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Kyle Larson makes uphill climb to capture NASCAR Cup Series win at Sonoma Raceway

Kyle Larson needed to pit to change his tires with 28 laps to go at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in California on Sunday. It dropped him out of the top five, and he needed to push it to catch leaders Chris Buescher and Martin Truex Jr.

Eight seconds behind the leader, the climb from eighth to the top began. He drove the No. 5 car through Michael McDowell and A.J. Allmendinger, and with about 12 laps to go, he found himself behind Buescher and Truex.

As Truex got around Buescher for the lead, it was short-lived.

Larson made the move to get around Truex with about 10 laps to go and held off the rest of the field to secure the 26th NASCAR Cup Series victory of his career. It was his third win of the season; he also had victories at Kansas and Las Vegas.

Truex was going to finish in second place but ran out of gas on the final lap. He fell just short of the start-finish line. He ended up in 27th.

McDowell, Buescher, Chase Elliott and Ross Chastain rounded out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr drives


Larson doubly solidified himself into the NASCAR playoffs after there was a question about whether he would be granted a waiver for the playoffs. His postseason was thrown into peril after he missed the Coca-Cola 600 as he tried to complete the double with the Indy 500 on the same day.

Luckily for Larson, NASCAR granted the waiver before Sonoma.

“I think there’s definitely relief on my end,” he said Saturday. “There was a lot, I’m sure, discussion that went into it on NASCAR’s end and a lot of discussion. I’m appreciative of it, for sure, and look forward to hopefully not talk about waivers again.”

Kyle Larson waves to the crowd

“Thankfully, nobody has to deal with the drama going forward.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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