Updated: Aug 19
Written By Sean McKean, Edited by Umut Yelbaşı
Credit: Boston Globe
Despite the pressure he was under all day, Martin Truex Jr. won the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma. This is Truex’s fourth win at the track, with his latest being in 2019.
Denny Hamlin and Tyler Reddick lead the field to the green flag to open the race. Regardless of Sonoma’s tricky nature, it was a clean opening stage in which Hamlin led every lap to take the win.
With stage cautions no longer being a factor on road courses, it left the race wide open for a variety of pit strategies, which was amazingly demonstrated during Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr’s battle for the net lead on Lap 33. The two were side-by-side for what seemed like forever until, eventually, Truex took control.
The first caution would ultimately come out on Lap 50 by virtue of a pit lane trouble. As a pit member rolled a tire across his car, Zane Smith went out of his box early and knocked it down the pit lane.
The caution would lead to a two-to-go restart in the stage, where Kyle Busch fended off the pack behind him to take the win.
Lap 65 would see the first on-track incident of the race in the shape of Austin Dillon losing control of his car coming out of the hairpin. This left nowhere for Ty Gibbs to go, and he ran into the back of the RCR driver, sending him into a spin. There was no caution flag displayed for this incident.
On Lap 70, Truex’s car truly came alive, as he passed Busch to take the lead.
The green flag stint was interrupted on Lap 92, with Denny Hamlin going for a spin on the front stretch. The race restarted with 16 laps to go, putting Truex under huge pressure.
As Truex continued to stretch his lead, the race would go green to the end, despite Blaney’s spin nearly curtailing it. In the end it was Martin Truex Jr who won the race, achieving his second win of the season.
If you would like to capture the next bit of action, the cup series will be back in Nashville on June 25.