakeup to earn a 10th-place finish, his second top 10 of the year.
  • In just his fifth Cup start of the season, AJ Allmendinger earned a sixth-place finish to give him three top 10s on the year. Curiously, all of those top 10s are sixth-place finishes, as he matches the result he had in the Daytona 500 and at Circuit of the Americas earlier this year.
  • Thanks to a good car and sound strategy, Corey LaJoie was able to snap out of a recent funk and earn an 11th-place finish, just missing out on a top 10 and giving him his first top 15 since Atlanta. Not far behind was Spire Motorsports teammates Zane Smith and Carson Hocevar in 16th and 17th, with Smith's 16th marking one of his best runs of the entire season and making him the highest-finishing rookie on the day.
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had an adventure of a day, as he would go for a spin in the esses pileup late in stage 1 and then get nabbed for speeding on his final trip to pit road, relegating him to a 24th-place finish. Stenhouse now has five pit road speeding penalties in total, the most among all Cup drivers this season.
  • A pair of V8 Supercars drivers made the trip from Australia to make their Cup Series debuts, but neither proved to be the instant success that fellow V8 star Shane van Gisbergen has been in NASCAR. Will Brown took the wheel of a third car for Richard Childress Racing, but an electrical problem would spoil his maiden run and leave him three laps down in 31st at the finish. Cam Waters' day would be spoiled when he was swept up in the Turn 11 pileup, which damaged his suspension to the point that he was unable to continue in RFK Racing's Stage 60 car and dropped out after 66 laps. Crikey.

Next race

For the first time, the NASCAR Cup Series will make its long-awaited trip to Iowa Speedway for the inaugural Iowa Corn 350 on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on USA.

Updates
(145)
 
Pinned
Link copied

Kyle Larson is going to end his Northern California homecoming with the checkered flag, as he takes his third win of the 2024 season and the second of his career at Sonoma!

Spin on the last lap as Kyle Busch gets turned by Ross Chastain while they were racing for fifth! That'll drop Busch back to ninth at the finish. And now Martin Truex Jr. runs out of fuel, giving second to Michael McDowell as Truex sputters and stalls just short of the finish line. Kyle Busch ran out of fuel as well and loses out on a top 10 finish.

1 - #5 - Kyle Larson
2 - #34 - Michael McDowell
3 - #17 - Chris Buescher
4 - #9 - Chase Elliott
5 - #1 - Ross Chastain
6 - #16 - A.J. Allmendinger
7 - #12 - Ryan Blaney
8 - #45 - Tyler Reddick
9 - #20 - Christopher Bell
10 - #38 - Todd Gilliland

See New Posts
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 11:20 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 7:20 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 11:15 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 7:15 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCARONFOX via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 11:14 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 7:14 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 11:11 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 7:11 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCARONFOX via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 11:10 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 7:10 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 11:04 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 7:04 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCARONFOX via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 11:04 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 7:04 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:58 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:58 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCARONFOX via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:57 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:57 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCARONFOX via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:54 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:54 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCARONFOX via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:52 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:52 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:50 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:50 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCARONFOX via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:49 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:49 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCARONFOX via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:48 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:48 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:47 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:47 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied

Kyle Larson's lead is up to 1.8 seconds on Truex. White flag this time.

 
Pinned
Link copied

Spin in Turn 7 as Austin Cindric goes for a loop. Disappointing followup to his win at Gateway today after his crash earlier.

Martin Truex has been able to keep the gap between himself and Larson fairly stable. He's not close enough to seriously threaten for the lead, but he's just within striking distance to capitalize if Larson sets a wheel wrong. Two to go.

 
Pinned
Link copied

Buescher misses his entry into turn 11 and slides into the corner, opening the door for McDowell to take third. He's 3.2 seconds back of Larson and doesn't have enough time to try and run him down with just four laps left.

Change for ninth in turn 11 as well as Ryan Blaney takes the spot from Tyler Reddick.

 
Pinned
Link copied

Five laps to go. Kyle Larson has opened up his lead to nearly one second on Truex and he's setting up to try and set sail into the sunset.

Race for third is heating up between Buescher and McDowell, but McDowell tells his team that he thinks he has a right front tire coming apart.

 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:40 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:40 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:39 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:39 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied

Truex isn't letting Larson get away just yet. He's been able to keep within about three carlengths of Larson and just close enough to put the pressure on. Buescher has started to fall back from these two, and he's going to have to deal with Michael McDowell in a moment as the 34 has closed in to 2.6 seconds back of the lead.

 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCARONFOX via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:38 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:38 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied

Buescher misses turn 10, and that gives Truex the chance he need! They lean on each other in turn 11 and are side-by-side for the lead with Larson in tow!

Truex gets the top spot at the top of the hill with nine to go, and here comes Larson with him!

NOW TRUEX MISSES TURN 4! The door opens for Larson and now Larson takes the lead with 13 lap fresher tires than the two drivers he was racing for the top spot!

 
Pinned
Link copied

It's a three car battle for the lead. Buescher, Truex and Larson all running nose-to-tail with 10 laps to go next time by.

Josh Berry has taken his car to the garage area.

 
Pinned
Link copied

Truex takes a look on Buescher for the lead in turn 7. There's extra urgency for Truex to make the pass and make it now as Larson cuts the gap to under two seconds.

Buescher took a defensive line into turn 11 preventing Truex from being able to get a nose under him. 12 laps to go with Larson just 1.5 seconds back.

 
Pinned
Link copied
@NASCAR via Twitter
June 9, 2024, 10:32 PM
Jun. 09, 2024, 6:32 pm EDT
 
Pinned
Link copied

Buescher missed the center of the corner in turn 11, but he still manages to get a good enough exit to keep Truex from capitalizing. Both, however, aren't making nearly the time that Kyle Larson is. He's cut the gap down to under three seconds.

 
Pinned
Link copied

Truex has cut the lead down to half a second. Larson has passed Kyle Busch for third, and without incident given their run-in a week ago at Gateway.

Larson has 4.5 seconds to make up with 16 laps to go. And the best thing Larson can have happen is for Buescher and Truex to start really fighting for the lead, which will help him make up time just that much more.

Justin Haley has gone to the garage area with a problem.

See More

Share Video

Link copied!
  • Image thumbnail
    Live

    CBS Sports HQ

  • Image thumbnail
    0:50

    Xander Schauffele Turns Attention To Defending Gold Medal at Olympics

  • Image thumbnail
    2:14

    Astros Fight Back To Be Tied Atop AL West Division

  • Image thumbnail
    1:13

    Mike Trout Begins Rehab Assignment From Injured Knee

  • Image thumbnail
    3:29

    Dodgers Sweep Red Sox Out Of All-Star Break, Kershaw Eyes 2024 Return

  • Image thumbnail
    3:38

    Best Landing Spot For Brandon Aiyuk If 49ers Decide To Trade WR

  • Image thumbnail
    4:32

    Jordan Love Not Participating In Training Camp Until New Deal With Packers Is Reached

  • Image thumbnail
    2:52

    Other Star Players Who Could Hold Out Of Training Camp

  • Image thumbnail
    1:42

    Scottie Scheffler's 2024 Success Overshadowed By Xander's 2 Majors

  • Image thumbnail
    1:50

    SMU One Of Three Newly Added Teams To ACC

  • Image thumbnail
    2:09

    Mike Norvell, FSU Begins Revenge Tour After Missing Out Of CFP In 2023

  • Image thumbnail
    4:27

    Clemson, FSU Legal Battles Cast Shadow Over ACC Media Days

  • Image thumbnail
    2:30

    2024 Baseball Hall Of Fame Class Inducted In Cooperstown