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Toyota-Save Mart 350

Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Toyota/Save Mart 350

NASCAR has a very unique relationship when it comes to road racing.  For a time, the Daytona 500 was not the race that would open the season, despite it being the biggest race of the year.  Instead, it was a trip to Riverside, California, to hit the lefts and rights of the Riverside Speedway, the same facility that eventually would conclude the season.

There were some exhibition races ran in Suzuka, Japan, on the same road course that Formula 1 would compete at, one of those times included a test run of qualifying when it was raining.

But NASCAR does not do road racing very often, in fact it’s only twice a season, but each track is unique in it’s own way.  This weekend, California welcomes the sport back, but it’s a bit farther north to Wine Country.  The Sonoma Valley is well recognized for its various vineyards, and it’s seemingly endless array of red and white wines, ranging from dry to sweet, and intensity of flavor to pair with meals such as fish, or to the high end prime rib.

The Sonoma Raceway in itself is a challenge because there are so many corners, and the elevation changes, and not to mention the curbs that can shoot a car out of control.

NASCAR’s new aerodynamic package put more emphasis on the driver when the series hits the oval tracks, but in road racing it is all about driver ability.  Acceleration, braking, shifting, and car control take center stage, and only the best have been able to show it can be done.

That is exactly what the league of writers are banking on this weekend, because the best show they can be successful at this type of racing.  Here we go at looking at the picks for victory in the Toyota/Save Mart 350:

 

Misan Akuya:  Tony Stewart

Seven road course wins and two at Sonoma.  Good ole Smoke has turned it up the last few  races.  These next two races are great opportunities for him to get himself back into victory, which would aide him getting into the top-30, which would get him into the Chase.

Rob Blount:  Tony Stewart

No reason given.

Mary Jo Buchanan:  Tony Stewart

I’m going to go risky.

Stephen Conley:  Tony Stewart

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Ashley Hobbs:  Kurt Busch

No reason given.

Ashley Hull:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Kara Martin:  NO PICK

Deadline passed with no pick submitted.

Ashley McCubbin:  Kurt Busch

No reason given.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Carl Edwards

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Kyle Busch

It was a year ago at this race that it began.  Rowdy took his two healed legs and somehow managed to hold on and get his first win of the 2015 season, a year that would see him miss the first three months of the season, but him come back to win four races in the regular season, then ultimately the final race of the year to capture his first championship.  Now, we’re back to the same venue, and I am hoping for lightning to strike twice.  Although hopefully no more jackrabbits will be in the way.

Patti Rodisch:  Kurt Busch

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Kurt Busch

I’ll be shooting both K&N West Series and Sprint Cup series this weekend.

Rob Tiongson:  A.J. Allmendinger

We cat dudes stick together after all. I expect Allmendinger to win at Sonoma, and that means Mr. Tickles gets a lot of catnip and treats that evening!

 

Standings after Michigan:

Ashley McCubbin (503) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 2

Sal Sigala Jr. (478) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 2

Ashley Hull (457) Joey Logano WON – 7

Dustin Parks (447) Matt Kenseth finished 14th – 1

Rob Blount (443) Joey Logano WON – 3

Patti Rodisch (434) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 2

Kara Martin (389) Kyle Busch finished 40th – 1

Rob Tiongson (382) Chase Elliott finished 2nd – 2

Misan Akuya (380) Chase Elliott finished 2nd – 2

Klarissa Mitchell (379) Matt Kenseth finished 14th – 1

Mary Jo Buchanan (377) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 39th – 1

Billy Fellin (371) Brad Keselowski finished 4th – 1

Ashley Hobbs (330) Chase Elliott finished 2nd – 1

Stephen Conley (304) Carl Edwards finished 6th – 0

 

Summary of Picks:

Kurt Busch-4

Tony Stewart-4

Kyle Busch-2

A.J. Allmendinger-1

Carl Edwards-1

Jimmie Johnson-1

About Dustin Parks

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