Truex Jnr wins in Sonoma after fake pit play

Daniel Herrero

Monday 25th June, 2018 - 9:57am

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Martin Truex Jnr

Martin Truex Jnr has won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma after a late-race game of chicken drew Kevin Harvick into pit lane.

The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion took his third win of the season, Harvick drove back up to second following a subsequent strategy play of his own, and Clint Bowyer made it two Stewart-Haas Racing Fords in the top three.

Truex Jnr and Harvick were both in with a shot of winning each of the first two stages but gave up the chance with pit stops which set them up for the restarts.

Harvick led Truex Jnr at the start of the final stage, and it looked like they would pit together at the end of Lap 73.

The #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota’s crew chief Cole Pearn had repeatedly told Truex Jnr to “pit now,” only to issue a seemingly last-minute instruction to stay on the race track.

With that, Truex Jnr took over the lead before actually pitting a full seven laps later, after which he used the advantage of newer tyres to run down Bowyer on Lap 89 and then take the lead from Harvick on Lap 91.

SHR decided to pit the two again and while they managed to drive back to second and third, Truex Jnr was 10.5s in the distance after the 110th and final lap.

Harvick in the #4 Ford finished another 11.6s in front of the #14 Ford of Bowyer, while the other SHR entries Kurt Busch (#41 Ford) and Aric Almirola (#10 Ford) took sixth and eighth respectively.

Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports) was the lead Chevrolet in fourth, series leader Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) finished fifth, and his team-mate Erik Jones (#20 Toyota) was seventh.

Alex Bowman (#88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) and Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) rounded out the top 10, the latter taking out Stage 2 after the eventual podium finishers pitted just before the interval.

AJ Allmendinger won Stage 1 but his race lasted little longer when the skilled road course racer missed a gear and blew the engine in his #47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet, necessitating the only unscheduled Caution of the afternoon.

Ryan Blaney was the last running at the finish due to power steering issues in the #12 Team Penske Ford.

The series continues with Round 17, the Overton’s 400, at Chicagoland Speedway on June 30-July 1 (local time).

Race highlights

Results: Toyota/Save Mart 350, Sonoma Raceway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 110 62 Running
2 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 110 35 Running
3 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 110 0 Running
4 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 110 0 Running
5 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 110 0 Running
6 41 Kurt Busch Ford 110 1 Running
7 20 Erik Jones Toyota 110 1 Running
8 10 Aric Almirola Ford 110 0 Running
9 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 110 0 Running
10 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 110 4 Running
11 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 110 0 Running
12 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 110 0 Running
13 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 110 0 Running
14 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 110 2 Running
15 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 110 0 Running
16 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 110 0 Running
17 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 110 0 Running
18 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 110 0 Running
19 22 Joey Logano Ford 110 0 Running
20 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 110 0 Running
21 34 Michael McDowell Ford 110 0 Running
22 38 David Ragan Ford 109 0 Running
23 96 Parker Kligerman Toyota 109 0 Running
24 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 109 0 Running
25 24 William Byron Chevrolet 109 0 Running
26 21 Paul Menard Ford 109 0 Running
27 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 109 0 Running
28 15 Justin Marks Chevrolet 109 0 Running
29 43 Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 109 0 Running
30 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 109 0 Running
31 51 Chris Cook Ford 109 0 Running
32 00 Tomy Drissi Chevrolet 108 0 Running
33 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 106 0 Running
34 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 104 0 Running
35 72 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 57 0 Crash
36 52 Cody Ware Chevrolet 42 0 Fuel pump
37 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 33 0 Oil pump
38 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 33 5 Engine

Standings

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Playoff pts
1 Kyle Busch 696   16 4 25
2 Kevin Harvick 624 -72 16 5 26
3 Joey Logano 584 -112 16 1 7
4 Brad Keselowski 554 -142 16 0 4
5 Martin Truex Jnr 546 -150 16 3 18
6 Clint Bowyer 544 -152 16 2 10
7 Kurt Busch 524 -172 16 0 2
8 Denny Hamlin 505 -191 16 0 2
9 Kyle Larson 472 -224 16 0 0
10 Aric Almirola 471 -225 16 0 0
11 Ryan Blaney 466 -230 16 0 4
12 Jimmie Johnson 419 -277 16 0 0
13 Chase Elliott 411 -285 16 0 0
14 Erik Jones 376 -320 16 0 0
15 Alex Bowman 363 -333 16 0 0
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 346 -350 16 0 0
17 Paul Menard 338 -358 16 0 1
18 Austin Dillon 313 -383 16 1 5
19 Daniel Suarez 290 -406 16 0 0
20 William Byron 289 -407 16 0 0
21 Jamie McMurray 284 -412 16 0 0
22 Ryan Newman 276 -420 16 0 0
23 AJ Allmendinger 260 -436 16 0 1
24 Bubba Wallace 255 -441 16 0 0
25 Chris Buescher 246 -450 16 0 0
26 David Ragan 240 -456 16 0 0
27 Michael McDowell 224 -472 16 0 0
28 Kasey Kahne 219 -477 16 0 0
29 Ty Dillon 198 -498 16 0 0
30 Matt DiBenedetto 176 -520 16 0 0
31 Trevor Bayne 155 -541 12 0 0
32 Gray Gaulding 107 -589 16 0 0
33 Cole Whitt 87 -609 9 0 0
34 Landon Cassill 75 -621 9 0 0
35 DJ Kennington 58 -638 6 0 0
36 Matt Kenseth 49 -647 4 0 0
37 Corey LaJoie 49 -647 7 0 0
38 Jeffrey Earnhardt 35 -661 6 0 0
39 Reed Sorenson 31 -665 7 0 0
40 Brendan Gaughan 24 -672 2 0 0
41 Harrison Rhodes 23 -673 5 0 0
42 Mark Thompson 15 -681 1 0 0
43 Chris Cook 6 -690 1 0 0
44 Tomy Drissi 5 -691 1 0 0
45 Derrike Cope 4 -692 2 0 0
46 Danica Patrick 2 -694 1 0 0
47 Cody Ware 1 -695 2 0 0
48 Justin Marks 0 -696 2 0 0
49 David Gilliland 0 -696 1 0 0
50 Ross Chastain 0 -696 14 0 0
51 Parker Kligerman 0 -696 2 0 0
52 Timothy Peters 0 -696 1 0 0
53 Cole Custer 0 -696 2 0 0
54 Joey Gase 0 -696 2 0 0
55 JJ Yeley 0 -696 3 0 0
56 Timmy Hill 0 -696 6 0 0
57 Daniel Hemric 0 -696 1 0 0
58 BJ Mcleod 0 -696 3 0 0
59 Chad Finchum 0 -696 1 0 0

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