The Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway is set for Saturday, June 6th, at 4:00 PM. Tune in on Fox Sports 1, MRN radio, or SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 to catch Sunday afternoon's racing action.
NASCAR is headed to wine country, and this weekend our cup series drivers are back on a road course, Sonoma Raceway. Sonoma Raceway is a road course and dragstrip located at Sears Point in the southern Sonoma Mountains of Sonoma, California, United States. The road course features 12 turns on a hilly course with 160 feet of total elevation change. Turns 5 and 6 collectively make up the “Carousel,” a sweeping 200-degree radius corner that will have most drivers on edge as they navigate the difficult stretch of track. Also, the 750-horsepower, low-downforce road course package is back in action this week in the rolling California hills. The last time NASCAR raced at Sonoma, in 2019, the Cup Series utilized the same horsepower package but had more downforce than they’ll carry into the weekend this time around.
Stages for Sunday’s race are 20, 40, and 90 laps - expect few cautions too, as cars will be spread out. If you are starting from the back, then you better move up quick, because passing will become harder as the race moves on. Let's dive in to some drivers to look out for this weekend and break down last week's bets:
Best Value Bets Recap
William Byron (-112 FanDuel) vs. Alex Bowman: Another strong showing by Hendrick Motorsports as they finish 1, 2, 4 and 5, but Byron finished fourth and Bowman finished fifth. Byron was much faster than Bowman (51 fast laps compared to 7) and had control of this matchup for most of the race to get us a win.
Twitter H2H Matchup - Kyle Busch (+110 Scores and Odds) vs. Martin Truex Jr: Charlotte history pointed directly at MTJ. Race trends in 2021 and weekend practice pointed at Kyle Busch. It was lovely seeing practice results here, as MTJ did not look good in practice, but Kyle Busch did. MTJ was hardly mentioned at all during the race. Busch finished third and Martin Truex Jr finished twenty-ninth. Simple, clean, easy win.
Drivers to Look Out For
Martin Truex Jr (+400 DraftKings): The last two trips NASCAR made to this track, it is Martin Truex Jr who has won. He’s led 60% of the laps on both of those wins, and hee was running second in 2017 but had an engine issue that resulted in a thirty-seventh place finish. Before that engine issue he led 25 laps and looked very dominant. His last 3 finishes this season are twenty-ninth, thirty-fifth and nineteenth. This is a good track for MTJ to get back some confidence back and possibly visit victory lane again on Sunday.
Kyle Busch (+700 DraftKings): Busch has not finished outside the top 10 in his last five starts at Sonoma, and his worst finish in that span was seventh in 2016. He won here in 2015, and his last three trips here have all been inside the top 5. You get the picture - he has been "good." Since his win at Kansas five weeks ago, Busch has finished outside the top 10 just one time, in Dover, where he had engine issues. Busch has the experience here and the team has confidence, so look out for the #18 Toyota to be up front late here.
Kevin Harvick (+1800 DraftKings): Back on the Kevin Harvick train! Last year, he was scary dominant. This year? He has yet to visit victory lane. This is the right place for Harvick to visit now, too, and since 2015 he has finished outside the top 5 here just twice, both sixth-place finishes in 2016 and 2018. He won here in 2017 and led 24 laps in that race. Harvick should have a strong day in the high horsepower package that NASCAR will be using. He finished sixth earlier this year at the Daytona Road Course in another type of high horsepower package. I like Harvick to be racing in the front of this one, and in his home state no less.
Best Value Bets
Kyle Busch (+125 BetMGM) vs. Martin Truex Jr: The two top dogs against each other this weekend? Sign me up, please. Yes, Martin Truex Jr has the history, but as previously mentioned, he is struggling. This is Kyle Busch’s best road course by far, on the other hand, and Busch also has the advantage of starting fifth while Martin Truex Jr starts nineteenth. If this were an oval race, I would not be too concerned with starting positions, but road courses tend to get very spread out. Sonoma is very tough to pass on, and MTJ will have to utilize the restarts to gain most of the ground here. Will he have enough time to catch Busch AND pass him? I don’t believe so. Truex Jr has also finished outside the Top 5 in 4 of 5 races at road courses with the low downforce package (including this year's Busch Clash). Take the 'dog in this Joe Gibbs matchup.