NASCAR's taking over wine country with this weekend's stop in Sonoma.
Kyle Busch won at Illinois last weekend to put some pressure on Kyle Larson atop the NASCAR Cup Series odds, as the contenders continue to jockey for playoff position.
Larson, to little surprise, is a favorite to win this weekend's Toyota/Save Mart 350, but he has some company this time around.
We break down the NASCAR odds and serve up our best Toyota/Save Mart 350 betting picks for Sunday, June 11's race.
Odds to win 2023 Toyota/Save Mart 350
|Driver||Odds to win|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+4,000|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of June 6, 2023.
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Toyota/Save Mart 350 field
The first thing you'll likely notice about this field are some big names absent at the top.
Due to Sonoma being a road course, we're going to see different driving conditions that several of NASCAR's best aren't as adept with — there aren't many spots where you'll find Denny Hamlin and Michael McDowell's names next to each other on the odds board.
The second thing you'll notice is Kyle Larson's name atop the board for the, like, 100th week in a row. Larson ran well last week, locking up a fourth-place finish, and will look to build on last year's 15th-place result at Sonoma after a 2021 win.
He'll have to contend with Tyler Reddick, who, despite wrecking out in 35th here in 2022, has crushed on road courses over the past year, winning at COTA earlier this season after victories at Road America and Indy in the back-half of 2022.
Chase Elliott will be back from his one-race suspension just in time for a road course, and, naturally, finds himself among the favorites, as he's arguably the sport's best on these tracks. But he's also winless in 2023 — can he break the slump here?
Overall, six of the eight drivers at better than 20:1 odds are at 9:1 or better, with Sonoma's road course clearly defining a tier of favorites in the mind of sportsbooks.
Toyota/Save Mart 350 picks and predictions
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Toyota/Save Mart 350 favorites
Tyler Reddick (+450)
He just won at COTA this spring to go along with a pair of wins (Road America, Indy) a year ago too. Last year, he was also fifth (COTA), seventh (Watkins Glen), and eighth (Charlotte ROVAL) on road courses. While he was only 35th here a year ago, that doesn’t scare me. He has four Top-10 finishes in the last six points-paying races.
William Byron (+850)
25th, 19th, 35th, and ninth were his four Sonoma finishes. However, most of those he went for stage points rather than a win. That’s why despite not having a Top-5 result in any of the six road course races last season with a best result of ninth, he doesn’t scare me. He was fifth in COTA this past spring and enters this weekend having scored a Top-8 finish in six straight races now.
Kyle Busch (+900)
He’s a two-time Sonoma winner and has scored five Top-5 finishes in his last seven wine country starts. He was also runner-up in COTA back in March. This car won twice on road courses a year ago as well. Busch has four Top-7 finishes in the last six races too including a pair of wins (Talladega, Gateway) in the span as well. He already has as many wins in 15 races with RCR as he did in his final 108 starts with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Toyota/Save Mart 350 sleepers
Austin Cindric (+2,000)
He finished eighth, fifth, seventh, second, 13th, and 21st on road courses in 2022. He was sixth in COTA this past March too.
Chris Buescher (+2,200)
His last five road course race finishes of last season read: second (Sonoma), sixth (Road America), 10th (Indianapolis), ninth (Watkins Glen), and sixth (Charlotte ROVAL). He was eighth in COTA this past March. The RFK Racing driver has been vastly improved this time around as well.
Alex Bowman (+2,800)
He’s been ninth in two of his last four Sonoma starts, and was third in COTA this spring.
Ryan Blaney (+3,500)
He was third in this race in 2019, ninth in 2017, 10th in 2021, and sixth last year. Blaney also has six Top-10 finishes in the last seven races on the season as well. Getting the current points leader for these odds is a must.
Michael McDowell (+4,500)
A road racer by nature, he had four Top-10s on them last season including a third in Sonoma and sixth in Watkins Glen. He was 12th in COTA. McDowell enters with some much-needed momentum with a ninth-place finish last Sunday.
Toyota/Save Mart 350 fades
Kyle Larson (+450)
He’s won three of the last four stages at Sonoma, including a 2021 win. He was, however, 15th here last year and 14th in COTA back in March, though he does have five straight Sonoma poles. But, four of his last six finishes on the season have been 20th or worse, including three of the four sub-30th place efforts. They’ve rolled off the truck terribly in the last two races.
Joey Logano (+3,500)
He may have been fourth in 2021 but his previous three finishes were 12th, 19th, and 23rd respectively. He only scored a Top-10 twice in six road courses last year, finishing sixth in Indy and third in Watkins Glen too. Logano was 28th in COTA.
Martin Truex Jr. (+4,000)
He’s led the most laps in three of the last five years in Sonoma. He’s won this race three times including three straight Top-3 finishes overall. However, he was only 26th last year (0 laps led) and 17th in COTA. Last year, he finished seventh, 26th, 13th, 21st, 23rd, and 17th in the six races on road courses. With Toyotas not having much of a solution yet, I’m fading him, despite four Top-8 finishes in the last five races, including three in the Top 5.
Toyota/Save Mart 350 prop pick
Winning Manufacturer - Chevrolet
They’re a heavy favorite for good measure. The Fords absolutely stunk in COTA and have been terrible on road courses with this Next Gen. Toyotas have been just as bad. Really, this is a numbers game for this prop. You get a host of Chevrolet drivers — any of whom could win vs. one Toyota driver (Tyler Reddick) vs. a few sleepers in the Ford camp.
Ford has won only two of the last 19 Sonoma races at that. Chevrolet has won 15 of the last 18 road course events including five of the six a year ago.
For Ford, it's not just road courses that they’ve struggled at this season. Yes, Ryan Blaney won the Coke 600 and led 83 laps in Gateway, but those were the only laps led by the camp last week.
They led just eight of 400 laps in Dover, nine of 267 in Kansas, and nine of 295 in Darlington. 37.7% (431 of 1,141) of their laps led have come on superspeedways. 928 of the 1,141 laps led (81.3%) have come at either Daytona, Talladega, Atlanta, Martinsville, or Charlotte. That's 213 combined laps led for the other 10 races.
Toyotas were a non-factor in most road course events in 2022 and outside of Reddick, were again in COTA. Give me the numbers.
Pick: Winning manufacturer - Chevrolet (-165 at DraftKings)
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Sonoma Raceway track analysis
They’re back to the 1.99-mile layout again this year. Last year was the shift back after being on the 2.52-mile layout in 2019 and again in 2021. From 1998 through 2018, it was on this current layout.
Statistically, Toyota has been the top manufacturer here with two wins in the last four trips including three of the last seven overall. However, this Next Gen has halted their momentum. While they did win with Tyler Reddick at COTA, the rest of the Toyota camp struggled.
Chevrolet is the top team on road courses with this Next Gen, while Ford has slipped to arguably even worse than Toyota. They were just off in COTA and have just two wins in the last 19 Sonoma races.
The other factor here this weekend is that you don’t have a caution at the end of the stages. Last year and every year prior under the stage era, due to being able to pit and not lose a lap, the top drivers used to typically give up stage points to pit just before the ending of that segment for track position after. Just three times in the four-year stage era at Sonoma has the eventual race winner placed inside of the Top 10 in a stage. One was Martin Truex Jr. finishing seventh in the second stage of 2019, another with Larson in 2021 sweeping both stages, and the last was Daniel Suarez last year, finishing fourth in the second stage.
Now though, we don’t stop for stages. Tyler Reddick still gave up stage points in Stage 1 at COTA earlier this year but didn’t in the second stage, winning that, as well as the race itself. That could play a massive role in how Sunday’s race looks.
Toyota/Save Mart 350 trends
- The last pole winner other than Kyle Larson (2021) to win the race was Jeff Gordon in 2004.
- The winner has come from a Top-5 starting spot just three times in the last 11 years.
- Last year, starting spots on road courses didn’t matter. The starting spots of the eventual winners were: 16th (COTA), eighth (Sonoma), fourth (Road America), first (Indy), second (Watkins Glen) and eighth (Charlotte ROVAL). Reddick started on the pole in his COTA win earlier this year.