After last weekend's marathon race, NASCAR is shifting gears onto a road track in wine country for the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
With two particular drivers having dominated road courses lately, there are clear favorites in the NASCAR odds for this weekend's race, but still, plenty of value to be had elsewhere in the field.
Get the inside track on your NASCAR bets with Covers Experts' Auto Racing Advisor preview and picks for the Coca-Cola 600, which gets underway at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 6.
Toyota Save Mart 350 favorites
Martin Truex Jr. (+400)
He’s led the most laps in each of the last three years in Sonoma. He’s won this race for two straight years too.
Chase Elliott (+225)
He’s dominated the Daytona road course, the ROVAL, as well as Watkins Glen. He’s just won in COTA. He’s also 0-for-4 in Sonoma though. But, Elliott does have two Top-8 results in his last three Sonoma tries too.
Denny Hamlin (+1,000)
He’s had four straight Top 10s here, including three in the Top 5. He had just one Top 5 and two total Top 10’s in his previous 10 Sonoma starts before that.
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Toyota Save Mart 350 long-shot picks
Christopher Bell (+3,000)
Why not? He won at Daytona and is in a JGR car.
Matt DiBenedetto (+8,000)
Had a Top 5 his last time out at Sonoma with LFR. Worth a risk this weekend.
Aric Almirola (+20,000)
Could be a place to turn his luck around. Almirola isn’t known as a strong road racer, but he does have two straight Top-10 finishes at Sonoma to his credit too.
Toyota Save Mart 350 matchup pick
Elliott (-167) vs. Truex Jr. (+125)
I get the Elliott being the favorite notion, but he's never won at Sonoma before and you're getting plus money on the guy that's won in each of the last two Sonoma starts.
PICK: Truex Jr (+125)
Toyota Save Mart 350 fades
Brad Keselowski (+3,000)
Keselowski has just two Top 10s in 10 Sonoma starts. He's also backing his way into the weekend as well.
Joey Logano (+1,600)
He's finished 11th or worse in five of his last seven Sonoma starts, including his last three being 12th, 19th and 23rd respectively.
Christopher Bell (+3,000)
While he won at Daytona, Bell has one Top-15 finish in his last six starts on the season.
Toyota Save Mart 350 preview
For the first time since 2019, we’re back in wine country after last year’s race wasn’t held. Also, this will be just the second time since 1998 that they’ll run the longer course, with the short course run every year between 1998 and 2018,
Still, it didn’t matter what course was run, Martin Truex Jr. has won the last race on each. In fact, he dominated 2017, leading the most laps. He led the most laps in 2018 and again in 2019 en route to the victory. Can he three-peat on Sunday?
Chase Elliott has dominated the road courses lately, but is 0 for 4 in Sonoma. He does have two Top-8 results in his last three wine country starts too though.
They’ve combined to win nine of the last 11 road course races, including Elliott earning a win in five of the last seven overall. The only ones that they didn’t win were the ROVAL in Charlotte in 2018 (in which Truex was leading on the final lap heading into the final turn but was crashed by Jimmie Johnson) and the Daytona road course back in February (in which Elliott dominated and was leading before a fluke rain caution). That’s it.
So, in terms of favorites, you have to look at these two.
The other thing to watch is points. We’ve had 11 winners in 15 races this season which leaves, as of now, five wildcard spots open. But, what happens if Harvick or Hamlin finally win? That’s two more spots. Plus, Sonoma is a spot where you can give up stage points to position yourself after the stage with track position.
How do the guys on the playoff bubble handle this? They could use a win, but can they afford to give up stage points too?
Strategy is going to be key too.
Toyota Save Mart 350 key stat
Just once has a driver won the race and placed in the Top 10 in any of the six stages run at Sonoma. No stage winner has ever won this race either.