Monday, June 24, 2013

Truex Jr. Wins at Sonoma

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Martin Truex Jr. picked up his second career Sprint Cup Series victory when he won the Toyota Save Mart 350 from Sonoma, California on Sunday afternoon.

Martin Truex Jr. celebrates his first win in over 6 years (Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Truex led 51 of 110 laps on his way to victory on Sunday.  He took the lead for the final time on lap 85, and he ran away from Juan Pablo Montoya over the final 25-lap run.  

The win was Truex's first trip to victory lane since June 4, 2007 at Dover.  Truex said he was speechless after the victory, and he thanked his team for sticking behind him while he was in victory lane.

"I can't even put it into words," Truex told TNT.  "The team, they're just phenomenal.  We've been close a lot, and it feels damn good."

Juan Pablo Montoya was headed towards a runner-up finish, but he ran out of gas on the final lap.  Montoya's problems allowed Jeff Gordon to finish second after Gordon had problems of his own during the race.  Gordon was about to hit pit road when the caution came out, and he was penalized for pitting while pit road was closed.

The race hadn't even started when the trouble started for some teams.  While the cars were pulling off pit road, Paulie Harraka, who was making his Sprint Cup Series debut, crashed into the back of Alex Kennedy, causing both drivers to get serious damage to their cars.

Once the race went green, Marcos Ambrose and Kurt Busch both took their turns at the front of the field, until Brad Keselowski used pit strategy to take the lead on lap 34.  Less than 10 laps later, Truex took the lead for the first time.

Truex led until the caution came out on lap 70 and Joey Logano took the lead.  Jeff Gordon took the lead on lap 79, but when the caution came out again on lap 82, Truex was back in the lead and headed toward the victory.

Here are the unofficial results:

1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Carl Edwards
4. Kurt Busch
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Kasey Kahne
7. Marcos Ambrose
8. Greg Biffle
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Kevin Harvick
11. Joey Logano
12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
13. Brian Vickers
14. Paul Menard
15. Ryan Newman
16. Casey Mears
17. Travis Kvapil
18. Boris Said
19. Matt Kenseth
20. Aric Almirola
21. Brad Keselowski
22. Ron Fellows
23. Denny Hamlin
24. David Gilliland
25. Jamie McMurray
26. David Reutimann
27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
28. Tony Stewart
29. Danica Patrick
30. Justin Marks
31. Jeff Burton
32. Josh Wise
33. David Ragan
34. Juan Pablo Montoya
35. Kyle Busch
36. David Stremme
37. Victor Gonzalez Jr.
38. Tomy Drissi
39. Paulie Harraka
40. Alex Kennedy
41. Jacques Villeneuve
42. J.J. Yeley
43. Bobby Labonte

Next week, the Sprint Cup Series races under the lights for a rare Saturday night race.  Next Saturday's race will be the third Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, and the first in the new Gen 6 car.  The Quaker State 400 can be seen next Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST, only on TNT.

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