Truex Tricks the Field for Sonoma Win


Martin Truex Jr. won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 from Sonoma Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

Truex had a dominant car throughout the race and led 62 of 110 laps, but he had to use pit strategy to take the lead for the final time.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

10 laps before making his final pit stop, Truex’s crew chief called him to pit road, but told him to stay out at the last second.  After hearing the call, Kevin Harvick pitted and was forced onto a different pit strategy.

Truex said he trusted crew chief Cole Pearn’s judgement.

“It’s all Cole,” Truex said.  “I’m cool with whatever he wants to do…a lot of trust in him.”

Once he had the lead, Truex was far enough ahead of Harvick that he was never challenged for the lead over the final 20-lap run.

Truex said he was worried a caution would come out in the closing laps and ruin their strategy.

“Honestly, all you’re doing is hoping that a caution doesn’t come out,” Truex said.  “Just hoping for no cautions and don’t make any mistakes.”

Harvick said he didn’t blame his team for calling him to pit road after they had been tricked by Truex.

“We all make mistakes…we all do things split-second that aren’t right after it all happens,” Harvick said.  “We had a shot today…and I was just too hard on the car the first couple stages.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Clint Bowyer
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Erik Jones
  8. Aric Almirola
  9. Alex Bowman
  10. Denny Hamlin
  11. Jimmie Johnson
  12. Chris Buescher
  13. Brad Keselowski
  14. Kyle Larson
  15. Daniel Suarez
  16. Austin Dillon
  17. Matt DiBenedetto
  18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  19. Joey Logano
  20. Kasey Kahne
  21. Michael McDowell
  22. David Ragan
  23. Parker Kligerman
  24. Ryan Newman
  25. William Byron
  26. Paul Menard
  27. Trevor Bayne
  28. Justin Marks
  29. Darrell Wallace Jr.
  30. Gray Gaulding
  31. Chris Cook
  32. Tomy Drissi
  33. Ty Dillon
  34. Ryan Blaney
  35. Cole Whitt
  36. Cody Ware
  37. Jamie McMurray
  38. AJ Allmendinger