The big winner at Sonoma wasn't Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson dominated a NASCAR Cup Sequence race for the next weekend in a row, but he was not the biggest winner on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.

For the 1st time in his profession, Kyle Larson secured back again-to-back NASCAR Cup Collection victories, winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway two Sundays ago and the Toyota Help save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway this earlier Sunday.

The driver of the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports dominated both of those races to protected his next and third victories of the 2021 time and the eighth and ninth victories of his Cup Collection vocation.

Larson led 327 of the Coca-Cola 600’s 400 laps all around the 4-flip, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) oval in Harmony, North Carolina just before primary 57 of the Toyota Preserve Mart 350’s 92 laps about the 12-transform, 2.52-mile (4.056-kilometer) organic terrain road study course in Sonoma, California.

Larson secured his initially victory of the 2021 period back in early March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but given the nature of the playoff format, he technically didn’t protected his playoff berth right up until he gained for a next time at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

With 26 races on the typical season schedule, there can technically be extra than 16 unique winners in the common time. So the “win and in” principle of the 16-driver playoffs, even though it has worked out that way considering the fact that the present-day format was released in 2014, is not assured to be legitimate.

But two wins mechanically lock a driver into the playoffs, provided that the driver ranks inside the top 30 in the issue standings. The 16 playoff berths go to the standard year details champion and the up coming 15 drivers who rank best in wins, and no additional than 13 motorists can gain multiple standard season races.

So although Larson was the winner on Sunday afternoon for the second consecutive weekend, he was not the most significant winner in phrases of the lengthy-time period picture.

Guaranteed, he won the initially two phases and the race by itself, netting himself 7 playoff details and arguably solidifying himself as the championship beloved. He now has a sequence-substantial 26 playoff factors many thanks to his series-high 3 wins (tied with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr.) and sequence-superior 11 phase wins, 6 far more than any other driver.

He would generate 10 far more playoff factors if he finishes the normal year in second put in the stage standings, which is where by he now sits.

But the big winner was truly the 28th area finisher: Entrance Row Motorsports’ Michael McDowell.

Presented how the 2021 time started, with 7 distinctive winners in the initially seven races and 11 distinctive winners in the very first 14 events, 16 or a lot more unique frequent year race winners appeared to be a fair chance.

But now Larson, who already experienced a acquire underneath his belt at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, has won two races in a row, and we have still witnessed just 11 different winners via 16 races.

There are just 10 races remaining in the common season now, and viewing far more than 5 new winners emerge in these 10 races, even nevertheless there are a few highway course races and 1 superspeedway race between these 10 races, looks very not likely.

And that performs to McDowell’s reward.

When it will come to qualifying for the playoffs, points serve as the tiebreaker among the the one particular-race winners if there are, in fact, a lot more than 16 various race winners in the standard period.

McDowell, who won the period-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona Global Speedway, is the only one of these 11 race winners so much this period who drives for a workforce other than the powerhouse companies of Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing or Crew Penske, and he sits in the worst place in the level standings among the them.

So if there is any driver who loves and is likely to go on to appreciate looking at repeat winners in the course of the remainder of the standard time, it is McDowell.

Each solitary race that passes with no a new winner, McDowell inches closer to his 1st official Cup Sequence playoff berth, and the range of bullets he requirements to dodge to make that come about shrinks.

The up coming factors-paying race on the 2021 agenda is scheduled to acquire place on Sunday, June 20. This race, the Ally 400, is set to be the first at any time Cup Collection race at Nashville Superspeedway, and it is set to be broadcast dwell on NBC Athletics Network commencing at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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