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Martin Truex Jr becomes sommelier of Sonoma for fourth time

Photo by Dominic Aragon/TRE

SONOMA, CALI. — For the fourth time in his NASCAR Cup Series career, Martin Truex Jr. won at Sonoma Raceway as he brought home the checkered flag Sunday.

Truex led 51 of 110 laps, including 27 of the final 31 laps. He beat Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, A.J. Allmendinger, Michael McDowell, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain.


The Toyotas dominated the first 49 caution-free laps. Denny Hamlin won the pole and led every lap in the 25-lap stage.

STAGE 1 TOP-10: Hamlin, Truex, Bell, Allmendinger, McDowell, Tyler Reddick, Buescher, Ty Gibbs, Alex Bowman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Then, Truex led the next 17 before the first caution flew for a loose tire on pit road.

That virtually handed Kyle Busch the stage two win on lap 55 and put him in position for a solid finish.

STAGE 2 TOP-10: Busch, Logano, Chastain, William Byron, Stenhouse, Austin Dillon, Truex, McDowell, Bell, Kevin Harvick

Truex was on a different strategy and older tires, meaning he had to drive through the top-10 to get the lead back. He did that on lap 68 and pulled ahead by over a second.

After Martin Truex Jr. pit one lap sooner than Michael McDowell, who was on the same strategy as him, Truex locked up a solid 3-second lead for 13 laps.

Then, the race’s second and final caution flew on lap 93. Denny Hamlin wrecked out of the race on the frontstretch and took a surefire win from Truex’s grasp.

However, Truex’s crew had a good pit stop, compared to McDowell whose crew had an issue. Then, Truex took those new tires to the lead over Chase Elliott on lap 97, two laps after the restart.

Truex took home his 33rd career NASCAR Cup Series win and fourth win at Sonoma Raceway.

The 2017 Cup Series champion tied Fireball Roberts on the all-time Cup Series wins list. Truex is also one win behind Jeff Gordon’s all-time-best five wins at Sonoma.

With ten races to go until the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begin, here’s who is on the bubble:

IN (13th-16th): Chris Buescher (+102 points), Brad Keselowski (+96), Bubba Wallace (+26), Alex Bowman 331 points (+3)

OUT (17th-28th): Daniel Suarez 328 points (-3), Ty Gibbs (-11), Michael McDowell (-14), A.J. Allmendinger (-33), Austin Cindric (-39), Corey LaJoie (-40), Justin Haley (-47), Todd Gilliland (-52), Ryan Preece (-62), Aric Almirola (-71), Chase Elliott (-84), Austin Dillon (-108)


The NASCAR Cup Series is off next week. Then, they head to Nashville Superspeedway for the June 25 Ally 400 (Broadcast: NBC, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, PRN; 7 p.m. ET).


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