A great day for Martin Truex Jr. ended behind the wall in the closing laps of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
Starting the day in third, Truex worked his way to the race lead by out-braking Kyle Larson going into Turn 11 on Lap 10. He briefly lost the lead opting to pit under the Lap 14 caution that flew for a spin in Turn 11 but took it back from AJ Allmendinger on Lap 22 to win the first stage (his 11th of the season).
Truex led the first 13 laps of the second stage before pitting under the lap 38 caution, which flew for debris and finished outside the top-10 in the stage.
He found his way back to the front with 43 laps to go, out-braking Kevin Harvick entering Turn 11, only to pit from the lead three laps later and exit behind Harvick, who pitted the lap prior, due to a slow stop.
Shortly thereafter, Truex reported that he was down a cylinder. The issue briefly subsided and he picked up his pace. With 24 to go, however, he made an unscheduled pit stop, then took his car to the garage because the engine expired.
He said afterward that he “was on seven cylinders” for roughly “about 20 laps.”
“It’s very disappointing, I mean, sitting there running second on seven cylinders and staying right with the leader,” Truex said. “I mean this Toyota was so good today. Everyone at Furniture Row Racing did an awesome job with it. Everybody back in Denver, thank you for just crazy fast cars. TRD (Toyota Racing Development) stuff has been really good for the past year and a half. You know sometimes these things happen, so appreciate all their effort out there at TRD. Makes good power. It’s just this one wasn’t ready to go the whole distance today.”
Truex leaves Sonoma trailing Larson by 13 points.