SONOMA, Calif. — Martin Truex Jr. has won in Northern California wine country before and he just might do it again this weekend.
Truex led the first of two rounds of practice Friday on the Sonoma Raceway road course in advance of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race (1:30 p.m. ET, FS1).
The 2013 winner here, Truex drove the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota to P1 on the board by posting a fast lap of 94.587 miles per hour late in the session.
That knocked off Denny Hamlin, who wound up second at the 1.99-mile road course with a lap of 94.068 mph in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Hamlin nearly swept the two Cup road course races last year, winning at Watkins Glen International after finishing second to Tony Stewart in the Sonoma race, where Stewart put him in the wall in Turn 11 on the final lap.
Third on the speed charts Friday was the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who had a best lap of 93.684 mph. Clint Bowyer, the 2012 Sonoma winner, was fourth in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
With about half an hour left in the one hour, 55 minute session, Matt Kenseth’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota lost an engine and stopped out on the track to bring out a brief red flag.
The second and final round of practice at 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1, with qualifying on Saturday at 2:45 p.m. ET, also on FS1.
For complete results from the first practice, see below.