When: Sunday, June 25, 2017
Where: Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA
Defending Champion: Tony Stewart
The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is one of only two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races run on a non-oval track. With 10 turns over 1.99 miles of track, this is one of the more unique races on the circuit.
Infineon Raceway is one of the premier road racing venues on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit and is not like other tracks. This baby is full of a dozen twists and turns, making the Toyota/Save Mart 350 a real test of handling and driving skills.
The race is 218.9 miles which is almost two miles shorter than the other road course race, the Watkins Glen 355 held in August.
Even though there have been a number of “road course ringers” entered in this race since its inception in 1989, NASCAR regulars have dominated. Jeff Gordon holds the most wins at the track with five, while Tony Stewart has three wins. Rusty Wallace, Ernie Irvan, Kyle Busch and Ricky Rudd have two wins.
Hendrick Motorsports has six wins in this race, while Joe Gibbs Racing has four wins. Robert Yates Racing has three wins, while Richard Childress Racing, Penske Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing have two wins.
Chevrolet has won this race 11 times, while Ford has seven wins. Toyota has four wins in this race, while Dodge has three and Pontiac has two.
NASCAR heads to a road course for the first time this season, as the Toyota/Save Mart 350 takes place on Sunday on FS1 at Sonoma. Martin Truex Jr. is listed as the 5-1 favorite, while Kyle Busch is the second choice at odds of 6-1. The normal list of contenders is bigger this week at Sonoma, as the list includes AJ Allmendinger and Clint Bowyer who have had success at road courses in the past. Let’s look at Sunday’s race and NASCAR picks. Continue...
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Opened in 1968, it serves as the gateway to the beautiful Sonoma Valley, one of the top wine-producing regions in the world. Early running of the Toyota Savemart 350 featured an amazing 12 turn course that gave NASCAR drivers fits.
Also, the overall length of the track, at over 2 miles, gave Infineon Raceway a bad rep. In 1998 The Chute was installed, cutting out some turns, and making the race an even 2 miles. Fox broadcast the race until the year 2006 when TNT took their place. They will continue until the year 2014.
Within the race itself, you will find some drivers that are not typical of NASCAR as this is a popular event for road course drivers. Jeff Gordon is truly the undisputed king of this NASCAR road race, with five pole positions (1998-99, 2001, 2004-05) and five victories (1998-2000, 2004, 2006), the most of any driver and recent winners have included Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Notably, and seemingly no coincidence, Gordon is also the all-time NASCAR leader with a total of nine road-course victories throughout his career.
Kyle Busch won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, moving him a little closer to possibly making the Chase for the Sprint Cup after missing the first 11 races of the season because of injuries suffered in the season-opening XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
Kyle Busch passed Jimmie Johnson with five laps to go and held off Kurt Busch (second) and Clint Bowyer (third) for a much-needed victory.
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