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Truex Goes Back to Back at Sonoma

Martin Truex, Jr.  – Driver of the No. 19 Gibbs Racing Toyota was “King of the Road” dominating 59 of 90 laps to capture the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Sonoma, CA – June 23, 2019 – Anthony Holbrook

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 16th race of the 2019 season traveled to Sonoma Raceway, Sunday June 23th, 2019 for the Toyota/Save Mart 350.  Located in the vicinity of North California’s wine country, Sonoma Raceway hosted its first NASCAR Cup Series race in 1989 after the closing of Riverside International Raceway.  Being only two road courses on the Monster Energy NASCAR schedule, Sonoma Raceway offers a challenge for those Cup drivers who turns left on banked corners. 

       STAGE 1

Kyle Larson -Driver of the No. #42 Chip Ganassi Racing won the Bush Pole Award and brought the field to green. With   an efficient green flag start elevated William Byron’s No. 24 Hendrick Chevrolet passed the Pole Sitter on lap 1 and continued to control the point for the first 20 laps in Stage 1 for the win.   With the addition of Stage point competition, race teams would forfeit the opportunity to win Stages by pitting early, placing the pitting race teams on different pit sequence.  Many teams utilized early pit service and would have a race impact.  William Byron opted to stay out and collects 10 Stage points and 1st Stage win of the 2019 Season.

        STAGE 1 Results

  1. William Byron
  2. Denny Hamblin
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Kyle Larson
  5. Aric Almirola
  6. Chris Buescher
  7. Alex Bowman
  8. Kevin Harvick
  9. Paul Menard
  10. Jimmie Johnson

       Stage 2

Denny Hamlin– Driver of the No. 11 Gibbs Toyota wins the second stage of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race after Martin Truex Jr. pitted right before the Stage’s end.

Denny Hamlin didn’t pit, as he comfortably beat the Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Penske Ford to the line, with first-stage winner William Byron back up to third. Chase Elliott-Driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Chevrolet and Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Gibbs Toyota also pitted with Martin Truex Jr., utilizing pit strategy.

Martin Truex Jr. is the defending champion on the California road course, and he led most of the second stage before sticking to his pit strategy.

Denny Hamlin earned his 2nd Stage victory of the season with this Stage victory.  Additionally, Hamblin has never won a Cup Series race at Sonoma.

        STAGE 2 Results

  1. Denny Hamblin
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. William Byron
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  6. Kyle Larson
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Chase Elliott
  9. Kyle Busch
  10. Bubba Wallace

        Final Stage

Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch were the class of the final stage in a caution-free race. 

Martin Truex Jr. assumed the lead early in the third stage, and due to radio communications issues, Kyle Busch did not follow Martin Truex Jr. into the pits for the final stop service.  When Kyle Busch finally pitted, Martin Truex Jr. reclaimed the lead with 23 laps to go.

Martin Truex Jr. opened an 8-second advantage and held off a strong push by the No. 18 Toyota to win by 1.861 seconds.

Martin Truex Jr. won for the fourth time in the last eight points-paying races, earning his 23rd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career victory.

Toyota/Save Mart 350 Final Stage Results

1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Kyle Busch
3. Ryan Blaney
4. Matt DiBenedetto
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Ryan Newman
8. Erik Jones
9. Aric Almirola
10. Kyle Larson
11. Clint Bowyer
12. Jimmie Johnson
13. Kurt Busch
14. Alex Bowman
15. Daniel Hemric
16. Chris Buescher
17. Daniel Suarez
18. Brad Keselowski
19. William Byron
20. David Ragan
21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
22. Paul Menard
23. Joey Logano
24. Austin Dillon
25. Michael McDowell
26. Bubba Wallace
27. Ty Dillon
28. Matt Tifft
29. Ryan Preece
30. Parker Kligerman
31. Landon Cassill
32. Corey Lajoie
33. Ross Chastain
34. Justin Haley
35. Reed Sorenson
36. Cody Ware
37. Chase Elliott
38. JJ Yeley

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race No. 17 locates to Chicagoland Speedway, Sunday June 30, 2019 for the Camping World 400     3:00 pm  NBCSN

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