Sonoma Settles Down and Kyle Larson Rockets to First Win Since Playoff Waiver

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Kyle Larson Wins One Week After Receiving Waiver Meg Oliphant - Getty Images

A slew of early cautions led the NASCAR Cup teams to scramble over strategy at Sonoma on Sunday evening. There were seven racing cautions through the first two stages before the third stage went all green. The one man who didn't care about strategy was the winner, Kyle Larson.

Larson went out with 20 lap fresher tires with 29 laps to go but had to make his way back to the front, under green, on a road course from eight positions. The California native methodically ticked off drivers as he made his way back into the top three.

"I didn't know what we were doing for strategy," Larson admitted to NASCAR on Fox. "I was just out there banging laps away. We study all the strategy, but it's like doing homework; I don't really know what I'm looking at."

"They said we would have to go race and pass those guys; I got a bit nervous. I knew that I would be quick from the get-go, but I thought once the tires would come up to temp, it would even off too much."

'Those guys' were Chris Buescher and Martin Truex Jr., who were battling for the lead when Larson came back into play. Truex wasn't able to secure his pass on Buescher fast enough without keeping the door open for Larson to pass through as well.

Larson ultimately passed Truex with under three laps remaining. Truex's day went sour on the final lap when they ran out of gas with the final stretch in front of him, falling from the second position to 27th, being the first driver to finish on the lead lap, barely. Truex coasted his Toyota across the line at a snail's pace to avoid a DNF.

In the closing laps, Micheal McDowell got around Buescher, and when Truex stalled, he claimed second for his best result of the season. Buescher followed in third with Larson's Hendrick Teammate Chase Elliott behind.

Ross Chastain held on to fifth after he and Kyle Busch collided on the tail of the final lap, Busch was pushed back to a 17th place finish.

This was Larson's third win of the season and first since NASCAR granted the driver a playoff waiver after missing the Coca-Cola 600 due to weather delays in the Indy 500. It was also the driver's second career win at his home track.

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