After taking a week break from this year’s point-race schedule, NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series returns to take on the road course at Sonoma Raceway in this season’s Toyota-Save Mart 350.
Two weeks ago at Michigan International Speedway Joey Logano threw his name into the mix for this year's Chase with his first checkered flag of the year. Rookie driver Chase Elliott almost upset the field in second place and my longshot pick to win this race at +2000 betting odds almost paid off with Kyle Larson finishing third.
Top Valued Favorite
While Kurt Busch does not normally gravitate to the top of the betting picks list for a typical Sprint Cup event, this week at the road course in Sonoma he is a +500 favorite to win his second race of the month. The No. 41 Chevrolet started June with a huge victory at Pocono that virtually assures this team a spot in this season's Chase. Kurt has raced strong all season long to currently occupy the second spot in the Sprint Cup standings with 496 total points. The main reason I like him as my top favorite is a stellar record at this track; starting with a victory in this race in 2011 leading up to a second-place run last year.
Top Valued Contender
I am keeping it in the family this week with Kyle Busch at +1000 on sportsbooks as my top-valued contender. The defending 2015 Sprint Cup Champ has kept things going this season with three checkered flags and six additional Top 5 finishes through the first 15 point race events on the schedule. Behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota, Kyle started an incredible run of four wins in five events last season with a victory on the road course at Sonoma. This snapped a string of poor finishes at this track following his first career victory here in 2008.
Top Valued Longshot
Past success on a road course is much more important than current form when it comes to picking a top-valued longshot in a race like this so I have settled-in on veteran driver Clint Bowyer at +4000 betting odds to win. His best racing days may be behind him with just two runs in the Top 10 this year, but he has demonstrated some level of success at this racing venue. Last season behind the wheel of the No. 15 Toyota, Bowyer manage to finish third and even more impressive is his 8.6 average finishing position on this road course during his 10-year Sprint Cup career.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
There are a trio of +700 second-favorites to win on Sunday with open-wheeled racing veteran AJ Allmendinger joining perennial Sprint Cup favorites Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick. Joining Kyle Busch at +1000 betting odds are Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. Another veteran driver to keep an eye on this week is Tony Stewart, who has been opened at +1200 betting odds to best the field on Sunday. Also in the mix in the top half of the betting board is Joey Logano at +1500 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at +1800.