Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):
● Kevin Harvick started eighth and finished 18th.
● The No. 4 Busch Light #WineOverBeer Ford Mustang was incredibly tight to start the first stage.
● “Will not turn! Tight! Tight! Tight!” said Harvick on lap eight while running 10th.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with left-rear and right-rear wedge adjustments during competition caution on lap 12.
● Lined up 25th for lap-13 restart and rallied to finish the stage in 18th.
● “Really tight… everywhere,” said Harvick as the stage ended.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage with another significant adjustment to left-rear and right-rear wedge.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):
● Harvick started 23rd and finished 13th.
● The No. 4 Busch Light #WineOverBeer Ford Mustang remained tight, but the changes from the last pit stop helped some.
● During a caution on lap 33, Harvick said: “The car is definitely better, but we need more, especially forward drive off turns seven and 11.”
● Harvick took advantage of the caution and pitted for four tires and fuel with a track bar adjustment on lap 34.
● Was 21st for lap-35 restart and Harvick clawed his way to 13th by the end of the stage.
● “I’m better through the Carousel and better though turn 11,” said Harvick after the stage had concluded.
● Crew chief Rodney Childers opted to keep Harvick on the racetrack to pick up some valuable track position.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 41-92):
● Harvick started ninth and finished 22nd.
● The No. 4 Busch Light #WineOverBeer Ford Mustang had fallen to 14th by lap 52.
● Childers called Harvick to the pits on lap 53 for a scheduled, green-flag pit top. Four tires and fuel with a track bar adjustment.
● With different pit strategies playing out, Harvick returned to the track in 29th, but was 16th by lap 60.
● With pit stops continuing to cycle through, Harvick jumped up to ninth on lap 63 and then seventh on lap 64.
● By lap 66, however, those with fresher tires began to catch Harvick, and he fell to 10th.
● “It won’t turn at all anymore,” said Harvick while running 10th on lap 66.
● Caution on lap 71 allowed Harvick to pit with the field on lap 73. Four tires and fuel.
● Lined up ninth for lap-74 restart. Fell to 10th on lap 75.
● Field got stacked up in turn 11 on lap 77. Harvick nosed into the back of Ross Chastain’s No. 42 machine and William Byron ran into the back of Harvick’s No. 4 Ford. This brought heavy right-front and left-rear damage to the Busch Light #WineOverBeer ride.
● A long pit stop on lap 78 to fix the damage put Harvick 33rd for the lap-79 restart.
● Cautions bred cautions late in the race, with incidents on lap 87 and 89 allowing Harvick to gain some track position and claw his way to 22nd when the checkered flag dropped.
● This was Harvick’s first finish outside of the top-10 at Sonoma since 2014.
● Kyle Larson won the Save Mart 350k to score his ninth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season, his first at Sonoma and his first on a road course. His margin over second-place Chase Elliott was .614 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 18 laps.
● Thirty-three of the 37 drivers in the Save Mart 350k finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Sonoma with a 47-point advantage over second-place Larson.
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday, June 13 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 8 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio beginning at 6 p.m. with the undercard NASCAR All-Star Open.