With NASCAR adding so many new road courses to the schedule, it’s easy to forget we have some tracks that have been around for many years. Sonoma is one of those tracks that in the past that fans used to roll their eyes at and just skip, but now with drivers getting so much more skilled it becomes really difficult to tell who has the upper hand.
Ten years ago there were only a handful of drivers like Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart that were skilled enough to win these races over drivers with road course backgrounds. This new generation comes into the sport knowing they have to be just as adept at turning right as they are left.
Favorite: Chase Elliott
With Kyle Larson’s track record at Sonoma not being the greatest, I think it rules out one of the dominant Hendrick cars. I still wouldn’t be surprised if Larson finds a way to the front with the way his season’s been going.
Elliott is going to be the favorite for anyone, and there is an obvious reason for that. With the way Hendrick has been running, and Elliott still being a force on road courses, there is no reason to bet against him.
Dark Horse: Erik Jones
This season, Jones and Richard Petty Motorsports have not made too many strides since last season, but they have gotten better on road courses. Jones is a solid road racer in his own right and has a great record at Sonoma.
In three starts at road courses this season he has 2 top tens and so far this year has finished 14th and 16th on the new road courses. I think going to Sonoma will be a great opportunity for this team to have a top 10 finish.
- Chase Elliott: $10,500
- Kyle Busch: $10,300
- Kyle Larson: $9,700
- Martin Truex Jr.: $10,900
- Ryan Blaney: $9,300
- Kevin Harvick: $8,900
- Brad Keselowski: $8,500
- Erik Jones; $7,000
- Tyler Reddick: $8,000
- Christopher Bell: $8,400
- Daniel Suarez: $6,400
- Chase Briscoe: $6,900
- Ryan Preece: $6,800
- Ryan Newman: $6,300
- Ben Rhodes: $5,400
With Hendrick still being the dominant force in the series It would be wise to keep at least Larson and Elliott in most lineups for this week. Byron has shown the potential for strong runs on road courses, while Bowman is a bit of a wildcard, but he’s not a bad play.
Kyle Busch is my big non-Hendrick pick. He’s been on a good run the last couple weeks, but you have to wonder if that is directly due to practicing being back the last two races. With Busch going back to not being able to practice it could lead back to some of his struggles.
Kevin Harvick being so cheap on a track he’s had so much success at is a steal, especially when you take into consideration that he’s been running fairly competitive in the last couple weeks. Brad Keselowski is in the same boat, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that someone who runs well at Sonoma is so low in the price pool. Take advantage of both of them.
Daniel Suarez has been struggling as of late, but Sonoma is one of the few tracks he ran well at in the past and he has the potential for a solid run today. He’s my favorite pick in the below $7,000 club today.