SONOMA - Clint Bowyer survived challenges from two former Cup champions and a late caution to win Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Tony Stewart finished second with Kurt Busch third; both had won previously at Sonoma. They were followed by Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.
Bowyer, 33, became the sixth consecutive first-time road race winner at Sonoma and the eighth straight different driver to capture this Cup race.
In the winner's circle, Bowyer credited his sponsor for literally helping his victory. "Thanks 5-Hour Energy," he said of the energy drink. "I took one before the race and I needed it."
The victory was the first for Bowyer since he switched to Michael Waltrip Racing from Richard Childress Racing this season and the sixth of his Cup career. It marked the first win for the Waltrip team since 2010.
"It's a dream come true," Bowyer said. "To switch teams like I did was a huge risk, but a chance for me to showcase my talents." Bowyer's No. 15 Toyota had just enough fuel and luck to finish in front. His Camry ran out of fuel while he turned celebratory doughnuts.
"He didn't make any mistakes," said Stewart, who started 24th. "Clint did a good job."
Usually spiked with plenty of cautions on Sonoma's 11-turn road course, this 112-lap race stayed under green flag until Lap 83 when Tomy Drissi wrecked in Turn 9. It almost doubled the track record for caution-free laps to start a Cup race. The former mark was 42 laps in 1997.
That late caution allowed the pack to catch up with Bowyer, who was cruising comfortably ahead of 2011 race winner Busch and 2010 winner Johnson. The double-file restart set up a dogfight between Bowyer and Busch for most of the remaining laps. Stewart made the most of the opportunity to weave his way into contention.
Another caution on Lap 106 - only the second of the 223-mile race - set up a frantic green-white-checkered finish. It was the fewest cautions in this Cup event's 24-year history. With a lap to go, Stewart passed Busch, but was unable to catch Bowyer.
"Not having all those cautions actually made it fun," Stewart said.
Early in the race, Vallejo native Gordon led 13 laps, enough to push him to 23,000 for his Cup career. That's most by any active Cup driver and seventh all time.