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Truex Jr. ends drought in Sonoma

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Sunday, June 23, 2013

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Martin Truex Jr.
For Martin Truex Jr., a welcome oasis called Sonoma Raceway at long last ended one of the longest droughts in NASCAR racing.

With a convincing victory in Sunday’s Toyota Save Mart 350, Truex ended a winless streak of 218 races dating to June 4, 2007 at Dover, where he finished 7.355 seconds ahead of runner-up Ryan Newman.

On Sunday at Sonoma, Truex beat second-place Jeff Gordon by an even bigger margin -- 8.133 seconds -- as Juan Pablo Montoya dropped from the second position after running out of fuel on the next-to-last lap.

Truex set a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record for the largest number of races between a driver’s first and second victories.

Carl Edwards ran third, followed by Kurt Busch, who rallied from consecutive pit road speeding penalties to score his fourth top five of the season. Clint Bowyer, last year’s winner, came home fifth, followed Kasey Kahne and Marcos Ambrose.

Greg Biffle, series leader Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick completed the top 10. Montoya, who was running second with two laps left, fell to 34th at the finish after running out of fuel.

Varying pit strategies scrambled the field after the cars of Kyle Busch and Edwards tangled on Lap 82 to cause the seventh caution of the race. Led by Truex, the top 15 cars stayed on the track, all close on fuel to finish the race.

Johnson restarted 16th on two new tires, while Joey Logano, Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. led a group that changed four tires under the yellow. The new tires made a difference, as Gordon, Kurt Busch and Bowyer all charged into the top five.

But staying out was a winning move for Truex, who built a five-second lead with 10 laps left and cruised to the drought-ending victory.

Results

Pos Driver Car # Make Start Laps Status
1 Martin Truex Jr 56 Toyota 14 110 Running
2 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet 10 110 Running
3 Carl Edwards 99 Ford 3 110 Running
4 Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet 7 110 Running
5 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota 5 110 Running
6 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet 15 110 Running
7 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford 2 110 Running
8 Greg Biffle 16 Ford 4 110 Running
9 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet 19 110 Running
10 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet 12 110 Running
11 Joey Logano 22 Ford 8 110 Running
12 Dale Earnhardt Jr 88 Chevrolet 26 110 Running
13 Brian Vickers 55 Toyota 34 110 Running
14 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet 16 110 Running
15 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet 30 110 Running
16 Casey Mears 13 Ford 21 110 Running
17 Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota 33 110 Running
18 Boris Said 32 Ford 24 110 Running
19 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota 6 110 Running
20 Aric Almirola 43 Ford 32 110 Running
21 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford 18 110 Running
22 Ron Fellows 33 Chevrolet 25 110 Running
23 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota 17 110 Running
24 David Gilliland 38 Ford 29 110 Running
25 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet 1 110 Running
26 David Reutimann 83 Toyota 38 110 Running
27 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17 Ford 37 110 Running
28 Tony Stewart 14 Chevrolet 11 110 Running
29 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet 31 110 Running
30 Justin Marks 7 Chevrolet 36 110 Running
31 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet 27 110 Running
32 Josh Wise 35 Ford 35 110 Running
33 David Ragan 34 Ford 23 110 Running
34 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet 13 110 Running
35 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota 9 109 Running
36 David Stremme 30 Toyota 28 109 Running
37 Victor Gonzalez Jr 36 Chevrolet 42 109 Running
38 Tomy Drissi 87 Toyota 41 108 Running
39 Paulie Harraka 52 Ford 40 89 Running
40 Alex Kennedy 19 Toyota 39 30 Accident
41 Jacques Villeneuve 51 Chevrolet 22 19 Engine
42 J.J. Yeley 37 Chevrolet 43 7 Transmission
43 Bobby Labonte 47 Toyota 20 0 Engine

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