SaveMart 350 Free Picks
This week NASCAR heads out West for the first of two road course races this year for the Toyota/Savemart 350 at Infineon Raceway.
You will hear lots of fans complain that this isn't NASCAR racing, but we think this is some of the best racing we will see this year since it's more than just turning left and who has clean air.
As an added bonus, the new double file restarts should make it even more interesting this year since we won't have a long line of single file cars with every restart. Since the leader gets his choice of inside or outside, you will always see him take the inside here and any driver stuck on the outside will have trouble with every restart.
One thing we always hear about for these races are the so-called "Road Course Ringers." Well, all you have to know is they have never won a race and putting your money on them has been a losing proposition. Our recommendation is don't get caught up in the hype and stay away from them.
Jeff Gordon 6/1
For years Jeff Gordon was the king of these races, winning five of nine races here at one point and though he has been off his game the last few years on road courses, we know this is a race he wants to win badly each and every year. Gordon has an amazing record here with five wins, 10-top fives and 12 top-10s in 16 starts for an average finish of 9.3. With those numbers, he leads all drivers with eight or more starts here.
Tony Stewart 6/1
The road course races were almost conceded to Jeff Gordon before Stewart came along, and since then these races always seem to come down to these two drivers. While we think Stewart runs better at Watkins Glen, it's tough to leave him out at Sonoma, especially with the way he has ran all year. In 10 starts here, Stewart has two wins and six top-10s for an average finish of 10.0 and just like Gordon, nobody comes close to this good of an average finish with more than five starts except Mark Martin.
Ryan Newman 25/1
Over the years, Ryan Newman has become a very good road racer. Even while his former team struggled, he always came away with good finishes here. In seven starts he has only finished outside of the top 10 twice and with the way he has looked this year, he may finally get his first road course win in this series.
Robbie Gordon 12/1
Robbie Gordon may be the best road course driver in this series, but always seems to find trouble or lets his temper get the best of him when things don't seem to go his way. If his car is right and he gets out front he could be long gone, but once he gets stuck back in traffic he seems to lose it and his day is over. There are too many question marks keeping him from being one of our top plays this week.
2009 NASCAR SaveMart 350 Race Information
Race Date: Sunday June 21, 2009
Location: Sonoma, CA
Pre-Race: 4:30PM ET
Green Flag: Approx. 5:19PM ET
TV Coverage: TNT & TNT HD
Radio Coverage: PRN (Performance Racing Network)/ XM Sirius Satellite
Track Type: 12-turn road course
Posted: 6/18/09 3:00PM ET