NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
28 Feb
Event finished
07 Mar
Event finished
14 Mar
Event finished
21 Mar
Event finished
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Richmond
18 Apr
Next event in
6 days
R
Talladega
25 Apr
Next event in
13 days
R
02 May
Next event in
20 days
R
Darlington
09 May
Next event in
27 days
R
16 May
Next event in
34 days
23 May
Next event in
41 days
R
Charlotte
30 May
Next event in
48 days
R
06 Jun
Next event in
55 days
R
13 Jun
Next event in
62 days
R
Nashville
20 Jun
Next event in
69 days
R
Pocono I
26 Jun
Next event in
75 days
R
Pocono II
27 Jun
Next event in
76 days
R
Road America
04 Jul
Next event in
83 days
R
Atlanta II
11 Jul
Next event in
90 days
R
New Hampshire
18 Jul
Next event in
97 days
R
Watkins Glen
08 Aug
Next event in
118 days
R
Indianapolis
15 Aug
Next event in
125 days
R
Michigan
22 Aug
Next event in
132 days
R
Daytona II
28 Aug
Next event in
138 days
R
Darlington II
05 Sep
Next event in
146 days
R
Richmond II
11 Sep
Next event in
152 days
R
Bristol II
18 Sep
Next event in
159 days
R
Las Vegas II
26 Sep
Next event in
167 days
R
Talladega II
03 Oct
Next event in
174 days
R
Charlotte II
10 Oct
Next event in
181 days
R
Texas II
17 Oct
Next event in
188 days
R
Kansas II
24 Oct
Next event in
195 days
R
Martinsville II
31 Oct
Next event in
202 days
R
Phoenix II
07 Nov
Next event in
209 days

Truex takes Sonoma win after pit strategy works to perfection

Martin Truex Jr. earned his 18th career win and third victory of the season, outsmarting the competition in a game of strategy at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday.

Truex takes Sonoma win after pit strategy works to perfection
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Mobil 1
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Mobil 1
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Chevrolet Camaro One Cure
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Chevrolet Camaro One Cure

Truex led 62 of 110 laps en route to the victory, his second at Sonoma Raceway. 

"That's all Cole (Pearn). That's all him," exclaimed Truex in Victory Lane.

"I was just begging, hoping the caution wouldn't come out."

 

The race went back green for the final stage just before halfway on Lap 55/110. After short-pitting just shy of the end of the stage, Kevin Harvick and Truex once again cycled into the race lead for the restart.

As the drivers settled in for the final 55 laps, it was Harvick ahead of Truex, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch.

Back in the pack, Ryan Blaney struggled to keep up as he battled power steering issues. Ty Dillon encountered issues of his own, stuck in third gear and falling off the lead lap.

Green-flag pit stops began with 40 laps to go, but it was two laps later that Harvick pitted from the race lead. However, Truex did not follow him into the pit lane. Radio communication revealed that No. 78 crew chief Cole Pearn intended to bait the race leading No. 4 into pitting, making them think Truex was coming in the same lap. He repeatedly said “pit now” before telling him to stay out at the last second. After the fake-out, Truex continued on for nine laps before making his final stop with 29 laps to go.

Harvick’s crew chief Rodney came over the radio, telling his driver, “kinda screwed us a little bit.”

Truex emerged seven seconds adrift of Harvick, but it didn’t take him long to cut the gap to pieces.

With 22 laps to go, he passed Bowyer with ease, and then got Harvick under braking into the hairpin just two laps later.

With Truex in the catbird seat, SHR decided to swing the odds back in their favor and threw the dice, calling both Harvick and Bowyer to pit road with 18 laps to go. The hope was that a caution would occur, putting them back in control of the race.

But even without a yellow, they had the pace to regain their lost positions with Harvick retaking second-place from Chase Elliott with nine laps to go. Bowyer followed suit and moved into third soon after.

But it was cruise control for Truex at the front, crossing the finish line with a 10.5 second advantage.

Harvick, Bowyer, Elliott, Kyle and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five.

"Oh man we all make mistakes," said Harvick after the race. "We all do things split second that might be right after it all happens."

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 110   62
2 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 110 10.513 35
3 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 110 22.079  
4 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 110 24.410  
5 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 110 26.737  
6 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 110 34.294 1
7 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 110 36.660 1
8 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 110 41.427  
9 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 110 46.498  
10 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 110 48.053 4
11 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 110 48.343  
12 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 110 53.262  
13 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 110 55.713  
14 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 110 57.722 2
15 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 110 59.287  
16 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 110 1'06.875  
17 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 110 1'13.730  
18 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 110 1'15.925  
19 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 110 1'18.441  
20 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 110 1'19.322  
21 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 110 1'26.688  
22 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 109 1 lap  
23 96 united_states Parker Kligerman  Toyota 109 1 lap  
24 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 109 1 lap  
25 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 109 1 lap  
26 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 109 1 lap  
27 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 109 1 lap  
28 15 united_states Justin Marks  Chevrolet 109 1 lap  
29 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 109 1 lap  
30 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 109 1 lap  
31 51 united_states Chris Cook  Ford 109 1 lap  
32 00 united_states Tomy Drissi  Chevrolet 108 2 laps  
33 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 106 4 laps  
34 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 104 5 laps  
35 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 57 53 laps  
36 52 united_states Cody Ware  Chevrolet 42 68 laps  
37 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 33 77 laps  
38 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 33 77 laps 5

 

shares
comments
Denny Hamlin inherits Stage 2 win as the leaders pit early

Previous article

Denny Hamlin inherits Stage 2 win as the leaders pit early

Next article

Kevin Harvick loses out on strategy at Sonoma

Kevin Harvick loses out on strategy at Sonoma
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Sonoma
Location Sonoma Raceway
Drivers Martin Truex Jr.
Teams Furniture Row Racing
Author Nick DeGroot
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020