Top NASCAR Prop Bets for Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

Top NASCAR Prop Bets for Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma article feature image
Credit:

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jimmie Johnson

For the first time all season, this week NASCAR drivers will make some right turns! We have our first road-course race of the year at Sonoma Raceway. Road-course racing is unlike anything else on the NASCAR circuit. Because the tracks are long and driving is (relatively) slow, it’s possible for cars to pit without losing a lap, which means there is more room for strategy (and thus randomness). We should expect an exciting event with multiple race-altering incidents.

 

For this race, here are the main metrics I’m considering:

  • Projected finishing position
  • Starting position
  • Practice speed
  • Year-to-date performance
  • Road-course history
  • Sonoma history

Per usual, I rely on the machine learning statistical models and similarity scores at RotoViz, created by Nick Giffen (RotoDoc).

Kurt Busch (+130) Over Clint Bowyer (-160)

As a road course, Sonoma requires great skill to navigate and is unlike any other track on the circuit, because of which track-specific history means more at Sonoma than it does at most tracks. Since the introduction of the Gen-6 car in 2013, Busch has dominated this race: Over the last half decade, he leads NASCAR with a 7.0 average finish and 107.1 driver rating at Sonoma and is yet to finish outside the top 12.

Kyle Larson (+100) Over Jamie McMurray (-130)

Larson is on the pole at his home track, and he has been much better this year than Murray.

  • Finishing position: 13.5 vs. 19.1
  • Driver rating: 94.3 vs. 71.2
  • Running position: 12.5 vs. 17.3
  • Quality pass percentage: 54.4 vs. 32.6

Murray had the higher-ranking 10-lap speed in final practice (5 vs. 9), but Larson has the better projected finish in the RotoViz model (10.21 vs. 11.77).

Jimmie Johnson (+110) Over Chase Elliott (-140)

In the RotoViz Sim Scores, Johnson wholly outclasses Elliott.

  • Ceiling: 2 vs. 8
  • Median: 6 vs. 13.5
  • Floor: 17.8 vs. 21

Over the last decade, Johnson has seven top-10 finishes at Sonoma. Elliott has raced there twice.

Michael McDowell (+100) Over Kasey Kahne (-130)

Kahne has four top-10 Sonoma finishes in the past five years, whereas McDowell has never finished better than 14th — but this year McDowell is with Front Row Motorsports and has the best equipment of his career, while Kahne has taken a step down in team quality and is now driving the No. 95 car that McDowell operated last year for Leavine Family Racing. McDowell has better starting position (22 vs. 26), and he handily bested Kahne in single-lap practice speed (10 vs. 20).

Aric Almirola (+110) Over Daniel Suarez (-140)

Almirola has been better than Suarez this year (84.4 driver rating vs. 70.2) and almost as good as Suarez has been at Sonoma in the Gen-6 era (64.7 driver rating vs. 66.2). In his first year with Stewart-Haas Racing, Almirola is in the best equipment he’s ever had at this race, and he smoked Suarez in practice with his single-lap speed (9 vs. 33). The RotoViz model projects Almirola to take this head-to-head matchup driving away (13.62 vs. 21.98). 

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Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.