SONOMA, Calif. (AP) Martin Truex Jr. won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway for the second straight year Sunday, comfortably holding off teammate Kyle Busch for his fourth victory of the season.
Truex won for the fourth time in the last eight points-paying races, earning his 23rd career victory and extending his team's impressive season. The late-blooming 38-year-old is a three-time Sonoma champion.
The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota teammates finished 1-2 for the seventh time in their careers.
''What a season we've turned this into,'' Truex said. ''This group, they're unbelievable. Hopefully we can keep this going.''
Ryan Blaney was third, with Matt DiBenedetto finishing a career-best fourth. Denny Hamlin was fifth.
Truex and Busch were the class of the final stage in a caution-free race on the hilly road course.
The drivers had little trouble navigating ''The Carousel,'' the extra turns inserted into the NASCAR layout for the first time since 1997.
Truex got the lead early in the third stage, and Busch didn't follow Truex into the pits for the final stop. When Busch finally pitted, Truex reclaimed the lead with 23 laps to go.
Truex opened an 8-second advantage and held off a strong push by Busch to win by 1.861 seconds.
''I just dug down deep, tried to be smooth and hit my marks,'' Truex said. ''It was definitely difficult. It felt terrible the last 20 laps. The last 10, it was like being on ice.''
Series points leader Joey Logano had battery problems and had to pit with 15 laps to go. He finished 23rd.
After a week off for the drivers, the championship race resumed with Joe Gibbs Racing reasserting its dominance on the hilly road course in Northern California wine country.
The track has another degree of difficulty with the return of the difficult three-turn Carousel, which hasn't been used for a NASCAR race since 1997. Truex was initially uncertain how his team's years of success in Sonoma would be affected by the new layout.
Turns out he didn't need to worry, not even about Busch.
''He was obviously saving a lot,'' Busch said of his teammate. ''I knew he was going to have enough to be able to most likely hold us off, and I was right. I just tried everything I could.''
More AP auto racing: and

Recent NASCAR Discussions

NASCAR Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sun, Sep 2019 by Shazman
NASCAR Bristol Night Race on Sat, Aug 2019 by Shazman
NASCAR Consumers Energy 400 on Sun, Aug 2019 by Shazman
NASCAR Watkins Glen Preview on Sun, Aug 2019 by Shazman
NASCAR Gander RV 400 Preview on Sat, Jul 2019 by Shazman


No NASCAR odds found

NASCAR Predictions & Odds

Thumbnail Bluegreen Vacations 500 Picks The 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will set the field for the final race for the title today when drivers compete in the Bluegreen Vacations 500. Here’s three...
Thumbnail AAA Texas 500 Predictions The 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series is winding down with just three races remaining. Up next is the AAA Texas 500. Here’s...
Thumbnail First Data 500 Predictions The third stage of the NASCAR postseason gets underway this afternoon with the First Data 500. Here’s three drivers we like to...
Thumbnail Hollywood Casino 400 Predictions The second stage of the 2019 NASCAR postseason concludes this afternoon with the running of the Hollywood Casino 400. Here’s three drivers we like to contend for...
Thumbnail Predictions The second stage of the 2019 NASCAR postseason continues on the fast track at Talladega today with the running of the 500. Here’s three drivers we like to...