Last Lap Incident Costs Truex a Top-10 Finish at Sonoma

NAPA Team Remains in Chase Hunt Despite 22nd-Place Finish

Martin Truex Jr. Sonoma Recap Video (via Michael Waltrip Racing)

Martin Truex Jr. Sonoma Recap
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Martin Truex Jr. Sonoma Recap
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CORNELIUS, N.C. – No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 22nd in Sunday's Toyota/SaveMart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma.

Truex started fifth in the season's first road-course event and looked to be one of the few cars that would contend for the victory in a race that ran caution free until lap 83. However after taking the white flag in sixth place, Joey Logano struck Truex's Toyota to cause a tire to cut down. It forced the NAPA driver to limp back to the checkered flag for the top-25 result.

"I want to congratulate Michael Waltrip Racing for a great day here at Sonoma," said Truex after the race. "Clint and the 15 guys had the car to beat today. I am so proud of them. We ran a different strategy and for a while there, I thought maybe this was going to be the NAPA team's day. It wasn't meant to be, but I am sure glad to see MWR come out on top. When we were coming to the white flag, I thought MWR was going to have three cars in the top 10. We got hit and it caused our tire to go down. I am not too happy about what happened to us. But there is a bright side to this and that's seeing an MWR car in victory lane."

When the race began, crew chief Chad Johnston was back on the NAPA pit box for the first time since the birth of his son. He drafted a three-stop strategy utilizing fresher tires while most of the field raced with a two-stop plan.

The opening laps proved telling for what was in store for MWR as teammates Clint Bowyer and Truex both raced up to the lead. The NAPA Toyota made its first appearance out front on lap 35. Truex led two times for a total of 15 laps while Bowyer dominated the field by leading 71 circuits. In total, MWR led 85 of the 112 laps completed.

The race ended up running into overtime with a green-white-checkered-flag finish to determine the winner of the Toyota/SaveMart 350. Bowyer would hold off Tony Stewart for the victory and give MWR its third NASCAR Sprint Cup win.

Rounding out the top-five finishers were Kurt Busch, MWR's Brian Vickers and Jimmie Johnson.

Truex's result moves the NAPA team to ninth in the championship standings. He still holds a 30-point cushion on the final Chase qualifier and is 41 points out of 11th.

The NAPA AUTO PARTS team competes next Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Race Results

Championship Standings