The post-race party was a blur after Martin Truex Jr.’s first win in 2007. The celebratory lap, the burnouts, the drive to Victory Lane all happened so fast.
So he planned to savor every minute of his next win.
He just didn’t think it would take six years.
Truex snapped a 218-race winless streak Sunday with an easy victory at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on the road course at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.
It was the second win of Truex’s career, but it put Michael Waltrip Racing in Victory Lane for the second year in a row after Clint Bowyer won in Sonoma last season.
Overwhelmed with emotion as he crossed the finish line, Truex made the celebration count.
“I was a freaking mess. It was terrible,” he said. “I had to stop and start doing doughnuts because I couldn’t think about what I was doing.”
Truex took a drive around the picturesque road course on his way to Victory Lane, where his crew was waiting to drink from the winner’s enormous wine glass.
“I told them on the radio, if they’re waiting on me, too bad. I’m taking my time,” he said. “You can’t explain the feeling.
“When it’s been that long and you worked so hard and you’ve been so close … when you think at times, ‘Man, is this ever going to happen again?’ You can’t explain the feeling. It’s pretty surreal.”
Truex worked his way to the front and used strategy to stay with the leaders. Truex then pulled away after the final restart and built a healthy lead of more than six seconds over Juan Pablo Montoya, who was running second until he ran out of gas on the final lap.
Montoya dropped all the way to 34th after having to coast to the finish.
Montoya took a shortcut to skip the final turn, drifted to the finish line and parked, annoyed at what happened.
“We’ve got tools to prevent things like that from happening,” Montoya said.
Crew chief Chris Heroy was perplexed about the gasoline shortage.
“We don’t know what happened — we were on the same strategy as (Truex),” Heroy said through a team spokeswoman. “We’re going to go back to the shop and figure it out.”
Jeff Gordon finished second a week after he was wrecked six laps into the race at Michigan.
Carl Edwards was third, followed by Kurt Busch, who climbed back from a pair of speeding penalties.
Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne was sixth. Greg Biffle from Vancouver, Wash., finished eighth.
Courtney Force claimed a Funny Car victory against her father, John, at the Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, N.H. In their first final-round matchup between father and daughter, Courtney Force earned her second victory of the year and third in her career with a time of 4.301 seconds at 261.67 mph. Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and John Hall (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the other winners. … James Hinchcliffe cruised to victory in the IndyCar Series race in Newton, Iowa, leading all but 24 of 250 laps. He became the first three-time winner this year and gave Andretti Autosport its fourth consecutive win at Iowa’s oval. … Audi won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the fourth year in a row in France and dedicated its win to Allan Simonsen of Denmark, who died Saturday, the first driver to die in the showcase endurance race since 1997.