SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson first visited Sonoma Raceway as a young kid, dressed head to toe in Jeff Gordon gear while watching NASCAR practice from the hillside on a Saturday afternoon.
Now he's a Cup Series winner at what is considered the Elk Grove driver's home track, but his victory lane celebration Sunday was a disaster.
Larson tried to recreate a 2014 photo of himself spitting wine into the air after a lower-level win, but it was far windier after this victory — and when Larson splayed his mouthful from the oversized chalice, the red wine splashed all over the new track president.
"I blew it," Larson said. "It was way windy, and I feel super bad."
It was the only thing Larson did wrong all day.
He beat teammate Chase Elliott in overtime to win his second consecutive race and third of the season, helping Hendrick Motorsports continue its month of dominance. Hendrick drivers have won four straight races dating to Alex Bowman's May 16 victory at Dover International Raceway. Elliott won the following week on the Circuit of the Americas road course, and Larson's May 30 triumph in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway made Rick Hendrick the all-time wins leader among team owners.
"Obviously, last weekend was huge for our company, the history and heritage of our company. We're obviously very proud to do that for Mr. Hendrick in our backyard," said Jeff Andrews, executive vice president and general manager at Hendrick. "Now we come out here to Sonoma and we get one for Kyle in his backyard."
William Byron tasted victory in late February at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and the team has seven wins in all this year.
Hendrick is on such a roll that perhaps only Joe Gibbs Racing's Martin Truex Jr. — who shares the lead for wins this season with Larson and had won the past two races at Sonoma — was considered a real threat to stop the streak Sunday, when NASCAR returned to the road course in California wine country for the first time since 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Reigning Cup Series champion Elliott was the favorite, though. He is, after all, the current king of the road with six victories on such courses, including over Larson two weeks ago at Circuit of the Americas' rain-shortened debut on the schedule.
Instead the win went to Larson. And even though it was in overtime, it wasn't close as Elliott remained winless at Sonoma in five starts.
"We were solid today, just not good enough at the right times," Elliott said.
Larson, who had led just 11 laps in six previous races at Sonoma, won all three stages and led a race-high 58 of 92 laps. The eighth caution sent the race to overtime for a two-lap sprint shootout, but he easily cleared Elliott on the restart and pulled away for his first victory on the 12-turn, 2.52-mile course.
Elliott finished second as Hendrick tied team owner Carl Kiekhaefer in 1956 with four consecutive 1-2 finishes.
Truex was third in the highest finish for a Toyota driver, with Joey Logano fourth in a Team Penske Ford and JGR's Kyle Busch fifth. Kurt Busch, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Bowman and Ryan Blaney completed the top 10.