NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heads back to Sonoma Raceway this weekend and no driver is more eager to return to the California wine country than struggling Martin Truex Jr.
Truex is the defending winner of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course just north of San Francisco. It was the second career Cup victory for the 33-year-old New Jersey native.
He was driving for Michael Waltrip Racing a year ago, but this year Truex moved to the one-car team of Furniture Row Racing. It's been mostly rough sledding for Truex and his No. 78 Chevrolet.
Truex not only does not have a win through 15 Cup races this season, he doesn't even have a top-five finish. He's finished in the top 10 only three times and is languishing 25th in the Cup championship point standings.
"We just need to start a new streak in Sonoma," Truex said in notes released by his team ahead of Sunday's race.
"We've had way too much bad luck so far, but we will keep plugging away and hope what goes around, comes around," he said. "Returning to Sonoma this year will be pretty special for me."
Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in career Cup wins at Sonoma with five and Tony Stewart is a two-time winner at the track.
But recent history suggests it's anyone's race. A different driver has won as Sonoma the last nine years.