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NASCAR Sonoma: Martin Truex Jr wins road course race

Martin Truex Jr Furniture Row Toyota Sonoma NASCAR 2018

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.

Martin Truex Jr wins Sonoma NASCAR 2018

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

PosDriverTeamCarLaps
1Martin Truex Jr.Furniture Row RacingToyota110
2Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord110
3Clint BowyerStewart-Haas RacingFord110
4Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet110
5Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota110
6Kurt BuschStewart-Haas RacingFord110
7Erik JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota110
8Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord110
9Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet110
10Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota110
11Jimmie JohnsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet110
12Chris BuescherJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet110
13Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord110
14Kyle LarsonChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet110
15Daniel SuarezJoe Gibbs RacingToyota110
16Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet110
17Matt DiBenedettoGo FAS RacingFord110
18Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Roush Fenway RacingFord110
19Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord110
20Kasey KahneLeavine Family RacingChevrolet110
21Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord110
22David RaganFront Row MotorsportsFord109
23Parker KligermanGaunt Brothers RacingToyota109
24Ryan NewmanRichard Childress RacingChevrolet109
25William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet109
26Paul MenardWood Brothers RacingFord109
27Trevor BayneRoush Fenway RacingFord109
28Justin MarksPremium MotorsportsChevrolet109
29Darrell Wallace Jr.Richard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet109
30Gray GauldingBK RacingToyota109
31Chris CookRick Ware RacingFord109
32Tomy DrissiStarCom RacingChevrolet108
33Ty DillonGermain RacingChevrolet106
34Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord104
35Cole WhittTriStar MotorsportsChevrolet57
36Cody WareRick Ware RacingChevrolet42
37Jamie McMurrayChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet33
38A.J. AllmendingerJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet33

Drivers' standings

PosDriverPoints
1Kyle Busch696
2Kevin Harvick624
3Joey Logano584
4Brad Keselowski554
5Martin Truex Jr.546
6Clint Bowyer544
7Kurt Busch524
8Denny Hamlin505
9Kyle Larson472
10Aric Almirola471
11Ryan Blaney466
12Jimmie Johnson419
13Chase Elliott411
14Erik Jones376
15Alex Bowman363
16Ricky Stenhouse Jr.346
17Paul Menard338
18Austin Dillon313
19Daniel Suarez290
20William Byron289
21Jamie McMurray284
22Ryan Newman276
23A.J. Allmendinger260
24Darrell Wallace Jr.255
25Chris Buescher246
26David Ragan240
27Michael McDowell224
28Kasey Kahne219
29Ty Dillon198
30Matt DiBenedetto176
31Trevor Bayne155
32Gray Gaulding107
33Cole Whitt87
34Landon Cassill75
35D.J. Kennington58
36Matt Kenseth49
37Corey LaJoie49
38Jeffrey Earnhardt35
39Reed Sorenson31
40Harrison Rhodes23
41Mark Thompson15
42Chris Cook6
43Tomy Drissi5
44Derrike Cope4
45Danica Patrick2
46Cody Ware1


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