Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: AJ Allmendinger of JTG Daugherty Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):
● Kevin Harvick started sixth and finished 13th.
● The No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion raced up to the second position by lap 14.
● Crew chief Rodney Childers called the Mobil 1 Ford to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 23 for four tires and fuel.
● The green-flag pit stop proved to be a strategy move to better position the No. 4 team for the start of the second stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):
● Started second and finished 16th.
● Harvick stayed out under caution on lap 34 in the second position.
● The No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford raced to the lead on lap 42.
● Harvick surrendered the lead on lap 47 to pit under green-flag conditions for four tires and fuel and came out in the 16th position.
● After teams came to pit road at the end of the stage, Harvick and the No. 4 team claimed the lead.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 51-110):
● Started first and finished second.
● Harvick surrendered the lead on lap 73 when he came to pit road for four tires and fuel and dropped to 14th.
● The No. 4 team reclaimed the lead on lap 83 and held it until lap 91 when he was passed by Martin Truex Jr.
● The following lap, Harvick came to pit road from the second position for four fresh tires and fuel.
● The No. 4 team rejoined the field in the fifth position and raced up to second by the checkered flag.
● This was Harvick’s 12th top-five and 13th top-10 finish of 2018.
● Harvick earned his sixth top-five and ninth top-10 in 18 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Sonoma.
● Harvick led three times for 35 laps to increase his laps-led total at Sonoma to 95.
● Truex won the Save Mart 350k to score his 18th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his second at Sonoma. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was 10.513 seconds.
● This is the second time Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has placed all four of its drivers in the top-10 in a single race, with Harvick finishing second, Clint Bowyer in third, Kurt Busch fifth and Aric Almirola eighth. The last time was March 11 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. This is the best collective finish for SHR since its inception in 2009.
● There were three caution periods for a total of eight laps.
● Twenty-one of the 38 drivers in the Save Mart 350k finished on the lead lap.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Rodney Childers said on the pit box that the 78 team snookered everyone with their strategy. What was your thought when you heard that?
“I don’t really know what is going on up on the pit box and who is doing what. I just do what I am told. Those guys do a great job. You make some right ones, you make some bad ones, and sometimes you guess right, and sometimes you guess wrong. Who knows what is right or wrong. I thought that was a good call at the end to put tires on in case the caution came out. We got right back up to where we were running and put ourselves in position to have a chance in case the caution came out. I am really proud of everyone on our Mobil 1 Ford. We had a really good weekend and came up one spot short.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Overton’s 400 on Sunday, July 1 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Coverage of the race begins at 2:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.