This weekend, the NASCAR Cup contenders will be heading to the familiar surrounds of Sonoma Raceway in California to contest the Toyota/Save Mart 350 race on Sunday.
In what has proven to be a somewhat unusual season, with Cup leader Denny Hamlin leading the championship without actually winning a race as yet, the drivers in with a chance at the top of the standings will be hoping to capitalise and land the victory here.
We are going to preview the race in a bit of detail, taking a look at its history, as well as some of the drivers who have performed well in the race over the years. We will then give you our view as to who will land the victory later today.
History Of The Toyota/Save Mart 350
The Toyota/Save Mart 350 has been contested under many different names over the years but it has always been run at Sonoma. Contested over 90 laps, the drivers will race across 217.48 miles (350 km). The first two stages comprising of 20 laps, with the third stage over 50 laps.
The most successful driver in the history of the race is Jeff Gordon who has landed five wins in the race. Hendrick Motorsports is the most successful team with six wins in total, while in terms of manufacturer, Chevrolet top the list with 11 wins in the race.
Last time out, Martin Truex Jr. landed his third victory at the track for his third different team, although that win was back in 2019. It was the second year in succession that Truex Jr. had won at Sonoma after his win for Furniture Row Racing the year before.
He will therefore be attempting to win the race for three successive years, a feat that only Jeff Gordon has previously achieved when winning from 1998 through to 2000.
The only two drivers other than Truex Jr. to taste victory here are Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, with Harvick winning the race in 2017 and Busch winning twice previously in 2008 and 2015.
Who Stands A Real Chance Of Winning The Race?
Denny Hamlin may be leading the NASCAR Cup Series with 633 points, but he is yet to win this year. Despite that, his consistency, of nine top 5 finishes sees him clear of Kyle Larson and William Byron.
However, it is the fourth place driver in the standings, Chevrolet’s Chase Elliott that leads the early betting to win Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point’s Sonoma Raceway in California.
A look at the betting with BetRivers PA reveals that Elliott is the +225 favorite ahead of Martin Truex Jr., who has won this race on three occasions, including the last two times the race was contested in 2018 and 2019, which added to his first victory in 2013.
Outside of this pair of drivers it is the two Kyle’s, Busch and Larson, that come next in the betting with the NASCAR Cup leader Denny Hamlin rated a +1000 shot.
With this race set to be the second run in recent times over the original 2.52 miles layout of the track, it should be an exciting race as its history clearly shows.
So Who Will Win The Race?
The unpredictability of NASCAR is part of its appeal and there have been some exciting and controversial finishes in this race over the years, such as in 1991 when Ricky Rudd was penalised at the last second in the race and removed from first place and placed second after an incident with the driver declared the winner, Davy Allison.
Chase Elliott may be the favorite here but you can’t overlook how dominant Martin Truex Jr. has been in the most recent races here and he is my pick to make it three in a row this year at odds of +400 with BetRivers PA.