SONOMA, Calif. -- Clint Bowyer knew he could get to Victory Lane this season, his first with Michael Waltrip Racing.
He just didn't think it would be on a road course.
Bowyer held off Kurt Busch on the winding 1.99-mile road course at Sonoma Raceway to win the Toyota/Savemart 350. Although Bowyer finished fourth three previous times on this road course, his background is on dirt tracks.
"To have this dirt boy from Kansas at Victory Lane on a road course is big, trust me," Bowyer said. "I saw Jeff Gordon, he's sitting there on the wall, he's won this race many times, he's a champion of this sport and I just beat him. I passed Jeff Gordon, and you have no idea, a young racer from Kansas, you don't forget stuff like that."
Bowyer dominated by leading 71 of the 112 laps. Defending race winner Busch, in an unsponsored car, was all over the bumper of Bowyer's Toyota late and got a final shot at taking the win away when a caution flew with four laps remaining.
Busch, though, damaged his car with roughly eight laps to go, and had no chance of catching Bowyer through the two-lap overtime sprint to the finish.
Bowyer raced side-by-side with Busch at the green flag, then cleared Busch and pulled away.
Tony Stewart passed Busch on the final lap to claim second, but said it was because Busch's car was struggling.
Busch wound up third, and was emotional afterward. He missed Pocono earlier this month because he was suspended by NASCAR for verbally abusing a media member.
Brian Vickers was fourth for MWR, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Gordon. Greg Biffle was seventh, and pole-sitter Marcos Ambrose eighth.
There were only two cautions -- the fewest in track history for the Sprint Cup Series.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who ended his four-year losing streak last week at Michigan, wanted his first career top-10 at Sonoma. He was 15th on the final restart, but was stacked in traffic and spun, finishing 23rd.