Martin Truex Jr. cruises to Cup victory at Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. — Martin Truex Jr. couldn’t wait to get on track this weekend at Sonoma Raceway to see how much his Toyota had improved after the manufacturer failed to have a car finish in the top 15 at this track a year ago.
Truex showed how good his Toyota was, winning Sunday’s race for his second victory of the season, fourth at Sonoma and 33rd of his Cup career. Only Jeff Gordon has won more Cup races at Sonoma (five) than Truex.
Truex took the lead with 14 laps left and cruised to the victory. He led 51 of the 110 laps.
“Great freaking car,” Truex radioed his team after the victory.
Kyle Busch finished second a week after winning at WWT Raceway.
“I wish we had a little bit more,” Busch said. “I tried really hard at the end to at least try to keep Martin honest. Felt like I could beat him a little bit on a lap, then I would mess up. He would beat me by a little bit more on the next lap. We were just kind of trading a little bit there. He was able to pull away there late.”
Joey Logano placed third. Chris Buescher was fourth. Chase Elliott, back after serving a one-race suspension last weekend, finished fifth.
Truex and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin led 84 of the 110 laps. Hamlin started on the pole and finished last after an accident. He was the only car not to finish.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Denny Hamlin
STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Not only did Martin Truex Jr. win the race, but he also took the points lead. ... Ross Chastain’s 10th-place result snapped a streak of three consecutive finishes of 20th or worse. ... AJ Allmendinger’s sixth-place finish is his best in 12 starts at Sonoma.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: After leading the first 32 laps and winning the first stage, Denny Hamlin’s race soured. He was on track when the caution came on on Lap 51 during the middle of a cycle of green flag stops, putting him deep in the field on the restart and then later crashed and finished last.
NOTABLE: Chris Buescher’s fourth-place finish is his seventh consecutive top 10 on a road course. That is tied for the eighth longest streak all-time in Cup.
NEXT: The series is off next weekend. Cup returns June 25 at Nashville Superspeedway (7 p.m. ET on NBC)