Over the last few years, road course races have provided many unexpected moments, crazy incidents, and many memorable celebrations. It's not very often that all three can occur in one race.
It started before the field even got on track for pace laps, with two cars colliding on pit road, and another behind the wall with a blown radiator.
Then some of the drivers that were expected to be dominant had issues on pit road, and then somehow recovered for strong finishes.
Finally in the end, it was a driver that hadn't seen victory lane in over six years break through for a team that gave him an opportunity to revive his career. He came so close many different times already this year, but just could not quite see the checkered flag. But now, Martin Truex Jr. can say that he is a winner with Michael Waltrip Racing, as he was the one that outran two great road race legends in Juan Montoya and Jeff Gordon, to take the checkered flag in Sonoma.
Sadly for Montoya, he did not have enough not just for Truex, but to make it to the end. He just barely crossed the finish line, although cut a corner, and wound up 34th in the final standings.
No winners came this week, but only four writers found themselves in a hole, while two made strong leaps up the board. Take a look how the writers stand now, after the checkered flag in the Toyota/Save Mart 350:
Rob Tiongson (568) Marcos Ambrose finished 7th (1)
Patti Rodisch (561) Marcos Ambrose finished 7th (0)
Kelly Crandall (537) Kurt Busch finished 4th (1)
Billy Fellin (515) Marcos Ambrose finished 7th (1)
Dustin Parks (503) Jeff Gordon finished 2nd (0)
Michael Hirshbein (490) Marcos Ambrose finished 7th (2)
Sal Sigala Jr. (489) Jimmie Johnson finished 9th (0)
Rob Blount (489) Tony Stewart finished 28th (1)
James Broomhead (481) Marcos Ambrose finished 7th (1)
Ryan O'Hara (450) Juan Pablo Montoya finished 34th (0)
Kara Martin (443) Tony Stewart finished 28th (0)
Misan Akuya (386) Tony Stewart finished 28th (0)
Christopher Leone (347) NO PICK SENT (0)
Next Race: It is a short week for Cup action, especially considering this race was in California. Rather than having about five days to prepare for the next race, it turns into about four. The next race is the first summer race under the lights for the season.
Upcoming for the Sprint Cup Series is the third ever race at the Kentucky Speedway, just outside of Sparta.
Still trying to escape the stigma of the traffic horrors that occurred in 2011, this place has provided great action, and some intense competition. Nothing less would be expected for the 2013 edition.
Writers, you don't have as much time this week, but your picks for the Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts will be due by Thursday, June 27, at 10 p.m. ET.