NASCAR Sonoma: Martin Truex Jr wins road course race – NASCAR

Martin Truex Jr won the NASCAR Cup race at Sonoma, becoming the first repeat winner at the road course for a decade.

The reigning champion started the race on the front row of the grid, and first took the lead at the end of the third lap.

Although he began to stretch out a lead in the first stage, he would ultimately surrender the first segment win to AJ Allmendinger as he took an early green flag pitstop, while Allmendinger held off until the competition caution to take his first stage win since the format was introduced.

Kevin Harvick proved to be Truex’s closest challenger for victory. The pair led at the start of the second stage following the full pitstop cycle, and fought at the front until they again pitted just before the end of the stage in order to gain track position at the race restart.

Pit strategy would prove to be key to Truex’s win, making his final green flag pit stop eight laps later than Harvick – halfway through the final stage – allowing him to build up a lead over the Stewart-Haas driver, while also having fresher tyres.

Harvick moved back to the lead with 28 laps to go, but Truex’s tyre advantage proved too much as he moved to the fore with 20 laps remaining.

From then on the Furniture Row driver began to eke out a sizeable lead while Harvick and third placed Clint Bowyer both opted for an additional pit stop in the hope of a late caution which never came.

In the end Truex won by 11 seconds over Harvick, who regained second place in the closing laps of the race with his newer tyres proving to be an advantage, although Truex’s lead proved too big to overhaul under green flag running.

Truex led the most laps in the race, doing so for the third time in a row on a road course.

Clint Bowyer regained third, ahead of Chase Elliot who spent much of the race inside the top five.

Kyle Busch rounded out the top five after a relatively quiet race, beating brother Kurt and Erik Jones who recovered from an off-track excursion to take seventh.

Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, and Denny Hamlin – who won stage two after staying out while the leaders pitted – completed the top ten.

Polesitter Kyle Larson had a tough race, losing positions more often than gaining them. He eventually finished 14th.

Stage one winner Allmendinger retired nine laps into the second stage with engine failure caused by a missed shift.

The incident caused the only normal caution of the race, and during the resulting yellow flag period, Jamie McMurray also retired due to a similar issue.

Result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps
1 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 110
2 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 110
3 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 110
4 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 110
5 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 110
6 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 110
7 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 110
8 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 110
9 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 110
10 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 110
11 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 110
12 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 110
13 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 110
14 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 110
15 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 110
16 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 110
17 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 110
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 110
19 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 110
20 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 110
21 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 110
22 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 109
23 Parker Kligerman Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 109
24 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 109
25 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 109
26 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 109
27 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 109
28 Justin Marks Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 109
29 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 109
30 Gray Gaulding BK Racing Toyota 109
31 Chris Cook Rick Ware Racing Ford 109
32 Tomy Drissi StarCom Racing Chevrolet 108
33 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 106
34 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 104
35 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 57
36 Cody Ware Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 42
37 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 33
38 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 33

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