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Truex makes long-awaited return to victory lane

"We finally had a race car that was fantastic with this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. And the pit crew and Alan [Gustafson, crew chief] the rest of the day were just spot-on. Great adjustments. We had a lot of fun out there," he continued. "I knew that we could probably never get to that #56, but boy, we were sure having fun coming up through there."

As impressive as Gordon's run had been, it was hard to eclipse the feat of Kurt Busch who recovered from that early pit stop speeding fiasco to battle his way back onto the lead lap and into fourth place at the finish behind Carl Edwards.

“Yeah, we were fast, - even on pit road, twice!" he laughed. "I messed-up, flat-out. I didn't hit my tachometer right and I was speeding both times. It was one of those where I'm like how does that happen?

"But man, this Furniture Row Chevy was fast," he continued. "Congrats to Truex. When we were running a lap down with him, I was trying to pace myself. I wanted to get back on the lead lap. We did get back on the lead lap when he pitted, but we had to battle hard.

"We came back up through there. You've got to rub guys and move guys and we gave guys room and just made one mistake," he added. "I think we could have gotten all the way up to second, but we never would have caught Truex."

That left Martin Truex Jr. celebrating in victory lane by imbibing a drink of some Californian wine as part of the traditional prize for winning at Sonoma, along with the MWR team and crew chief Chad Johnson.

"Obviously I'm ecstatic," he said. "Just proud of Chad and proud of my team and so happy to get NAPA into victory lane. This means so much to me. They've stood behind me for the first three years of our deal, and I can't even tell you they've been such huge supporters or ours.

"I'm just so proud today, I'm able to put Chad and all my guys in victory lane because they work so hard and they do such a great job and there's been countless times where they deserved to win the race and for some reason it just didn't happen," he added. "That's the biggest thing about today, just proud to get all those folks into victory lane. Obviously for me it's just - you know, it's quite a relief to be honest. I don't know what else to say. Just a special, special day for me. It was a lot of fun today," he summed up.

With Carl Edwards settling for third place at the line, six spots ahead of championship leader Jimmie Johnson, it means that Johnson's lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings has been trimmed a little to 25 points heading to Kentucky next weekend.

Full race results and Sprint Cup Championship standings are available.



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Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, leads Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23, 2013 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
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Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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