Race day

Race day – Scenes from the annual Toyota Savemart 350 auto race at Sonoma Racew

Historic win marks 50th year of Sonoma Raceway   

Sunday, June 23 marked an historic day at the Toyota/Savemart 350 in the rolling hills of Sonoma Raceway, the local jewel on the NASCAR circuit.

Repeat champion Martin Truex Jr. proved once again there are horses for courses, navigating the undulating, 2.52-mile road course in winning fashion to hold off a hard-charging Kyle Busch by 1.8 seconds.  

Rounding out the top five finishers were Ryan Blaney, Matt DiBenedetto and Denny Hamlin.  

The victory was the fourth in eight season starts for Truex Jr. in the No. 19 Toyota and the Joe Gibbs Racing Team, collecting the 23rd checkered flag of his career.

“To win this race two years in a row is unbelievable, Truex Jr. said. “I just dug down deep and tried to be smooth and hit my marks. Luckily, I began with a big enough gap where I could get away and not feel too much pressure.”

The annual Monster Energy NASCAR cup series event, which featured three stages and a total of 90 laps, marked the 50th anniversary of the famed Sonoma Raceway at Sears Point and return to the original 12-turn course for the first time since 1997. Pre-race tributes to Joe Gibbs, and retiring FOX race announcer Darrell Waltrip were followed by a stirring aerial show by the Patriots Jet Team.   

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