The 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma's Infineon Raceway went down Sunday afternoon and after multiple wrecks that left most of the drivers just a little bit steamed, Kurt Busch emerged with his first win of the 2011 season. The victory also marked his first ever win on a road course. Busch started the race 11th but quickly climbed to the front of the pack and dominated from there. He raced so well he was able to lead for 76 of the 110 laps and secure the five bonus points for most laps led, along with 48 points for the victory.
Vallejo-native Jeff Gordon was the top racer with Bay Area ties as he came out of nowhere to finish in second place. Although Gordon left Vallejo at a young age and now resides in North Carolina, he still takes his daughter to Infineon Raceway for her birthday and has friends in the region. Gordon began the race in 13th but seemed like he was going to end the race in the middle of the pack.
However, Tony Stewart's wreck on lap 87 put Gordon in a position to leap into the top three. Gordon's patience allowed him to emerge with a second place showing and make a big jump in the Sprint Cup Series standings. Gordon climbed from 12th place to 9th place with the second place showing. He only gained a point on Carl Edwards since Edwards finished third, but getting back into the Sprint Cup Chase standings was a strong step for Gordon.
The other Bay Area driver was A.J. Allmendinger who finished the race in 13th place. He started the race in seventh and seemed to settle into the top ten. Unfortunately he struggled late and before long found himself pushing further back in the pack. The finish equaled his 2010 showing in Sonoma.
Check out our news updates and results from the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350. For more NASCAR coverage, check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving as well as SB Nation's NASCAR hub.