NASCAR Odds, Pick for Sonoma: Best Bet for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350

NASCAR Odds, Pick for Sonoma: Best Bet for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 article feature image

Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford, drives during practice

Sonoma Raceway is fast.

Following a repave, the field is about four seconds faster this weekend than it was for last year's summer race.

While speed is always fun as a fan, it's likely to make passing, which is already difficult enough at road courses in the Next Gen car, even tougher.

As a result, track position will be the name of the game for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX).

Some drivers have already locked in track position following good qualifying runs, so their primary task now is to keep it.

On the other hand, drivers starting at the back half of the field will lean on strategy to try to steal track position to secure a good finish.

So what is my favorite NASCAR pick for Sonoma?

NASCAR Odds, Pick for Sonoma

*NASCAR odds as of Sunday afternoon

Michael McDowell has been a top contender at road courses since NASCAR introduced the Next Gen car prior to the start of the 2022 Cup Series season.

Among drivers who have started every road course race over the past two seasons, McDowell has the sixth-best driver rating and the fifth-best average running position.

In addition, the driver of the No. 34 Ford qualified 11th for Sunday's race and posted the 10th-best five-lap average in practice, putting him right on the fringe of the top 1o.

And perhaps most important is McDowell's position in the points standings.

This team is so far out of the playoffs that it essentially has to win a race to qualify, meaning that McDowell will very likely forego stage points in order to set himself up for the best chance for a win/top finish.

This isn't a big bet for me, but I'm willing to dabble that McDowell scores a top-1o finish at +140 odds (Caesars Sportsbook).

The bet: Michael McDowell for a Top-10 Finish (+140 at Caesars)

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