For Kyle Larson, it’s one trophy gained and one more to capture tomorrow at Sonoma Raceway.
The Sprint Cup rookie phenom won pole and then dominated the Carneros 200 for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, but had to hold off Greg Pursley in a green-white-checkered finish to pick up the win.
Larson was one of five Cup racers that took part in today’s K&N West event, the others being second-year Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and rookies Michael Annett, Justin Allgaier, and Austin Dillon.
Stenhouse finished fourth today, while Annett wound up sixth. Farther back were Allgaier in 14th and Dillon in 22nd after both had been running within the Top 5 during the afternoon.
The field took a halfway intermission at Lap 33 with Larson ahead of Stenhouse. But Pursley and Lupton both jumped Stenhouse for second and third when the race resumed and just before a caution came out.
Larson would continue to hold the point up to a rash of late yellows. A Lap 57 yellow set up a restart with four laps to go, but a couple of laps later, Thomas Martin went into the wall to force the G-W-C attempt.
Multiple cars spun in Turn 2 after the G-W-C began, but all of them were able to keep going and the race stayed green. With that, Larson was able to hang on and get a win in his first K&N West start.
It’s a nice bit of momentum for Larson, who will roll off third for tomorrow’s Sprint Cup Toyota/Save Mart 350. Nine different winners have won the last nine Sonoma Cup races – could Larson be the 10th?