It’s a massive weekend in motorsport with the 24 Hours of Le Mans happening in France. Over here in the States, NASCAR will also be making left and right turns as the series’ best head to Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota / Save Mart 350.
Gateway’s race saw Kyle Busch secure his second win of the season. Busch will look to build on that momentum as NASCAR hits its summer stride. Chase Elliott is back in the #9 after serving his one-race suspension for his intentionally wrecking Denny Hamlin. Unfortunately, Noah Gragson misses Sonoma due to a concussion suffered in his crash at Gateway – Truck Series regular Grant Enfinger steps into the #42 to replace him. The full entry list for the Toyota / Save Mart 350 can be found at the link below.
Joining the Cup Series regulars is road course specialist Andy Lally. Lally will be stepping into the #15 car for Rick Ware Racing.
The last time NASCAR journeyed to a road course, Tyler Reddick claimed victory in spite of several overtimes due to over-aggressive driving on restarts. Sonoma doesn’t lend itself to dive-bombing in turn one quite like Circuit of the Americas so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that a late-race caution doesn’t lead to utter nonsense.
Last year at Sonoma, Daniel Suárez claimed victory. I’d expect the #99 to run near the front once more. Additionally, AJ Allmendinger is always a threat on the road courses – expect the #16 to run up front as well.
Like the Echo Park Grand Prix, there will be no stage breaks at Sonoma – allowing for the race to play out more naturally and bringing strategy back into play. As for who I see winning on Sunday, I’m definitely keeping an eye on the returning Chase Elliott. Elliott has been strong on road courses throughout his career and with his back against the wall he needs a win to make the postseason. Elliott’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson is also one of the best in the business at strategy calls and I’ve a feeling strategy plays a big outcome in the race on Sunday.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is off this weekend but we do have ARCA Menards Series and Xfinity Series action to round out the weekend. Be sure to check out the schedule below so that you don’t miss any on-track action.
General Tire 200 (ARCA Menards West Series) – 5:30 p.m. CT on FloRacing
Xfinity Series Qualifying – 2:00 p.m. CT on FS1
NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – 5:00 p.m. CT on FS1
DoorDash 250 (NASCAR Xfinity Series) – 7:00 p.m. CT on FS1
Toyota Save / Mart 350 (NASCAR Cup Series) – 2:30 p.m. CT on FOX