SONOMA, Calif. — Martin Truex Jr. was running second as the laps dwindled in Sonoma, and crew chief Cole Pearn didn’t think the team’s car was as fast as Kevin Harvick’s.

Pearn told his team to prepare for a pit stop on the 73rd lap, and he told Truex over the radio to bring in the car.

It was all trickery.

Harvick’s crew chief, Rodney Childers, called in his driver for tires and fuel in anticipation of Truex’s stop – but Truex stayed out for seven more laps. When he finally pitted, he got the fresh tires he needed to blow past Harvick for a sweet victory.

“I called him off at the last second,” Pearn said with a sly smile. “As far as he knew, we were pitting. I’d like to say we’re smart enough to use codes, but we’re not. We’d probably mess it up.”

Truex won the NASCAR Cup Series race in Sonoma on Sunday because of that clever pit bluff, cruising to his second career victory on the challenging road course.

Truex easily held off Harvick for his second win in three weeks and his third victory of the season in his Furniture Row Racing Toyota. Truex led 62 laps and won by a whopping 10.513 seconds.

“The last 10 laps of the race were easy,” Truex said. “A little stressful. I was just hoping for no cautions, because I had a big lead. This place is so tricky and so technical, but when you start to take care of your equipment and have time to think, it’s almost harder. You can overshoot a corner easily.”

The defending series champion didn’t make a mistake after he waited to pit until the 81st lap. With fresh tires, Truex passed Harvick for the lead around the final hairpin turn with 19 laps to go.

“That was all Cole,” Truex said. “I’ll do whatever he wants to do. Awesome job by him today. … Honestly, all you’re doing is begging, hoping that the caution doesn’t come out and hope the engine stays together.”

Truex’s victory was the 18th of his career. He earned his second career victory in 2013 at Sonoma for Michael Waltrip Racing, making him the only racer to win twice in the last decade at Sonoma.

Harvick went to the pits shortly after Truex passed him but never got the caution that would have been necessary for him to catch up. Clint Bowyer finished third and Chase Elliott was fourth.

Truex began his racing career as a kid running go-karts on road courses, and those lifelong skills are showing. After winning at Watkins Glen last year and taking Sonoma this year, his three career road course victories are second among active drivers to the four wins by Kyle Busch, who finished fifth Sunday.

“I enjoy them,” Truex said. “I think it’s fun to do something different.”

HARVICK WASN’T angry about the pit strategy that probably decided the race. “The call was one thing, but I think I was too hard on the car the first couple of stages,” Harvick said. “The brake pedal was long after qualifying and never really came around during the race. It progressively got worse.”

KYLE LARSON finished 14th after starting on the pole for the second consecutive year at his home track. He has never finished better than 12th at Sonoma.

A.J. ALLMENDINGER won the first stage and had dreams of a rare victory – until he missed a shift and blew his engine on the 33rd lap. “I haven’t missed a shift on a road course in 10 years,” Allmendinger said. “It was just me. I was trying to be so patient and so smooth. It was unexpected. It’s on me. I let everybody down here.”