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Wine country welcomes NASCAR for Toyota/SaveMart 350
Action in the NASCAR Xfinity Series saw drivers take to the Sonoma Raceway course over the weekend for the Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250. Driving his Chevy Camaro, it was Shane van Gisbergen capturing the checkered flag. Photo By Jeff Burghardt

Kyle Larson scored the victory in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race, avoiding the early incidents that ended the day for many other racers in California’s wine country. Larson started in the fifth spot and worked his way up to third but with all the on track chaos and the regular cycle of pit stops, Larson was shuffled to the middle of the pack midway through the race at Sonoma Raceway. As the race wound down, Larson was back up to third with 17 laps to go, chasing Martin Truex Jr. and Chris Buescher. On lap 101 Truex made his move on Buescher for the lead with Larson also squeezing by right behind him to take second place coming out of turn 11. Just a few short turns later, Larson made his move in turn seven when Truex made a slight mistake allowing Larson slip by for the lead. Once there, he never looked back.

Larson’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet led 19 of the 110 laps. He claimed his second win on the wine country road course by 4.258 seconds. It was his third win of the season and the 26th of his Cup Series career.

Larson recently was granted a playoff waiver by NASCAR after inclement weather hindered his chance at completing the double running of the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte, NC. With his win in Sonoma, Larson regained his points lead.

Local Oakdale SaveMart store manager Robert Alton was the honorary starter for the Toyota/SaveMart 350, dropping the green flag.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series also made a stop in wine country for the Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250.

Shane Van Gisbergen in his #97 Chevy Camaro led the field to the green flag while leading all the way through the first stage of the event. With pit stops he was shuffled back to eighth to start the second stage. Ty Gibbs won stage two as Gisbergen made his way to sixth. He would restart in sixth and work his way up to second when a caution came out. He would restart from second but made his move in turn two to capture the lead with 10 laps to go. Gisbergen held off his competitors and picked up the win.

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Oakdale SaveMart Store Manager Robert Alton had the honor of waving the green flag to start the Toyota/SaveMart 350 on Sunday, June 9 at Sonoma Raceway. Photo By Jeff Burghardt