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Truex Team Bluffs Way To Victory In Sonoma

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 24 2018

Martin Truex Jr. got Sunday’s victory in Sonoma, Calif. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Andrew Coppley)

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Martin Truex Jr., with an assist by way of a strong theatrical assist from his crew chief, won Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Sonoma Raceway road circuit.

Defending Series champion Truex drove his Furniture Row Racing Toyota to a 10.5-second victory over Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

It was Truex’s third win of the season. He led a race-high 62 of 110 laps. The win was his second at Sonoma.

“This is an awesome day,” he said in Victory Lane. “Pretty cool to win here again.”

Harvick led 35 laps and had the lead with 38 laps to go when Cole Pearn, Truex’s crew chief got on the two-way radio and ordered his driver to pit. Hearing that, Harvick’s team immediately ordered its driver into the pits.

Pearn’s order was a ruse, however, as upon seeing Harvick pit, told Truex to say on the track. Truex then went an additional eight laps before pitting. When he came back out, he quickly used his fresher tires to track down and pass Harvick and once out front, stayed out front.

Truex said he didn’t know about his crew chief’s plan.

“That’s all Cole,” he said. “I’m cool with whatever he wants to do. Win, lose or draw, we do it together. I just got a lot of trust in him. I don’t even say anything when he says pit or don’t pit. I do what he wants to do.”

Pearn admitted the radio ruse was part of a plan.

“We knew we were going to do a one-stop (strategy over the final 38 laps), that was kind of our plan,” Pearn said. “We really needed them (Harvick and his team) to pit earlier for it to work out. It was a bit of a gamble, obviously, but obviously it paid off. Worked out great.

“Everybody is so good in this that sometimes it takes something different, to mix it up to pull one out.”

After falling for Pearn’s bluff, Harvick’s crew chief, Rodney Childers, admitted on the radio that he had fallen into the trap.

Harvick said afterward that he has no problem with what happened.

“Oh man, we all make mistakes,” Harvick said.

Clint Bowyer, Harvick’s teammate finished third.

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – Toyota / Save Mart 350

Sonoma Raceway

Sonoma, California

Sunday, June 24, 2018 

               1. (2) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 110.

               2. (6) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 110.

               3. (19) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 110.

               4. (3) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 110.

               5. (9) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 110.

               6. (23) Kurt Busch, Ford, 110.

               7. (20) Erik Jones, Toyota, 110.

               8. (24) Aric Almirola, Ford, 110.

               9. (17) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 110.

               10. (21) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 110.

               11. (7) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 110.

               12. (25) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 110.

               13. (10) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 110.

               14. (1) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 110.

               15. (16) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 110.

               16. (27) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 110.

               17. (30) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 110.

               18. (18) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 110.

               19. (12) Joey Logano, Ford, 110.

               20. (26) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 110.

               21. (22) Michael McDowell, Ford, 110.

               22. (28) David Ragan, Ford, 109.

               23. (34) * Parker Kligerman(i), Toyota, 109.

               24. (14) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 109.

               25. (8) William Byron #, Chevrolet, 109.

               26. (15) Paul Menard, Ford, 109.

               27. (13) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 109.

               28. (33) Justin Marks(i), Chevrolet, 109.

               29. (35) Bubba Wallace #, Chevrolet, 109.

               30. (29) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 109.

               31. (36) Chris Cook, Ford, 109.

               32. (37) Tomy Drissi, Chevrolet, 108.

               33. (31) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 106.

               34. (11) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 104.

               35. (32) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, Accident, 57.

               36. (38) * Cody Ware, Chevrolet, Fuel Pump, 42.

               37. (4) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, Oil Pump, 33.

               38. (5) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, Engine, 33.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  82.882 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 38 Mins, 28 Secs. Margin of Victory:  10.513 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  3 for 8 laps.

Lead Changes:  11 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   K. Larson 1-2; M. Truex Jr. 3-22; A. Allmendinger 23-27; M. Truex Jr. 28-41; K. Harvick 42-47; D. Hamlin 48-51; K. Harvick 52-72; M. Truex Jr. 73-80; Kurt Busch 81; E. Jones 82; K. Harvick 83-90; M. Truex Jr. 91-110.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  M. Truex Jr. 4 times for 62 laps; K. Harvick 3 times for 35 laps; A. Allmendinger 1 time for 5 laps; D. Hamlin 1 time for 4 laps; K. Larson 1 time for 2 laps; E. Jones 1 time for 1 lap; Kurt Busch 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 47,2,48,9,42,31,10,19,37,95

Stage #2 Top Ten: 11,9,48,2,12,10,88,34,37,31

 

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 24 2018
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