‘I’m not sure why we didn’t try to save’ fuel at Sonoma – Truex

Martin Truex Jr.’s eventful day at Sonoma Raceway ended with his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry barely reaching the finish line.

Truex ran out of fuel on the final lap of the Toyota/Save Mart 350. He was running second when it went dry and Truex coasted, at a snail’s pace, the final 100 yards or so to the finish line. By the time he made it there, he was the last car on the lead lap in 27th position.

“I’m not sure why we didn’t try to save a little at the end,” Truex said. “I was clearly not going to catch [Kyle Larson] or pass him. It’s a shame that we went around the last corner and went from second to wherever we finished. It sucks, but it was a tough day, and we had a good car. We battled and did a good job. We were going to have a good day, but just one corner short.”


It was a disappointing end to a day where Truex looked primed for a fourth Sonoma victory. However, it wasn’t going to come easy after being spun by Will Brown during an accordion effect on lap eight. Truex fell to 37th place and finished the first stage in 19th place.

He finished the second stage in third place. The final stage is where the No. 19 began to make up ground.

Their final stop came on lap 68. Truex cycled out second to Chris Buescher and was on the RFK Racing driver’s bumper in the final 12 laps. Truex made a pass on Buescher for the race lead with nine laps to go but missed his mark a few corners later, which opened the door for Larson to make the winning pass.

Larson drove away from Truex over the final laps. The end result was just the second time in the last six Sonoma races that Truex did not finish inside the top three.

“It was a tough day,” Truex said. “I got spun out early and had to work hard to get some track position back. James (Small, crew chief) did a good job on our strategy. Our car was pretty good out front; thought we were going to have a shot to win there and just couldn’t quite get by the No. 17 (Chris Buescher) quick enough.

“I finally cleared him; I made a mistake and the No. 5 (Kyle Larson) was right there to pounce and then obviously ran out of gas, so it didn’t matter.”

Story originally appeared on Racer