1. Kevin Harvick (NC)
Harvick, as ever, had a stellar run once again at Sonoma. He led 35 laps, second only to the victor, Martin Truex Jr.
2. Martin Truex Jr. (+1)
Truex has begun to show the speed that he had last year once again, leading the most laps and grabbing a decisive victory. Cole Pearn, Truex’s crew chief, faked pitting during the final stage, causing Rodney Childers to bring Kevin Harvick in to the pits. Truex then stayed out for another bunch of laps, pitted, and used new tires to pass second-place Clint Bowyer and then-leader Harvick. Truex would win by over ten seconds as Harvick and much of the rest of the field pitted again.
3. Kyle Busch (-1)
A championship-form Truex is the last thing Kyle Busch wants to see right now. After all, Truex was the only thing between Busch and that sweet Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series trophy last season. While Busch finished fifth at Sonoma, he didn’t quite have the handling to compete with the top few.
4. Brad Keselowski (NC)
Keselowski had a decent day at Sonoma, scoring quite a few stage points and finishing 13th. In fact, he tied for the second-most points of anyone with Truex, earning 40 points. He’s still waiting on that win, though.
5. Kurt Busch (+2)
Kurt Busch, like his brother Kyle, was very solid all day, ending up sixth. He continues to run very competitively, like his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, and a win may be in the cards if he can pull a little strategy to beat the top three.
6. Clint Bowyer (+3)
Bowyer had an extremely solid run on Sunday, and seemed to only be slower than Harvick and Truex. The win a couple weeks ago at Michigan combined with this has Bowyer being talked about as a championship contender.
7. Kyle Larson (-2)
While Larson started on pole, he struggled all day with a loose race car and faded back later in runs. He ended up 14th, which isn’t spectacular, especially after his 28th-place finish at Michigan.
8. Joey Logano (-2)
Like Larson, Logano struggled all day with an ill-handling race car and ended up 19th for his efforts. Logano also failed to score any stage points in the strategic mess of stage racing at Sonoma, which hurts when combined with finishing as far back as he did.
9. Denny Hamlin (+1)
Hamlin finished tenth and won stage two, a solid day for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. He’s been solid all season, but he and his team are still not quite where they need to be to win.
10. Aric Almirola (NR)
Almirola ran well all race, ending the day eighth. While it’s not spectacular, consistency has been getting him places. An average finish of 11.8 (seventh best in the series) doesn’t lie.