banner

NASCAR

more stats

Truex Jr.'s long winless streak ends at Sonoma



Sonoma, CA (Sports Network) - Martin Truex Jr. is finally in victory lane again in the Sprint Cup Series.

Truex ended a 218-race winless drought in NASCAR's premier series after leading 51 of 110 laps and crossing the finish line 8.13 seconds ahead of Jeff Gordon in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. It was the second career win for the 32-year-old Mayetta, N.J. native. His first win in the series came in June 2007 at Dover International Speedway, his home track.

After his win at Dover, Truex had finished in the runner-up spot six times before his victory at Sonoma.

"We've been close a lot, but it feels damn good to finally get one," Truex said.

Truex's winless streak was the second longest in series history. Bill Elliott, the 1988 Cup champion, had been without a victory for 226 races before he ended it in November 2001 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Truex also became the ninth different winner in the last nine races at this 1.99-mile road course in Northern California.

With the win, Truex moved up three positions to 10th in the point standings. There are 10 races remaining before the Chase for Sprint Cup championship begins in September. Truex made the Chase last year, finishing 11th in points.

"We've had cars really fast all year long, but we've had some tough luck," he said. "That's just part of racing. I'm just really proud of these guys (No. 56 team) for sticking behind me and working hard. They give me race cars like this."

Truex capitalized on fuel strategy by opting not to pit during the final round of stops under caution. That allowed him to take the lead for good with 28 laps to go.

It's the second straight year a driver from Michael Waltrip Racing has won at Sonoma. Clint Bowyer took the checkered flag here in 2012.

"Today was just our day," Truex said. "We've had a lot of days when it wasn't our day. It was our time, and the car was flawless. I was just trying to forget about what was behind me and focus on winning. We're going to get a bunch of them now, I can tell you that much."

Juan Pablo Montoya was running in second until the final lap when he ran out of fuel, allowing Gordon to take the position. Gordon rebounded from a 39th- place finish last week at Michigan after he crashed early in that race.

"This is one of those crazy types of races where pit strategy goes all over the place, and you never know what might happen," Gordon said. "I knew that I could probably never get to the No. 56 (Truex), but boy, I was sure having fun coming up through there."

Montoya ended up finishing 34th, the last car on the lead lap, after he barely managed to coast his car across the finish line.

Carl Edwards finished third, while Kurt Busch took the fourth spot after he bounced back from a pair of pit-road speeding penalties. Busch led 15 laps in the early going. The penalties had dropped him to 38th in the running order.

"I was fast, even on pit road, twice," Busch said. "I messed-up, flat-out. I didn't hit my tachometer right, and I was speeding both times."

Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle, who won at Michigan, Jimmie Johnson, the current points leader, and Kevin Harvick completed the top-10. Ambrose passed Jamie McMurray, the pole sitter, on the opening lap and led the first 18 laps before Busch overtook him for the position.

Johnson's lead is now 25 points over Edwards.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran strong for most of the race in hopes of getting his first top-10 finish at Sonoma, but Earnhardt faded in the closing laps and wound up placing 12th.

Danica Patrick, who became the first female to compete in a Sprint Cup race at Sonoma, finished 29th after starting 31st. Patrick spun off course and into the tire barrier in turn 10 after she cut a tire on lap 64.

06/23 20:43:46 ET

Other Stories

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on FOX50

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
 
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
 
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
 
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
 
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
 
4th
BST 19
AKR 21
 
4th
GASTATE 17
GASO 48
 
4th
TOL 28
UMASS 20
 
4th
WMICH 28
OHIO 7
 
3rd
COL 14
UCLA 31
 
3rd
UMO 7
KSU 3
 
2nd
WAKE 0
BC 17
 
2nd
BUF 6
CMICH 14
 
2nd
MARS 7
FATL 13
 
2nd
PITT 7
GT 28
 
2nd
SMISS 7
LATU 3
 
2nd
MSU 7
MICH 0
 
2nd
KENT 10
MSST 17
 
2nd
STAN 21
ORST 7
 
2nd
TCU 31
TTU 17
 
2nd
OKST 10
WVU 14
 
1st
WKENT 21
ODU 3
 
2nd
UTST 7
UNLV 0
 
2nd
MIZZ 3
VANDY 0
 
5:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
1st Intermission
SJS 0
BUF 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14