Kyle Busch's team faces penalty for violation at Sonoma Raceway

Denny Hamlin has hilarious response to trivia question about past winners at Sonoma

NASCAR comes to the Sonoma Raceway

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are getting closer with 16 of the 26 regular-season races in the books. Last year's winner, Tony Stewart retired following the season, so there will be a new winner, although it could also be a former winner.

But the sometimes-ornery Harvick wasn't stressing out over a winless 2017.

With difficulty finding sponsorship, Nemechek said that he is trying not to make mistakes under the pressure of trying to perform.

It seems odd to say, especially since the Cup cars only race twice a year on road courses (it will be three next year), but watching a NASCAR road course race is off the charts better than watching a Formula One or IndyCar race on the road course. He'll start 13th in the first of two road-course events of the season. "I think, for me, that was kind of like, 'All right, you've got to do something yourself to get better.'".

As his farewell tour began in Sonoma - the track "gifted" him the sponsorship of three Labrador retriever puppies that will be raised and trained to help children with disabilities through Paws as Loving Support Assistance Dogs - Earnhardt is becoming more reflective with each passing race.

NHRA: Steve Torrence raced to his fourth Top Fuel victory of the season, beating Doug Kalita in the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

The issue handed the lead over to No. 4 Kevin Harvick with a lead just over nine seconds.

Either way, Harvick had a cozy 9-second lead over Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer before the caution.

Championship points leader Todd Gilliland, Blaine Perkins, Todd Souza, Sheldon Creed, Chris Eggleston and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup driver Daniel Suarez rounded out the top 10.

Martin Truex Jr. is having a really good year.

"It was interesting listening to some of the [Joe] Gibbs [Racing] drivers and the gamesmanship they were playing. they pitted [while Harvick didn't in the final 30 laps] and came back out and then immediately started screaming [about] debris on the race track", said Stewart, who was critical of NASCAR for throwing a late debris caution at MI last week. And I still get to be a part of this. "I hope to come back stronger".

Their resolve combined the speed they've shown is why even if he hadn't won Sunday, Harvick fully believed a victory would've materialized sooner rather than later.

"I was just going to try to make up a little bit everywhere".

Speaking to Fox Sports after the race Harvick said: "It's been a lot of work".

"I saw something on Twitter after that wreck that we had in Kansas with Aric Almirola and Danica (Patrick) and Joey Logano, and it was captioned, 'Do you still think that you could do this just like you're driving down a highway?'" Bowyer said with a laugh.

Harvick doesn't presume that SHR has figured out all the details. Kurt Busch also has one career finish here but leads all active drivers with 5+ races in average starting position which has resulted in a series leading 197 laps led.

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He now has 449 points, which puts him a significant ways off the pace set by Kyle Larson. "It gave us a lot of momentum going into this week".

Clint Bowyer finished Sunday with a beat-up race vehicle and a smile. Tyler Reddick was third, followed by Ross Chastain and Dakoda Armstrong. These drivers have combined for 1,333 laps led, but never the final one. He has two XFINITY Series wins in 10 career starts, both at road courses.

Bowyer, who finished the 2007 Daytona 500 upside down, on fire and uninjured, said the exponential advances in safety might be luring people into believing the sport has become 100-percent safe.

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