Truex Takes Consecutive Sonoma Win

Truex Takes Consecutive Sonoma Win

For the first time in 20 years, Sonoma Raceway changed its configuration for the NASCAR Cup Series race, adding the carousel back into the course. This presented a new set of challenges as the segment plunges through Turns 4, 5 and 6 before descending onto a long straightaway before the Turn 7 hairpin. This adds roughly half-a-mile to the course’s length.

Another major storyline for this year’s Wine Country race was the retirement of Darrell Waltrip—the beloved veteran driver turned broadcaster who had been calling races for NASCAR for 19 years. Waltrip made the announcement earlier this season that Sonoma would be his final race in the booth seeing as it is the last race broadcast by Fox Sports. The remainder of the regular season and playoffs are picked up by NBC Sports. As Waltrip’s final call, a handful of drivers in the field paid tribute with special paint schemes and recorded messages.

LAP 1: Pole-sitter Kyle Larson was quickly overtaken by second-place starter William Byron who pulled away to a solid lead as his teammate, Chase Elliott, took over the second position. Meanwhile, Larson began falling back through the field

STAGE 1 END – LAP 20: William Byron picked up the stage win and the extra playoff point. Coming to the green/white checkered flag, Kevin Harvick spun Michael McDowell.

STAGE 2 END – LAP 40: Without any cautions, Martin Truex Jr was able to lead all but 4 laps in the second stage, choosing to forego the lead for a strategic early pit stop. Denny Hamlin picked up the lead, as well as his 3rd segment win of the season.

LAP 52: Ricky Stenhouse Jr turned Ryan Preece while racing in the right hairpin corner of Turn 11. Preece kept his #47 Chevrolet out of the wall and continued racing before a caution flag had time to come out.

LAP 61: Chase Elliott, who had been running in the Top 3 for the entire race, reported an oil pressure issue to his #9 team. Elliott made it to the garage where his promising day suddenly came to an end.

LAP 75: Mechanical issues struck again when Joey Logano headed to pit road with a battery issue that had caused the driver to shut down all fans. The battery on his #22 Ford Mustang was replaced and Logano cycled out into the Top 25 drivers, despite having been among the Top 10 for most of the race.

LAP 80: Kyle Busch, who found himself challenging Martin Truex Jr for the lead, was the last of all cars to pit for fresher tires with hopes of gaining the advantage over Truex.  Busch was assured by crew chief Adam Stevens that he could make it past Truex before the checkered flag. Stevens went so far as to say, “We’re ahead of schedule. Don’t push it too hard,” estimating that Busch would assume the lead with approximately 8 or 9 laps to go.

LAP 90: Busch shrunk his 7-second deficit over the final 10 laps to just 1.4 seconds. In the end, however, it wasn’t quite enough and his teammate Truex got the win. This marked Truex’s second win in a row at Sonoma and the 3rd of his career at the Californian track.

RESULTS:

  1. Martin Truex Jr
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Ryan Blaney
  4. Matt DiBenedetto
  5. Denny Hamlin
  6. Kevin Harvick
  7. Ryan Newman
  8. Erik Jones
  9. Aric Almirola
  10. Kyle Larson
  11. Clint Bowyer
  12. Jimmie Johnson
  13. Kurt Busch
  14. Alex Bowman
  15. Daniel Hemric
  16. Chris Buescher
  17. Daniel Suarez
  18. Brad Keselowski
  19. William Byron
  20. David Ragan
  21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  22. Paul Menard
  23. Joey Logano
  24. Austin Dillon
  25. Michael McDowell
  26. Bubba Wallace
  27. Ty Dillon
  28. Matt Tifft
  29. Ryan Preece
  30. Parker Kligerman
  31. Landon Cassill
  32. Corey LaJoie
  33. Ross Chastain
  34. Justin Haley
  35. Reed Sorenson
  36. Cody Ware
  37. Chase Elliott
  38. JJ Yeley
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