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Sports

June 23, 2013

Martin Truex Jr. snaps 218-race losing streak

SONOMA, Calif — The post-race party was a blur after Martin Truex Jr.'s first win in 2007. The celebratory cool-down lap, the burnouts, the drive to Victory Lane all happened so fast.

So he planned to savor every minute of his next win.

He just didn't think it would take six years.

Truex snapped a 218-race winless streak Sunday with an easy victory on the road course at Sonoma Raceway. It was only the second win of Truex's career, but it put Michael Waltrip Racing in Victory Lane for the second year in a row after Clint Bowyer won here last season.

Overwhelmed with emotion as he crossed the finish line, Truex made the celebration count.

"I was a freaking mess. It was terrible," he said. "I had to stop and start doing donuts because I couldn't think about what I was doing. I tried to key the radio once and I couldn't even talk. So I thought, 'OK, I'm going to do some donuts and wave to the fans.' But after I stopped the first time and did that, I calmed down a little bit and I just wanted to make sure I took my time coming back, because I remember at Dover it all happens way too fast. You never know when you're going to get that opportunity again."

Truex blew out his rear tires, tried to wave to every single fan he saw, and took a slow drive around the picturesque road course on his way to Victory Lane, where the MWR crew was waiting to drink from the winner's enormous wine glass.

"I told them on the radio, if they're waiting on me, too bad. I'm taking my time," he said. "You can't explain the feeling. When it's been that long and you worked so hard and you've been so close ... when you think at times, 'Man, is this ever going to happen again?' You can't explain the feeling. It's pretty surreal."

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