NASCAR’s Cup Series features a trio of road races on its 36-race schedule. It is always interesting to watch these drivers tackle the twists and turns at Sonoma after making a series of left turns through the first 15 events on the slate.
Martin Truex Jr. +475
Truex is one of five drivers to post multiple victories this season in a Cup Series point race. Taking the checkered flag at Charlotte a few weeks back followed his previous wins at Dover and Richmond. Ahead of last week’s break in the schedule, the No. 19 Toyota took third place at Michigan. Bringing a head of steam into the first road race of the year, this team is sixth in the current Cup Series standings with 499 total points. Truex has led 459 laps through the first 15 events.
What really adds value to his odds to win is a victory in last year’s road race at Sonoma. He also won this race in 2013 while finishing fifth in 2016 to demonstrate his racing ability outside the traditional NASCAR oval.
Kurt Busch +1100
Kyle’s big brother has also raced rather well this season with nine of 15 runs inside the top 10. This includes four finishes in the top five. This has the No. 1 Chevrolet in eighth place in the current standings with a total of 485 points. Busch came close to winning his first race of the season two weeks ago in Michigan with a runner-up finish behind Joey Logano. He also placed second at Bristol and third at Atlanta in the second race of the season.
Busch is another veteran driver that has demonstrated some strong racing skills on road courses in the past. His average finishing position at Sonoma is 13.6 over the course of his 18-year career racing in the Cup Series. However, going back to his victory in this race in 2011, he has managed to place seventh or better in six of his last eight races here. He was sixth in last year’s Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Aric Almirola +6600
This is the type of race where it pays to go deeper down the list in search of the best value betting longshots. Many of the drivers in Sunday’s race would not consider themselves to be proficient racing on a road course. This overall lack of experience can open the door for someone like Almirola on Sunday afternoon. His 2019 racing resume overall is highlighted by eight Top 10 runs and 100 total laps led. He best finish this season was fourth at Phoenix during the Cup Series’ early West Coast swing. He placed inside the top 10 in all three of those events, so being out on the West Coast this Sunday may bring him some added luck.
After six forgettable runs at Sonoma where Almirola failed to crack the top 20 four times, he was able to remain competitive last season with an eighth-place finish. His odds are long for a reason, but he still stands out from the rest of the drivers this far down the list.