2012 Save Mart 350 Predictions
SONOMA, CA (ATS Consultants) - The Sprint Cup Series heads to Sonoma, Ca. for the 16th Cup race on Sunday, June 24 for the Save Mart 350 from the Infineon Raceway.
Since this is a road course, Marcos Ambrose is the favorite at 4-1, while Tony Stewart (6/1), Jeff Gordon (8/1), and Juan Pablo Montoya (8/1) are also in the mix. Kurt Busch is attempting to win his second straight Toyota/Save Mart 350 but no other drive other than Jeff Gordon has ever accomplished the task.
Busch, the 2004 series champion, put on a dominating performance at Infineon Raceway. He led 76 of 110 laps around this 1.99 miles, 12-turn Northern California course. Busch finished 2.7 seconds ahead of Gordon.
Juan Pablo Montoya is a former open-wheel driver, who is considered a threat to win at any time. He went to Victory Lane in his first attempt at Sonoma in 2997, but has yet to record a top-5 finish since. He does have the second-best average finish (9.0). Montoya and Dodge snapped Chevrolet’s four-year winning run at Sonoma.
Kahne won here in 2009, beating Tony Stewart by 0.748 seconds for his 10th career Sprint Cup title. That was his first NASCAR road course race win. Kahne’s average starting position of 7.6 ranks him second among full-time drivers during the last seven races at Sonoma, according to NASCAR loop data. During the same period, he ranks eighth for fastest laps run with 27 and eighth for laps led with 41.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 50-1
Ok, you are getting a really good price for a guy that just won his first race in four years. But he’s not known to be strong on road courses. In 12 starts at Sonoma, Junior has only five finishes inside the top 15. Last year’s 41st-place finish was the worst of his career. Yet he has momentum and could definitely finish in the top 10 here with a lot of confidence.
2012 Save Mart 350 Information
Race Date: Sunday, June 24
Location: Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, Ca.
Start Time: 3pmET
Green Flag: Approx. 3:18PM ET
TV Coverage: TNT
Radio Coverage: Performance Racing Network (MRN/Sirius NASCAR Radio)
Track Type: 1.99 mile oval (1100 laps, 218.9 miles)
2011: Kurt Busch
2010: Jimmie Johnson
2009: Kasey Kahne
2008: Kyle Busch
2007: Juan Pablo Montoya
Last year’s top 5