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Domination Leads to Victory For Martin Truex Jr. At Sonoma

Martin Truex, Jr. returned to form at Sonoma showing off his road course skills by leading 51 of the 110 laps. MTJ was in the Top 10 in both early stages and was obviously set up for the long green flag runs that occurred.

NASCAR eliminated Stage cautions on road courses this season (thank goodness) and that made for a race that saw several different pit strategies emerge early on. It wasn’t until much later in the race that a few cautions came out that changed the complexion of the race even more.  Typical of road course races, the end saw drivers who were struggling struggle even more as drivers took chances to make passes that they probably should not have been making.

A prime example of this was Ryan Blaney who got tagged for speeding and got stuck back in the field. Through pit strategy, Blaney found himself once again near the front but on older tires. As he fell back a few positions he found himself amidst some other struggling drivers and he got turned after getting passed by an aggressive move from AJ Allmendinger (shocking news that, of course). That lead to him getting spun a few times and he ended up in P31 while Allmendinger finished in P6.

While Kyle Busch finished P2, it was really no contest for the win. The leader often checked out on the rest of the field all day long but that is also not unusual for a Sonoma race. But had race fortunes been just a little different, we might have seen Busch get his 4th win instead of MTJ his 3rd.

All in all, a decent last race for FOX before NBC takes over.

Things of note: Points are starting to matter

MTJ takes over the overall points lead after Blaney fell to third. There are only four drivers with multiple wins and six with one. With just ten races left, and one of them brand spanking new at the Chicago street course, the intensity is only going to grow. The next seven tracks are all different, from a street course at Chicago to Richmond to Pocono to the high speed Michigan, teams will be tested to prove their mettle before returning to Daytona for the final race before the playoff races start.

Drivers without a win are Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, Chris Buescher and Brad Keselowski of RFK Racing, Bubba Wallace, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Austin Cindric, Daniel Suarez and AJ Allmendinger to name a few. That’s just ten of the drivers who need a win in the next ten races. Do the math and it is scary stuff for these teams.

Next up: Nashville

Speaking of new tracks, the Cup drivers have only been back at Nashville for two races with Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott being the winners, Elliott being the defending winner. Elliott is mired way back in points and really needs to step up his game soon to get in contention for the playoffs. Same goes from Alex Bowman who sits 16th in points. He is not safe there without a win.

Larson has been the dominant lap leader at Nashville and the leading intermediate track driver, but he and his team will need their “A Game” to close the deal at Nashville. Something they have struggled with this season although they do have two race wins.

Ross Chastain could be a threat at Nashville with two Top 5 finishes but he needs to get back to being aggressive and not worrying about hurting anyone’s feelings.

Denny Hamlin led 114 laps at this track last year but that wasn’t cutting it, he finished P6. Teammate MTJ led 82 laps and won both Stages but finished P22 proving you can rock it the first part of the race but have to have no issues to stay in front and win.

And watch out for Christopher Bell and William Byron at Nashville. While they may not be considered top finishers on paper, they are two drivers that if they get the right set up under them, they could make it a long day for everyone else.

Happy Father’s Day!

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4 thoughts on “Domination Leads to Victory For Martin Truex Jr. At Sonoma

  1. The storytelling in this blog post about “DOMINATION LEADS TO VICTORY FOR MARTIN TRUEX JR. AT SONOMA” is captivating. I was engrossed from start to finish, and the powerful message it conveys left a lasting impact. Well-written and thought-provoking.

  2. What lessons can be learned from Ross Chastain’s performance at Nashville, considering his two Top 5 finishes, the need to regain aggression, and the importance of not being concerned about others’ feelings?

    1. I am not sure we know of any lessons learned yet. We’ll see what happens this week at Nashville, a track he has run well at. We all know of his history of being an aggressive driver, but heck, which drivers haven’t been lately? Chastain sits 4th in points and is seeded 6th in playoff points. He may need a win to get in, may not. Nashville should be a good track to see where he can go. I see nothing wrong with tempering one’s driving — many drivers need that. Case in point, AJ bombing the turn and causing Blaney to get spun out at Sonoma. I am sure Blaney thought that was a stupid and aggressive move. But tempting your driving to the point where you are no longer taking chances is not how Cup drivers should race.

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