Kyle Larson was the pole sitter and got off to a fast start ahead of Jamie McMurray and Truex. Truex Jr.is still up in 2nd place in the championship standings, but Jones is way back in 16th, which is still very respectable for a rookie driver, trying to fight his way into the playoffs. He is 8 in overall points but he also is without a win.
This season has been more about young drivers emerging as opposed to the traditional winners like Harvick. While they did make a lot of right turns, still along with some left ones, things didn’t go right a lot of times. Bowyer is a former victor of this track and has eight top-10 finishes in his 11 races at Sonoma.
Among other notable qualifiers, defending series champion Jimmie Johnson will start 24th. Johnson’s three wins at Texas, Bristol and Dover are more than any driver this season.
Kurt Busch: A Daytona 500 victory can go a long way.
In fact, with all the points Truex has earned, and with the many more he’s bound to pick up before September 9 at Richmond, Truex looks like a sure bet for one of the final four spots at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Like Busch, Stenhouse Jr. secured his spot at one of NASCAR’s biggest tracks in May when he took home the checkered flag at Talladega. The team finished 1-2 at the April 2015 Richmond race and in New Hampshire in July 2011.
Ryan Newman: A win at Phoenix early locked Newman into the NASCAR playoffs, as he now sits behind Kurt Busch at 15th in the regular season standings. Everybody back in Denver, thank you for guys for just insane fast cars. The significance of Truex’s stage dominance shows in the points.
Bowyer, the driver for the entry that Tony Stewart used for his final NASCAR victory past year at the track, was second and Brad Keselowski third as Ford cars went 1-2-3.
“It’s not like I was looking at that team as one I was going to have to point my way into beating for the [playoffs]”, Bowyer said.
Chase Elliott: The No. 24 posted another top-10 finish at Sonoma this past weekend and has run well all season. Patrick remained in contention and finished 17th.
Jason Williams, the flashy point guard nicknamed “White Chocolate”, went down with a right leg injury late in the game. McMurray has been Mr. “To come to Sonoma for so many years, and to win yesterday coming back to the K&N Series, and come back here today…”
Speaking of 11, Truex’s 11th stage win at Sonoma bumped his playoff points to 21. The crew there had Logano sample six different types of baby food, and Joey was less than impressed with the taste. The team’s goal is a victory to earn one of 16 berths in the NASCAR playoffs that begin in September. Seizing on the opportunity before him, Harvick capitalized by running down and catching leader Brad Keselowski, then leading the final 22 laps to win the Toyota/Save Mart 350. His best finish was a sixth place, and he then migrated back to Europe for endurance sports-car racing. With newly retired Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, who combined for eight career wins at Sonoma, the field is wide open as Kyle Busch is the only other active driver with multiple wins here. He enters this track with the best numbers, as he is a former victor of this rack with seven top-5 finishes.