Skip to content
Getty Images
Getty Images

Sonoma Fantasy Racing Preview

Driver Averages | Laps Led Leaders | Driver Ratings | Past Winners

Detailed driver notes and statistics to help set your fantasy racing lineup for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

Who’s HOT at Sonoma

  • Kyle Busch is the only active driver with multiple wins.
  • Kurt Busch, the 2011 winner, leads all drivers with a 7.0 average finish in the last five races.
  • Kevin Harvick, who is the defending race winner, has posted a 3.7 average finish in the last three races.
  • Clint Bowyer has finished in the top 10 in six of his last seven starts, including a win in 2012
  • Jimmie Johnson has posted an 8.0 average finish in the last 10 races, including a win in 2010
  • Denny Hamlin is the only driver that has finished in the top five in each of the last two races.

Keep an Eye On at Sonoma

  • Joey Logano, who scored 11 stage points at Sonoma last season, has posted a 6.7 average finish in the last three races at Sonoma.
  • Martin Truex Jr., who won in 2013 with Michael Waltrip Racing, finished fifth with Furniture Row Racing in 2016 and led 25 laps last season up until an engine problem. He also has started third in the last two races.
  • Brad Keselowski (9.0), Ryan Newman (11.5), Jamie McMurray (13.5) and Paul Menard (13.5) each rank in the top 10 in average finish in the two races at Sonoma with the current tire combination.
  • AJ Allmendinger has qualified in the top five, including a pole in 2015, in his four Sonoma starts with JTG Daugherty Racing, but has had bad luck in the race (2017-spin and battery issue; 2016-penalized on pit stop; 2015-fuel cell issue).
  • Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez will each compete in Saturday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Sonoma.
  • Chip Ganassi Racing drivers have won the pole for three of the last five Sonoma races. Jamie McMurray finished 10th in this event last season from the second starting position and defending pole winner Kyle Larson has the 10th-best Driver Rating in the last three races.
  • Ryan Blaney finished ninth last season after recording points in both stages. Chase Elliott finished ninth in Stage 2 and eighth in the race in 2017.
  • Kasey Kahne has finished in the top 10 in six of the last nine races at Sonoma, including a win in 2009. This weekend he is making his first road course start with Leavine Family Racing and will have a new interim crew chief.

Notes: Teams will race the same Goodyear tire combination that they have competed with at Sonoma since 2016…Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick rank first and second, respectively, in average finish and laps led in that span…The pole position has produced the most winners (5) in the 29 races at Sonoma (Jeff Gordon was the last to win from the pole in 2004)…Chip Ganassi Racing has won three of the last five poles…Four of the last five races have been won from a starting position of 10th or worse…The last nine races at Sonoma were won by a different driver…Kyle Busch, a two-time Sonoma winner, leads all active drivers with four road course wins…Hendrick Motorsports owns the most road course wins (15) by an organization.

*Best Average Finish at Sonoma

Last # of Races Driver Average Finish
Two Races Denny Hamlin 3.0
Four Races Kevin Harvick/Kurt Busch 7.8
Six Races Kurt Busch 6.3
Eight Races Jimmie Johnson 7.6
Ten Races Jimmie Johnson 8.0

* – The best average finish is based off a driver entered in the race who has competed in EVERY race during that time span.

Laps Led Leaders at Sonoma

Last # of Races Driver Laps Led
Two Races Denny Hamlin 44
Four Races AJ Allmendinger 60
Six Races Martin Truex Jr. 91
Eight Races Kurt Busch 136
Ten Races Jimmie Johnson 140

Click Here to view all laps led leaders at Sonoma over the past 10 races.

Sonoma Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2017, 13 Races)

Average Running Pos. Laps in Top 15
1. Kurt Busch – 9.9 1. Kurt Busch – 1,130
2. Jimmie Johnson – 11.4 2. Jimmie Johnson – 1,096
3. Kyle Larson – 12.8 3. Kevin Harvick – 930
4. Kevin Harvick – 13.5 4. Ryan Newman – 875
5. Ryan Newman – 14.1 5. Kasey Kahne – 812
Fastest Laps Run Driver Rating
1. Kurt Busch – 88 1. Kurt Busch – 107.5
2. Jimmie Johnson – 84 2. Jimmie Johnson – 99.6
3. Martin Truex Jr. – 81 3. Kevin Harvick – 91.3
4. Kyle Busch – 55 4. Kyle Busch – 90.7
5. Kevin Harvick – 53 5. Clint Bowyer – 90.1

Top 10 Stage 1 &2 Points Earned at Sonoma
One Race – Active Drivers

Driver Points Earned
Denny Hamlin 13
Joey Logano 11
Ryan Blaney 11
Martin Truex Jr. 10
Jimmie Johnson 10
AJ Allmendinger 9
Brad Keselowski 9
Kyle Larson 8
Austin Dillon 6
Trevor Bayne 4

2017 Sonoma Stage Finishes

Stage 1 Stage 2
1. Martin Truex Jr. 1. Jimmie Johnson
2. AJ Allmendinger 2. Brad Keselowski
3. Kyle Larson 3. Matt Kenseth
4. Ryan Blaney 4. Denny Hamlin
5. Denny Hamlin 5. Joey Logano
6. Joey Logano 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7. Trevor Bayne 7. Ryan Blaney
8. Austin Dillon 8. Austin Dillon
9. Kasey Kahne 9. Chase Elliott
10. Clint Bowyer 10. Ryan Newman

Rookie Report
Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates William Byron and Bubba Wallace each will be making their first road course start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this weekend. Both drivers had competed on road courses in the Xfinity and the Camping World Truck Series. Byron, who leads the rookie standings by 30 points, does have one K&N Pro Series start at Sonoma, finishing fifth in 2015. He is also entered in Saturday’s K&N race at the 1.99-mile track.

MRN.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Kurt Busch
Pete Pistone: Kevin Harvick
Tyler Burnett: Martin Truex Jr.

Driver Notes – Ordered by Average Finish (Top 15) in the Last Five Races at Sonoma

Kurt Busch has finished 12th or better – with six top 10s – in the last seven races at Sonoma dating back to his win in 2011. Busch, who finished seventh last year in this event, has a 7.8 average finish in his four track starts with Stewart-Haas Racing. Busch has the third-best average finish (7.8) in the last five races at road courses – Sonoma and Watkins Glen.

Kevin Harvick won this event last year after leading 24 laps for his third straight finish of sixth or better at Sonoma. Last year, Harvick also went to Victory Lane in the NASCAR K&N West Series race. This weekend, Harvick will return in the same chassis (No. 1034) that he drove in both road course races last season.

Joey Logano has finished 12th or better in six of the last seven races at Sonoma. Logano has the fourth-best average finish (8.4) in the last five races at road courses, including a win at Watkins Glen in 2015.

Jimmie Johnson has finished 13th in his last two outings at Sonoma, snapping a streak of seven consecutive top 10s, including a win in 2010. Johnson led 12 laps in this event last year and won Stage 2. His 140 laps led in the last 10 races at Sonoma ranks first among all drivers.

Kasey Kahne finished 24th last year after hitting the wall on the final lap after contact from the No. 15 car of Kevin O’Connell. The finish snapped a streak of four consecutive finishes of ninth or better. Kahne, who won at Sonoma in 2009, will make his first road course start with Leavine Family Racing and will have a new interim crew chief, Jon Leonard.

Ryan Newman has finished in the top 15 in the last five races at Sonoma, including two top 10s. Last season, Newman scored one stage point at Sonoma with his 10th-place finish in Stage 2.

Paul Menard has finished 16th or better on the last five races at Sonoma, including a fifth-place finish in 2014.

Clint Bowyer finished second last year in his first Sonoma start with Stewart-Haas Racing. The finish is one of six top 10s in the last seven races, which includes a win with Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012. Bowyer’s 3.5 average finish in both road course races in 2017 ranked first among all drivers.

Jamie McMurray finished 10th last season for his second top 10 in the last four races at Sonoma. He leads all drivers with three poles at the 1.99-mile track.

Chase Elliott finished eighth last year for his first top 10 in two starts at Sonoma. Elliott won the 2016 K&N West Series race at Sonoma from the pole in preparation for his first Cup start at the track.

Kyle Busch has finished seventh or better dating back to his win in 2015. His 9.1 average running position ranks first among all drivers in the last three races. Busch, who also won at Sonoma in 2008, leads all drivers with a 5.4 average finish in the last five road course races – Sonoma and Watkins Glen.

Denny Hamlin has finished in the top five in his last two starts at Sonoma, including a runner-up finish in 2016. He also has combined to lead 44 laps in the last two races, which ranks first among all drivers in that span. Hamlin leads all drivers with a 2.8 average finish in the last four road course races, which includes a win at Watkins Glen in 2016.

Brad Keselowski led 17 laps en route to his first top five (third) in eight starts at Sonoma last season. The finish helped lower his average finish to 8.6 in the last five road course races, which ranks fifth among all drivers in that span.

Daniel Suarez finished 16th last season in his first Cup Series start at Sonoma. This weekend, Suarez will also compete in the K&N Pro Series West race at the track. He finished 11th last season in the K&N race.

Ryan Blaney finished ninth last season in his second Cup Series start at Sonoma. Blaney tied for second in stage points earned at Sonoma in 2017.