Martin Truex Jr. Holds Off Kyle Busch At Sonoma To Win His Fourth Race Of 2019by Camille Jones June 23, 2019 0 comments
SONOMA, Calif. – Martin Truex Jr. outran Kyle Busch in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway to claim his fourth victory of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Truex was able to hold off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch as the two pulled away in the closing laps with a significant lead over the field. Ryan Blaney ran in third, more than 31 seconds back from the leader at the checkered flag. Truex won the 2018 event as well, making it two in a row for him at the winding road course in ‘wine country’.
“Just dug down deep, tried to be smooth, hit my marks,” said Truex. “Luckily, I was able to have a big enough gap where I could settle in, not feel too much pressure. It was definitely difficult. That was the longest run of the race there at the end for us on tires. It felt terrible the last 20 laps. Last 10 it was just like on ice, no grip anywhere. Just really proud of all these guys. Everybody on this Bass Pro Shops Camry, everybody at TRD, everybody back at JGR, all the fans, Auto Owners, everybody who makes this thing possible.”
He continued and said, “What a season we turned this into. Want to say thank to DW (Darrell Waltrip, NASCAR on FOX) for all you’ve done for us, buddy. Been an honor watching replays of you calling the races and stuff. Been a big fan a long time. I want thank you for all that, wish you all the luck going forward. This group, man, they’re unbelievable. Hopefully we can keep this going.”
Kyle Busch claimed the second finishing position on Sunday, marking his 15th top-10 finish of 2019. Busch made up a lot of ground to catch Truex in the closing laps, but at the end of the day, his car just couldn’t keep with Truex’s while exiting the corners.
“Yeah, any time I had to lean on the left rear, I just didn’t have the drive that I needed,” Busch said. “Actually, tried to hold on to it, trying to save it. I knew that was going to be our problem. That had been our problem all day long. You get closer, you’re like, Okay, I can get him, I better go, pounce on him fast, so then he doesn’t have the time to pick up the pace. But it didn’t work. He was obviously saving a lot. I knew he was going to be saving a lot, have enough to be able to most likely hold us off. I was right. I still tried everything I could to get there and ran real hard.”
Ryan Blaney finished the race in third. Matt DiBenedetto brought home a career-high fourth-place finish. Denny Hamlin finished in fifth, followed by Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, Aric Almirola and Kyle Larson.
William Byron claimed the Stage 1 victory, while Denny Hamlin won Stage 2. Truex led 59 of 90 laps on Sunday on his way to Victory Lane.
Sunday’s race was a clean event, with no cautions for accidents. The only caution periods on Sunday came at the endings of Stages 1 and 2.
Joey Logano leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series by one point over Kyle Busch following the 16th race of the 2019 season.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway next weekend for the Camping World 400 on Sunday, June 30 at 3 p.m. ET. Live coverage will broadcast on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN).
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images