NASCAR at Sonoma 2019 Results: Martin Truex Jr. Captures 4th Win of the Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2019

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, poses with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23, 2019 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr. cruised to victory in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

Kyle Busch was the only driver who presented a challenge to Truex heading into the final lap yet still finished 1.861 seconds behind Truex when he crossed the finish line. Third-place finisher Ryan Blaney was 33.549 seconds off the No. 19 car.

Truex led 59 of the race's 90 laps.

He now has four wins in 2019, tying him with Busch for the most in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Here are the top 10 finishers, with the full leaderboard available on NASCAR.com:

        

Toyota/Save Mart 350 Leaderboard

1. Martin Truex Jr.

2. Kyle Busch

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3. Ryan Blaney

4. Matt DiBenedetto

5. Denny Hamlin

6. Kevin Harvick

7. Ryan Newman

8. Erik Jones

9. Aric Almirola

10. Kyle Larson

        

This is the second consecutive year in which Truex largely dominated the field at Sonoma. He claimed the checkered flag in 2018 and led 62 laps.

The only late drama from Sunday came with six laps to go as Truex caught up to Michael McDowell and Ty Dillon. Because of Sonoma's layout, Truex had to be patient with when he passed the two, which allowed Busch to make up some ground.

But even that wasn't much of an obstacle for Truex. By the time he got around McDowell and Dillon, he retained a comfortable distance on Busch. From there, the 2017 cup champion had a straightforward path to Victory Lane.

"It was so tough," Truex said, per Performance Racing Network. "He was catching us pretty good on his new tires, luckily we were able to build up enough gap when we pitted early. It was a bit of a challenge but we evened out there at the end."

Even Busch seemed to acknowledge he was fighting an uphill battle down the stretch:

sixth in a Monster Energy Cup Series race entering Sunday.

The significance of the moment was evident in DiBenedetto's post-race interview:

Kyle Larson started from the pole for the third straight year at Sonoma. His previous two poles didn't ultimately provide much of advantage as he finished 26th in 2017 and 14th in 2018.

Larson's problems started almost immediately, as he surrendered the lead on the opening lap and steadily slipped down the leaderboard.

He wound up in 10th place, which is his best result at the track.

The next race up is the Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, on June 30. Kyle Busch is the defending champion after holding off Larson to win the Overton's 400.

According to Driver Averages, Larson has the highest average finish (seventh) among active drivers at Chicagoland. Chase Elliott has performed well there, too, notching two top-fives in three tries, which could be his opportunity to rebound after completing only 60 laps Sunday.

Larson is still looking for his first win of the season—unlike Elliott who already has that all-important victory on his resume—so a trip to Illinois could be what he needs to spark a climb up the playoff standings.