SONOMA, CA (WFXG) - Everyone in NASCAR knows that you can't win every race but, Martin Truex Jr. has to be feeling a great sigh of relief after breaking nearly a six year winless streak with his win in Sunday's Toyota Save Mart 350.
The last time that Truex saw the checkered flag in his windshield was at Dover in June of 2007. However, the young driver was more concerned about getting his team into victory lane than himself.
"The biggest thing about today was to get all those folks into victory lane," said Truex in reference to his team. "Obviously for me 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."
It was the second straight victory for Michael Waltrip Racing in Sonoma and Truex gave a lot of credit to his success to his teammates.
"I'm very thankful for Clint and Mark and Brian and everybody that's been a part of our team for all the help that they've given me and vice versa," continued the race winner on his team's support and mentoring. "It's been so much fun to work with those guys."
Team owner Michael Waltrip echoed his driver's words regarding his team's willingness to support each other.
"Our driver lineup at the beginning of 2012 with Mark Martin and Vickers and then Clint joining Martin Truex, has made us all better," added Waltrip.
As Truex drove away from the field in the closing laps, the battle was for the runner up position. Carl Edwards couldn't hold off a charging Jeff Gordon in the late going allowing Gordon to rebound from his misfortune from a week ago to a second place finish.
"You know, there was a bunch of wrecks that happened right in front of me that I was able to avoid," said Gordon on his change of luck. "We just had a really good race car and were able to drive up through."
The second place finish moved Gordon back up in the standing to 13th and the four time champion has confidence that his team can still make the playoffs in a few months.
"If we live up to our potential and we don't get caught up in some of these silly things that we have been caught up in this year," continued a revived Gordon after the race. "There's no doubt in my mind we can work our way into the top 10."
Truex' win moved him into 10th place in the season standings with a bonus point for the win. Still, he couldn't help but fight the memory of all those races that he let get away over the last six year in the final laps.
"I just tried to focus and run laps at the speed that we needed to run, and Chad is really good about telling me how fast I need to run," said Truex on facing the race demons. "I just tried to run a little bit faster than the guy behind me and make sure I was not burning my tires up in case we had a caution."
With strong finishes and fast race cars at previous races this season, Truex' MWR team seems like it is ready to move to the next level. Martin certainly hopes that it's not another six years before he gets to celebrate victory again.