Martin Truex Jr. defended his 2018 victory at California’s Sonoma Raceway this past Sunday, beating teammate Kyle Busch to give Joe Gibbs Racing a 1-2 finish and its 10th victory in 16 races so far this year.
Busch didn’t make it easy on Truex, turning a 8 second gap into a 1 second gap in the final 24 laps. of the race. Despite having fresher rubber thanks to an earlier green flag pit stop, Busch couldn’t reel Truex in any further, who was more consistent throughout the 12-turn, 2.52-mile lap.
Truex is proving to be a steady hand at Sonoma, which included the ‘carousel’ section used by IndyCar this year – the first time NASCAR has the full layout there since 1997.
“I just dug down deep and tried to be smooth and hit my marks,” Truex said post-race. “Luckily I began with a big enough gap where I could get away and not feel too much pressure.
“It was definitely a battle going on, as far as the race there at the end for us on tires. It felt terrible the last 20 laps. The last 10 it just felt like it was on ice — just no grip anywhere. I’m really proud of all these guys and everyone on this team and everyone back at JGR.”
Ryan Blaney followed Truex across the finish line in third, while Matt Dibenedetto and Denny Hamlin completed the top five.
Despite Larson taking pole and Byron leading Stage 1, the Chevrolet cars appeared to struggle for race pace at Sonoma. The top-finishing Chevy was Larson in tenth, with 12th through 16th all occupied by Camaros. Chase Elliott, who qualified 4th and showed strong pace earlier in the weekend, retired from the race on Lap 60 with engine trouble.
Somewhat strangely, Cody Ware retired from the race on Lap 64 after reporting fatigue, which was later found to be related to carbon monoxide poisoning. He was classified 36th
Click here for full results from the 2019 Toyota/SaveMart 250 from Sonoma and check out the video embedded above for complete highlights.