Toyota Save-Mart 350: Analyzing best NASCAR picks and bets

The Monster Energy Cup Series moves to Sonoma Raceway Sunday for the Toyota Save-Mart 350 at 3:00 p.M. ET.

Odds courtesy of William Hill New Jersey Sportsbook; for a full-set of today’s sports betting odds, access them at USA TODAY Sports.

All three manufacturers have won a race over the past three races at the California road course race, but Chevy has just one victory across the past eight starts at the track.

Who is going to win the Toyota Save-Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway?

Jun 2, 2019; Long Pond, PA, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (42) races during the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Matthew O’Haren – USA TODAY Sports).

Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson (+600) is on the pole for the third consecutive year at Sonoma, but he hasn’t made the advantageous starting position pay off, finishing 12th, 26th and 14th over the three-race span.

Larson was tops in the second practice session Friday, too, posting a speed of 95.469 mph, while checking in third among drivers in Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages at 93.013 mph.

Over his five Cup races at Sonoma, Larson has managed a 19.0 Average-Finish Position (AFP) with just 11 laps led despite an average starting spot of 2.8.

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Jun 1, 2019; Long Pond, PA, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (1) during qualifying for the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Matthew O’Haren – USA TODAY Sports).

Perhaps his teammate Kurt Busch (+1100) is the better bet.

Kurt Busch has a win, seven Top 5 finishes and 10 top-10 showings with 198 laps led, tops among all active drivers in 14 career starts. His brother, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch (+340), is also among the favorites, posting back-to-back fifth-place runs, four straight Top 10s and a victory in the 2016 installment at Sears Point.

Stewart-Haas Racing driver Clint Bowyer (+1400) led all drivers in Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages in the second session Friday, posting a speed of 93.416 mph in Laps 20-29. He also leads all active drivers with a 10.1 AFP in 13 career Sonoma starts with a win, eight top-5 finishes and 10 top-10 showings with 82 laps led and just one DNF. He was second in 2017, and third in 2018, too, and his lone win came during the 2012 season.

Hendrick’s Jimmie Johnson (+2900) continues to search for that elusive checkered flag, as the longest race drought of his career continues. Perhaps the Golden State native will break through at Sonoma. Over the past five races he has a 103.2 Driver Rating, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data, and he leads all drivers running 86.6 percent of his laps inside the Top 15.

Sonoma Raceway long-shot bets

(Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove – USA TODAY Sports).

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Three lower-tier drivers really turned heads during practice and qualifying. Front Row Motorsports driver Michael McDowell (+8000) had the eighth-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average with a speed of 92.519 mph, and he starts 13th. JTG Daugherty Racing’s Chris Buescher (+5000) was third among all drivers in the first practice session, and he starts from the 10th position on Sunday after a solid qualifying effort. Both are worth a small-unit bet with rather long odds.

Follow Joe on Twitter @ JoeWilliamsVI.


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