Notebook: Larson wins his 2nd NASCAR Cup race of the year

Elk Grove native Kyle Larson celebrated Sunday after winning NASCAR’s Coca Cola 600, the Cup series’ longest race of the year. (Courtesy NASCAR) | 

By John Hull | @JohnHullEG

After three straight runner-up finishes in three weeks of racing on NASCAR’s Cup series, Kyle Larson won the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night. Almost overshadowing the Elk Grove native’s accomplishment – his second win of the 2021 racing season - was that the waving of the checkered flag Sunday in Charlotte, N.C., was Hendrick Motorsports' record-setting 269th all-time win.

Most of those wins were driven by well-known guys such as Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.

Larson has shot up to second place behind Denny Hamlin in the NASCAR season points standings.

Sunday’s win was perhaps the most prestigious in the Cup series to this point for the 28-year-old Larson given it is the season’s longest race and it’s in the home town of NASCAR, too.

This Sunday Larson has the opportunity to make it two in a row at the track where the Cup Series comes the closest to our area, Sonoma Raceway. The Toyota-Save Mart 350 is at noon on the 2-and-a-half mile, 12- turn road course in Sonoma County. Typically, even the casual racing fan could walk up to the gate and purchase a ticket, however, pandemic attendance restrictions are in effect and on Monday Raceway officials announced the race is sold out.

The Menards ARCA Series West is racing the General Tire 200 at 2 p.m. Saturday and tickets are still available.

Larson has actually taken the pole position the last three years at Sonoma (the 2020 race was cancelled) and has the top qualifying mark of 94.784 mph. Martin Truex, Jr., has won the last two Sonoma 350’s.

Elk Grove, Bradshaw Christian win baseball championships

There will be no CIF post-season championships this spring because of the pandemic-adjusted school year, so this season the dog-piling for winners in baseball had to be done when clinching league championships. Elk Grove, with a 16-2 mark, claimed the 2021 Delta League championship last Thursday, head coach Joey Bellotti’s first.

Overall, the Thundering Herd was 23-4 this spring.

Junior Noah Canter batted .385 with three homers and senior Eddie Madrigal hit an even .400 for Elk Grove. The Herd had a team .325 batting average. The pitching was led by senior Sam Frizzi who went 7-1 with a 1.39 ERA in 10 appearance and junior AJ Hutcheson who was 7-0 with an amazing 0.45 ERA in 11 mound appearances. Another junior, Aiden Jimenez, was 5-0 with a 0.95 ERA.

In division III, Bradshaw Christian were the champions of the Sierra Valley Conference. Trevor Baker was named the league’s MVP and coach Kurt Takahashi was the coach of the year. Tyler Onic, Malachi Fuller, Caiden Butler, Joseph Anderson and Micah Nicholson were selected to the All-SVC team.

Huskies Win Delta Softball Title

It should be to no one’s surprise that Sheldon won the Delta League championship this spring in softball. In Mary Jo Truesdale’s 22nd season at the helm, the Huskies were 12-0 in the Delta with long-time assistants Joe Jaquez, John Mendonca and Laura Ziegenhirt in the dugout alongside.

The Huskies bombarded opponent pitching with a .432 team batting average. Leading the way were sophomore Jaylee Ojo who batted a whopping .523 with 11 homers in 23 games, juniors Dakota Kennedy with a .581 average and nine home runs, D’uana Johnson with a.525 average and Reina Zermeno, who batted .500 with eight homers.

Ojo and junior Breanna Romero split the pitching duties and, combined, held opponent bats to a.203 average.

Track and Field

The final hurrah of the high school track and field season is Saturday at Jesuit High School when the Marauder Invitational will host all the Delta League squads. The first events begin at 9 a.m. The Metro League’s Track and Field Championships will be Friday at Monterey Trail High School beginning at 3 p.m.

Follow us on Twitter @ElkGroveNews
Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2021. All right reserved.



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