Truex Finally Seals The Deal In Sonoma

Martin Truex Jr. celebrates after winning Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. (HHP/Tami Kelly Pope Photo)
Martin Truex Jr. celebrates after winning Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. (HHP/Tami Kelly Pope Photo)

SONOMA, Calif. – Martin Truex Jr. finally sealed the deal Sunday at Sonoma Raceway, ending a 218-race winless streak with a victory in the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Truex drove to victory in dominating fashion, leading a race-high 51 laps and cruising to an 8.133-second victory over five-time Sonoma winner Jeff Gordon. It was the second-straight Sonoma victory for Michael Waltrip Racing, who won this race last year with Clint Bowyer.

The final dash to the finish was set up when Kyle Busch crashed after contact with Carl Edwards on lap 82. Most of the leaders pitted, but Truex opted to stay out and inherited the lead. The top 15 drivers opted to stay on track, with Jimmie Johnson the first car off pit road in 16th.

The green flag waved on lap 86 and Truex quickly jumped out to a comfortable lead ahead of second-place Matt Kenseth. He quickly built a huge lead over the field as the cars that pitted began to slice and dice their way through the field.

Gordon, who took on four fresh tires during his final pit stop under the lap 82 caution period, began making his way through the pack. With nine laps left he made it to third and a few laps later he overtook Carl Edwards for second, but he was more than eight seconds behind Truex.

History showed that a late-race caution flag was likely in the 110-lap event, but that caution never came and Truex cruised to what turned out to be an easy victory at the 1.99-mile road course.