Truex Jr. Snookers Harvick At Sonoma

Kyle Busch Retains Points Lead

Scott Stiller
June 24, 2018 - 11:36 pm
Martin Truex Wins At Sonoma

Stan Szeto-USA Today Sports

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Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Martin Truex Jr’s crew used a fake call to pit road to help Truex win the Toyota Save Mart 350 Sunday at Sonoma, California.

Truex’s pit crew set up for a pit stop on Lap 73 and race-leader Kevin Harvick’s team was monitoring Truex’s radio when the fake call went out to the No. 78 Toyota.  Harvick’s team called the No. 4 Ford to pit road, only to watch Truex stay on the track and take over the lead.

“I was just hoping for no cautions because we had a big lead,” said Truex.  “It's a little stressful when you're in those situations because you never know what's going to happen, but it all worked out, and pretty cool to get the win here today”.

The win was Truex’s third of the season, second at Sonoma and 18th of his career.

Harvick rallied to finish second and refused to place blame on his team or crew chief Rodney Childers.

“No, I think everybody did a good job,” said Harvick.  “Martin just had a little bit faster car than we did today.  At the beginning of the race, we could outrun him just a little bit and as the second stage got over we just started struggling with the brakes on our and when the brakes are not working as good, I started carrying more speed through the center of the corner and then it started to burn the rear tires off on exit”.

Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer finished third and wondered what was happening in front of him.

“I saw him stay out when we pitted, and I was like, what’s that mean?  Where are we going to come out?  And I kept looking, where is the 78.  He just had such an advantage on tires there at the end, same advantage we did the time prior when we had tires,” Bowyer said.

Chase Elliott finished fourth in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.  Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch finished fifth and retained the series points lead by 72-points over Harvick.

Tough day for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray.  McMurray lost an oil pump and finished 37th.  Larson started from the pole position but fought handling issues and finished 14th.

The next Monster Energy Cup Series race is Sunday, July 1 at Chicagoland Speedway.

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