Beat The Experts: Toyota Save Mart 350 At Sonoma


Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

After a week off for Father’s Day, the Sprint Cup Series shifts to road course racing at Sonoma this week. As we know, road courses usually generate lots of intensity and many wrecks so you never know who will make it to Victory Lane. We could very well see another driver get their first win of the season since a lot of underdogs tend to race well at Sonoma. Our staff at BTF weighed in on who they think will win the race:

Joseph Shelton – Clint Bowyer – I see the streak of first-time road course winners coming town end Sunday. Why? Because Clint Bowyer. Granted he hasn’t turned heads in 2015, Sonoma has always been one of his better tracks. His No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota is always strong there and until he was wrecked in the hairpin turn last year, he had a shot at the win. Look for him to get his season back on track Sunday and turn MWR’s fortunes back around with a win in California’s wine county.

Mike Hutton – A.J. Allmendinger – He led a race-high 35 laps at Sonoma last year and was in the top 7 most of the day until he got caught in an accident late to finish 37th. Sure, he redeemed himself somewhat with the Watkin’s Glen victory later last summer, but he still is hungry to complete his unfinished business here.

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John Harlow – Tony Stewart – Besides a 6th place finish at Bristol earlier in the season, Stewart has yet to finish above 14th. His bad luck has to end at some point and he certainly knows how to win at Sonoma.

Claire Steen – Danica Patrick – I say Danica comes out of her shell this weekend for the win on a road course and surprises the universe.

Clayton Caldwell – Jeff Gordon – I say the No. 24 wins his final race in his home state. He knows how to win at Sonoma and always has good finishes there.

Marco Venosta – Martin Truex Jr. – He won there 2 years ago and has a great team with lots of momentum on his side. His win at Pocono earlier in the season could definitely lead to more wins at tracks he’s familiar with like Sonoma.

Zach Roethlisberger – Kyle Busch – He has been in contention almost every week but just needs some luck. I think he’ll have some at Sonoma.

Cole Mentzel – Jeff Gordon – I believe this is the week Jeff Gordon finally pulls off his first win of the 2015 season. He is the master of road courses and with the most wins, top 5’s and top 10’s there, it’s obvious that he dominates Sonoma. The No. 24 will be in Victory Lane this Sunday.

Underdog of the Weekend – Carl Edwards – He won at Sonoma last season with a very impressive run and held off a late Jeff Gordon push in the last turn. He got a big win at Charlotte earlier this season so there’s no reason why he won’t take a few risks to get another.

This race should provide viewers with lots of entertainment, as road courses always do. From the crazy turns to the hairpin, Sonoma never gets old. Get ready for the race this weekend, because you won’t want to miss it!

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