Kyle Larson was in another area code.
The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion dominated all aspects of the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ DoorDash 250 at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday (June 10). He led the most laps, won both stages and, with 19 laps to go, appeared to be pulling away yet again.
But a late caution changed everything. And when the dust settled, it was Aric Almirola who won the DoorDash 250.
Almirola took the checkered flag, holding off AJ Allmendinger and Larson for the win in his No. 28, a car generally fielded by RSS Racing but prepared by Almirola’s Cup team, Stewart-Haas Racing, for Sonoma.
It’s Almirola’s fourth win in the Xfinity Series and RSS’ first.
“This is so special,” Almirola told FOX Sports post-race. “It’s hard to explain. I know it’s an Xfinity win and not a Cup win, but after [Circuit of the Americas] I told Davin and Drew that I didn’t think I should run anymore road courses in the Xfinity car, it makes me look like a wanker. … I knew that this racetrack, this track is one I can run good at.”
Larson had been the class of the field, pacing the 38-car lineup for 53 laps. Then Jeffrey Earnhardt spun and collided with the tire barrier off turn 10, bringing out the second of two cautions with just under 20 laps to go.
After the restart, Almirola found himself with the lead. Larson made a hard charge to catch Almirola, and he was right there with 10 to go. That’s when Larson had a problem in turn 11 after clipping a tire barrier, and the upset was in.
“I think I just got too greedy, if you can get your rights below the rumbles in the paint it’s a lot of grip,” Larson said post-race. “I got it good a couple of times and clipped the tire and knocked the wheel out of my hand and the toe was off.”
The Xfinity Series returns to Nashville Superspeedway next Saturday (June 24). Coverage begins on USA Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio and PRN at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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