Race: Toyota Save Mart 350
Date: June 23rd
Venue: Sonoma Raceway
2018 Winner: Martin Truex Jr (2:38:28)
Sonoma Raceway. This 1.99 mile asphalt “amoeba” shaped asphalt course features 10 turns and has been modified over the years to accommodate the NASCAR race here (including bypassing a turn and adding pit stops along turn 11 (Gilligan’s Island)) to accommodate the drivers. It is vastly different from many of the more conventional track shapes and due to that you get to see just how good the concentration can be amongst the drivers.
Kevin Harvick (third selection this year) — He surprisingly has top six finishes in four consecutive years (including a 1st and 2nd the last two years). He’s my clear cut favorite here.
Kyle Busch (third selection this year) — Four straight years of top ten finishes at Sonoma for Kyle who also has top five finishes in each of the last three races.
High Risk / High Reward
Kurt Busch (fourth selection this year) — He has a respective set of top 12 finishes at Sonoma each of the last five years. This is good enough for 2nd best among drivers who have raced here each of the last five years. I’m nervous about his handful of finishes outside the top 10 (four in his last seven) which tell me he might not be a top ten play this week.
Chase Elliot (fifth selection this year) — I am tripling down on Chase after great 4th place finishes in my last two selections of him last week at Pocono and three weeks ago at Charlotte. He has been a top-10 finisher the last two years at Sonoma (8th and 4th).
The Dark Horse
Clint Bowyer (2nd selection this year) — He has top three finishes three of the last four years at Sonoma. In addition to this, look at the race AFTER he finishes worst than 20th this season: 5th, 7th, 9th, and 5th.
Favorite: Avg Finish 12th (32nd Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 12th (32nd Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 20th (53rd Percent)