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Why Sonoma Was NASCAR’s Best Road Course Race in Ages

Rahul Ahluwalia

Why Sonoma Was NASCAR's Best Road Course Race in Ages

NASCAR’s visit to Sonoma Raceway last weekend saw Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson win a race filled with excitement throughout every stage for the fans. The 2024 Toyota/Save Mart 350 might come across as a one-horse race to the untrained eye initially, however, it was anything but that.

The 110-lap-long event at the 2.5-mile-long track in wine country, California saw a hectic first two stages of the race as drivers battled for track position. With a total of eight cautions during the whole race, drivers were seen pushing themselves and others in a bid to gain track position early on in the race.

Several pile-ups occurred as a result with Josh Berry taking a significant chunk of the field with him as the Stewart-Haas Racing driver scrambled to slow down before marching into the path of cars on the track.

Aggression levels at the front of the field were high as well. Tyler Reddick and Kyle Larson battled for the lead at one point of the race. The 23XI Racing driver ultimately fell back after he made slight contact with Larson on the track.

After a lengthy green flag run of hard racing during the race’s final stage, the end of the event saw further drama as veteran drivers Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. ran into their share of troubles. The Richard Childress Racing driver tangled with Ross Chastain and dropped out of a top 10 finish, whereas the #19 Toyota ran out of fuel 100 meters shy of the start-finish line.

It was a day to forget for Joe Gibbs Racing as a team with Denny Hamlin also suffering an engine issue on lap 2 of the race, and Ty Gibbs retiring after damaging his car courtesy of the new turn 11 wall. All in all, the amount of storylines to witness throughout the event made sure that the fans were never bored.

Kyle Petty terms last Sunday’s Sonoma race as the “most aggressive” road course outing

The former NASCAR Cup Series driver touched on how last Sunday’s 110-lap-long event at a newly repaved Sonoma Raceway was one of the best events the venue has put on to date.

Petty spoke on how drivers were aggressive throughout the event and the race incorporated everything from the chaos of eight cautions to extended green flag racing during stage 3.

He elaborated, “We saw so much action yesterday, maybe one of the best races at Sonoma that I’ve ever witnessed. I thought this was the most aggressive road course race I have ever witnessed in my entire life.”

Kyle Petty also touched on how he would like to see the same level of aggression from drivers on short tracks courtesy of the Next Gen car and added, “I hope we start to see the same type of racing on the short tracks in the near future.”

It remains to be seen whether the same can be true as NASCAR heads to Iowa Speedway next Sunday.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Rahul Ahluwalia

Rahul Ahluwalia


An avid car enthusiast turned motorsports afficionado with a knack for delivering in-depth storylines as well as sound technical know-how.

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