SONOMA, Calif– Martin Truex Jr continues to rack up stage wins, taking the opening stage for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
The 2013 race winner charged late for the stage victory against road course ace, AJ Allmendinger. This is Truex’s series leading eleventh stage victory of the season.
“Just got to lead at the right time.” Truex said. “That’s all there is to it. Love road racing and looking forward to keeping this thing up front all day, see what we can do. Only strategy is going to be tough so we’ll just do what we can.”
AJ Allmendinger looked poised to take his first stage victory of the season as he charged up to the lead with six laps to go. Unfortunately, Truex Jr had other plans and ultimately passed “The Dinger” with two laps remaining.
Pole sitter Kyle Larson finished the stage in third, with Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin finishing out the top-five.
Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer round out the rest of the top-10.
Troubles arose for a few drivers in the opening stage. Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez pitted early for flat spotted tires. Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun his No.88 Axalta Chevrolet into turn 11 and collected Danica Patrick and Kyle Larson. All three drove away, all three sustained damage.
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Rence Brown is Race Chaser Online’s West Coast-based correspondent, who currently resides in California and carries a deep passion for NASCAR, but is a follower of multiple forms of auto racing across multiple disciplines.
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