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Toyota-Save Mart 350

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

The thing that NASCAR has always done over the years is give drivers a challenge on different tracks, either in design, length, or surface.  But many don’t realize the many unique tracks the sport has run even back into the early years of the 50’s and 60’s.  One track was a true circle, and it was almost dangerous to run because drivers had to run the dirt track in a full-lap drift, making it hard on suspension, steering and other parts.

But, NASCAR has always been ones to the track via the road course for many years.  The now defunct Riverside Speedway for many years was the opening race of the year, even before the Daytona 500 was introduced in 1959, and it also became the season finale for many years as well.

Normally, NASCAR only runs a pair of road courses a season, each it’s own challenge of speed, control, and calculation.  But this year, for the first time, a third course has been added to the schedule, and will be a determining factor in the playoffs.

This weekend is the first test to get ready for that third road course, but is more of a test of control, patience, and not over driving.

The Sonoma Raceway has seen many different configurations over the years for NASCAR, ranging from the downhill loop to the sweeping straightaway and now it’s current look of the tight right-hand corners that lead into the s-turns on the downhill stretch.  It’s been a track where many have stolen a win away, but in recent years these drivers have gotten exxtremely strong at these types of tracks, so there’s less “ringers” and more of the regulars becoming strong at road racing.

That’s exactly what the League participants are hoping for, a regular to take the victory, as now the stretch to the season finale begins.  Here’s their picks for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350:


Misan Akuya:  Jamie McMurray

With finishes of sixth, 15th and 10th in the last three races, it appears that Jamie McMurray is turning his season around.  While making the chase on points is still in the cards, a win would simply be the path of least resistance.  And McMurray has shown over the years that he has what it takes to win at Sonoma coming close on a few occasions.  With three poles and six front row starts, he’ll more than likely be able to put himself in a great position to get it done.

Rob Blount:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Clint Bowyer

No reason given.

Ashley Hobbs:  Clint Bowyer

With the best average finish of (active) drivers, and 2 wins in the bank already this year, I’m looking at Bowyer to continue his 2018 success at Sonoma!

Ashley Hull:  NO PICK

Deadline passed with no pick submitted.

Dustin Parks:  Kyle Larson

Honestly this place is harder to pick for because every driver now is really talented at road racing.  However, last year he had the strongest car, but didn’t close the deal, so I’m looking to see Larson finally get into victory lane.  The Chevrolets have consistently been lagging behind, partially due to the new car, but the Ganassi group has it figured out, and hopefully can get the first win for Chevy on a non-plate track this season.

Trisha Rodisch:  Clint Bowyer

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.  SIDE NOTE:  Sal is heading to Sonoma to do photos for the event, his first show since he went in for surgery last week.  He’s recovering well, and his fiance is right there with him to ensure he doesn’t overdo anything.  Keep on recovering my friend, we all are behind you.

Rob Tiongson:  Clint Bowyer

He’s coming off a win at Michigan and with a prior victory at Sonoma, look for Driver 14 to make it happen again this Sunday.

Penny Whitecotton:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.


Standings following Michigan:

Sal Sigala Jr. – 565 – Martin Truex Jr. finished 18th (3) 17

Ashley Hobbs – 541 – Kyle Larson finished 28th (5) 26

Penny Whitecotton – 537 – Kevin Harvick finished 2nd (5) 25

Trisha Rodisch – 535 – Kevin Harvick finished 2nd (4) 22

Rob Tiongson – 535 – Kyle Larson finished 28th (2) 10

Misan Akuya – 521 – Kurt Busch finished 3rd (4) 22

Dustin Parks – 493 – Brad Keselowski finished 6th (0) 2

Rob Blount – 472 – Kevin Harvick finished 2nd (2) 13

Billy Fellin – 457 – Kyle Larson finished 28th (3) 19

Ashley Hull – 343 – NO PICK SENT (2) 12


Summary of Picks:

Clint Bowyer-4

Kyle Busch-1

Kevin Harvick-1

Kyle Larson-1

Jamie McMurray-1

Martin Truex Jr-1

About Dustin Parks

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