It is the first road course race of the year for the NASCAR Nextel cars in Sonoma. Jamie McMurray has the poll for the race. Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson had to start at the tail end of the field due to the cars not passing inspection for a bad front wing.
“Real patient,” said Jeff Gordon on starting in the back of the field. Jimmy Johnson stated that the penalty has a big effect on the team. Juan Pablo Montoya stated that he “struggled in qualifying”. Juan started the race in 32nd spot.
Robby Gordon led the first 35 laps of the entire race. During that time on lap 2 a caution came out for the cars of Matt Kenseth, Kyle Petty and Greg Biffle who all got together in the hairpin turn. On 14 Sterling Marlin stalled out trying to get off the racetrack bringing out another caution on the day.
Carl Edwards was the leader of the race on laps 46-56. He had the lead of the race after some cars pitted for a debris caution on lap 43.
At lap 56 Robby Gordon takes the lead of the race once again and pits with 35 laps to go.
With 43 laps to go though the caution came out and a bunch of cars on the lead lap pitted on the next lap for fuel which was the edge on how far they could go on fuel.
With 30 laps to go Jamie McMurray was the leader of the race with Kevin Harvick in second and Juan Pablo Montoya in third. With 20 laps to go nothing changes.
With 18 laps to go Montoya moves into second place in turn 11. With 10 laps to go it is still Jamie McMurray in the lead with Juan Pablo Montoya in second. Montoya gets the lead of the race with seven laps to go.
With three laps to go Carl Edwards is out of fuel. At the start finish line with two laps left Jamie McMurray in second runs out of fuel leaving Harvick in second. Montoya and Harvick though do not run out of fuel and finish first and second respectively.
The win by Montoya makes it the farthest back for the winner of this race. This also marks the first win by a foreign driver in over 30 plus years when Canadian Earl Ross did it. The only other driver to do it before Earl was Mario Andretti who was a Daytona 500 winner.
“He did a good job saving fuel,” said Donnie Wingo. He also stated that he had a really good car in practice.
“I knew it was going to be close,” said Montoya on the fuel. Montoya also won the first road course race for the Busch Series down in Mexico.
“We knew we were close,” said Kevin Harvick who finished in second. “Just tried to stay in front of the 5 and 99.”
Jeff Burton who finished in third stated that he certainly had a top ten car.
“Great run,” said Jeff Gordon who finished in seventh. “It was tough.” He also stated that he had some cautions fall our way.
In points after the end of the race Jeff Gordon lead Denny Hamlin by 271 points. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still 12th place in the points.