SHR Post-Race Report: Save Mart 350k at Sonoma

Date: June 6, 2021
Event: Save Mart 350k (Round 16 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (2.52-mile, 12-turn road course)
Format: 90 laps, broken into three stages (20 laps/20 laps/50 laps)
Note: Race extended two laps past its scheduled 90-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.

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)

SHR Race Finish:
● Chase Briscoe (Started 25th, Finished 17th / Running, completed 92 of 92 laps)
● Cole Custer (Started 23rd, Finished 20th / Running, completed 92 of 92 laps)
● Kevin Harvick (Started 8th, Finished 22nd / Running, completed 92 of 92 laps)
● Aric Almirola (Started 26th, Finished 27th / Running, completed 92 of 92 laps)

SHR Points:
● Kevin Harvick (9th with 483 points, 181 out of first)
● Chase Briscoe (26th with 271 points, 393 out of first)
● Cole Custer (27th with 253 points, 411 out of first)
● Aric Almirola (28th with 205 points, 459 out of first)

Race Notes:
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie for the 13th time this season.
● This was Custer’s first NASCAR Cup Series start at Sonoma.
● This was Harvick’s first finish outside of the top-10 at Sonoma since 2014.
● This was Almirola’s first finish outside of the top-10 at Sonoma since joining SHR in 2018.
● 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.

Sonoma Quotes

Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Ford Performance Racing School Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Getting time on track yesterday in the ARCA West race was good for learning the track, but there wasn’t much outside of that I could take away with the cars being so different. I just could never get the car to really do what I wanted it to do. We really struggled with forward drive, which, if we had been able to have practice, we could’ve worked on some of that. It’s just hard to make those adjustments during a race. Johnny (Klausmeier, crew chief) made the right calls to get track position, but the cautions didn’t fall like we were hoping. To come out top-20 and learn a lot throughout the race is really all we can ask for right now.”

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/ Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It was definitely a battle all day. We got our Autodesk/ Ford better and better. For our first time in Sonoma, it was a little bit tough not having any practice. We worked on it all day and survived. And I think we got a decent finish, although it wasn’t the finish we wanted, especially in our first race of the year with Autodesk, which is based just down the way in San Francisco. So we’ll go back and figure out how to make it better.”

Next Up:
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.