2019 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
Joey Logano and Ford completely dominated last weekends Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in Michigan. But, this week the Cup series heads to Sonoma and Joey is not getting the love coming off a win that you would expect. Instead, that goes to Kevin Harvick who’s the oddsmakers favorite to win the 2019 Toyota/Save Mart 350.
So, why Harvick instead of Logano after a big win? First, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series took a week off as it was a Xfinity Series and Truck Series race weekend only. And, Logano wins on ovals and superspeedways. This week the Cup Series runs its first road course race of the season!
The focus from oddsmakers this week seems to be going towards the driver’s who have been at the front all year and have a reputation of being a road course driver. That puts a host of familiar names as being the favored drivers to win the Toyota/Save Mart 350 outright on Sunday. Here’s how the favorites look according to intertops sportsbook.
Kevin Harvick +350 Ford
Martin Truex Jr +450 Toyota
Kyle Busch +600 Toyota
Chase Elliott +600 Chevrolet
Clint Bowyer +600 Ford
Logano and Team Penske showed how much the Ford camp has improved as Blue Oval teams get used to the new 2019 Mustang. Once again, they were the manufacturer to beat when it comes to superspeedways but that knack for winning on huge tr-ovals and ovals has not translated to road courses for Logano. His lone road course win came in 2015 at Watkins Glen and he’s only has five top-five finishes on road courses.
Past Sonoma Winners
It’s a mixed bag when checking out past winners at Sonoma in order to help make your picks. The main reason is that the series only runs at the track once a year while the majority of Cup Series tracks host two events every season. That means the data is more spread out as the cars have changed drastically. It’s literally a ten-year span of single race info while a track with two events per season only goes back five-years when looking over the past ten winners.
You’ll note that Dodge has two wins and that brand no longer runs NASCAR races and there are two retired driver on the past winners list. Plus, Clint Bowyer won in 2012 running a Toyota but now he’s behind the wheel of a Ford. And, Kurt Busch has switched from Ford to Toyota and he was one of the two drivers that have won at Sonoma in the last ten years behind the wheel of a Dodge!
All of that is true… and confusing… but if you look at the favored drivers to win outright listed above you may notice that all five of them are also listed as past winners at Sonoma.
2009 Kasey Kahne Dodge
2010 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
2011 Kurt Busch Dodge
2012 Clint Bowyer Toyota
2013 Martin Truex, Jr. Toyota
2014 Carl Edwards Ford
2015 Kyle Busch Toyota
2016 Tony Stewart Chevrolet
2017 Kevin Harvick Ford
2018 Martin Truex, Jr. Toyota
Martin Truex Jr. enters the race as the defending Sonoma Champion and he has a knack for solid runs on road courses as he’s chalked up three wins on this type of track with two of them coming at Sonoma.
2019 Toyota/Save Mart Prediction
The battle up front may come from the three drivers locked in a first-place pre-race tie. Truex, Busch, and Harvick should all be at the front at Sonoma on Sunday. Truex is probably running as the favorite since he has the most recent win at the track with it being a toss-up between Harvick and the younger Busch brother.
The question for Harvick and the rest of the Ford drivers will be seeing how close they are to having a good race set-up with the new Ford Mustang. It’s the first time the car has been to a road course since it entered Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing this season. Toyota may have the upper hand when it comes to dialing in Sonoma simply from that standpoint. Plus, Toyota driver Kyle Busch has won this race twice in the Cup Series.
That does not mean you should count out Ford as Harvick or Clint Bowyer can whip out a road course win without turning heads as they both have gained a reputation as a great street style driver. But the biggest storyline may be that Chevrolet and Kurt Busch will capture the second win for the manufacturer this season. Busch may beat out his little brother while bringing his No. 1 Chevy to Victory Lane on Sunday in Sonoma. But that’s if Kurt Busch can beat Chase Elliott.