Kyle Petty: Freshly paved Sonoma created aggression, best NASCAR NextGen road race

Was it the best race in Wine Country in years?

NASCAR’s third year NextGen car has not done well by short tracks and road courses but Kyle Petty believes the fresh pavement at Sonoma Raceway encouraged drives to take the sort aggressive chances that delivered the best race of its kind on Sunday.

“Sonoma, or a road course, never disappoints,” Petty started, via his Hot Takes segment on YouTube. “We saw so much action yesterday. Maybe one of the best races at Sonoma that I’ve ever witnessed. I’m going to say that, because I think this was the most aggressive road course race I have ever witnessed in my entire life. I want to use an example. Tyler Reddick and Kyle Larson. They were battling for what would’ve been the lead as we cycled through. We saw Tyler Reddick stick it in there in a bad situation. Try to pass in a situation that maybe you shouldn’t have. Be a little impatient. Be a little aggressive. And he threw his day away, right there. That’s what you think from the outside. That’s what it looks like. But in all honesty, you’ve got to get what you can get, when you can get it.

“We saw it late in the race, when Ross Chastain spun the No. 8 car of Kyle Busch. We saw it midway through the race, for P15, P16, P17 position, with Austin Cindric, with those guys trying to go two-wide. We saw blocking. How about Josh Berry? All the way down to the inside, where Erik Jones sends him, and he wipes out eight or ten cars right there in that one corner. This was aggression. It was, ‘I’ve got to get it. It’s all about me,’ and that’s what this car makes these guys do on these road courses. It makes them do things that normally, they might bide their time. When their time came, they took it, come heck or high water, and that’s why we saw so many cautions yesterday.”

The third generation Cup Series race winner turned television analyst believes this might be a lesson for drivers to take to the Streets of Chicago next month or even Watkins Glen, especially for drivers who may desperately need a win to make the playoffs and specialize in turning right and left.

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