SONOMA, Calif. – The postrace party was a blur after Martin Truex Jr.’s first victory in 2007. The celebratory cool-down lap, the burnouts, the drive to victory lane happened so fast.
Thus he planned to savor every minute the next time he won at NASCAR’s highest level.
He just didn’t think it would take six years.
Truex snapped a 218-race winless streak Sunday with a decisive Sprint Cup Series victory in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on the road course at Sonoma Raceway.
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Overwhelmed with emotion as he crossed the finish line, the 32-year-old 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. I tried to key the radio once and I couldn’t even talk. So I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to do some doughnuts and wave to the fans.’ But after I stopped the first time and did that, I calmed down a little bit and I just wanted to make sure I took my time coming back, because I remember at Dover it all happens way too fast. You never know when you’re going to get that opportunity again.”
Truex blew out his rear tires, tried to wave to every fan he saw, and took a slow drive around the picturesque road course on his way to victory lane.
“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.”
Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw finished sixth and Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was eighth of 43. Series leader Jimmie Johnson was ninth.
Biffle is sixth in the Cup standings, Truex is 10th and Kahne is 11th.
• James Hinchcliffe cruised to victory in the IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, leading all but 24 of 250 laps of the Iowa Corn Indy 250.
Hinchcliffe became the first three-time winner this season.
• Audi won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the fourth straight year and dedicated its victory to Allan Simonsen of Denmark — the first driver to die in the endurance race since 1997.
Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Loic Duval were the Audi No. 2 winning drivers.
Simonsen’s Aston Martin spun out Saturday, 10 minutes into the race. He was 34.
• Courtney Force, 25, claimed a Funny Car victory against her father, 15-time Funny Car world champion John Force, at the Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, N.H.
Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and John Hall (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the event.