Get your engines started for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 DFS slate! Sean Engel provides top NASCAR Daily Fantasy Picks for Cup Series DraftKings & FanDuel lineups!
THIS WEEK’S RACE DETAILS:
Time & Date of Race: Sunday, June 6th, 2021 at 4:00 PM EST
Track: Sonoma Raceway
Track Details: 2.52-Mile Road Course
Number of Turns: 12
Race Length: 90 Laps/226.8 Miles
Last Race Details at Sonoma:
Date: June 23rd, 2019
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Lap Leaders (5 Total Drivers): Martin Truex Jr. (59), William Byron (21), Denny Hamlin (4), Chase Elliott (3), Kyle Busch (3)
Stage 1 Winner: William Byron
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin
Drivers will accumulate points as follows below:
Place Differential (How many positions a driver finishes above or below their starting position):
+/- 1 Pt each
Fastest Laps (Awarded for the driver that sets the fastest lap time on each lap):
+ 0.45 Pts.
Laps Led (Awarded for each lap a driver leads the race):
+ 0.25 Pts.
Finishing Position (Awarded for where a driver finishes at the end of the race):
1st: +45 Pts.
2nd: +42 Pts.
3rd: + 41 Pts.
4th: + 40 Pts.
5th: + 39 Pts.
And the amount of points earned continues decreasing until the last finishing position in the field.
DK Scoring Notes to Keep in Mind:
- A driver’s starting position is based on his qualifying position. If a driver’s qualifying position is disallowed, his starting position will be his new spot at the back of the race. If a driver’s starting position changes between qualifying and the start of the race for any other reason (Example: going to a backup car) the original qualifying position will be used to calculate place differential.
- Finishing Position is defined as the driver’s standing order at the end of the race. Disqualifications related to same-day post-race inspection will not change a driver’s Finishing Position, Laps Led, or Fastest Laps stats.
Laps Completed (Awarded for all laps any driver completes): +0.1 Pts
Laps Led: +0.1 Pts.
Place Differential: +/- 0.5 Pts.
1st: +43 Pts.
2nd: +40 Pts.
3rd: +38 Pts.
4th: +37 Pts.
5th: +36 Pts.
And the amount of points earned continues decreasing until the last finishing position in the field.
If you’re new to Elite Sports’ DFS Picks articles, here is the rundown. Every week for each Cup race, this article will be published including driver outlooks based on a combination of track results, loop data, and performance from this season. If there are any pre-race events including qualifying and practices, this article will be updated based on their results upon completion. If a racer performs well or poorly throughout pre-race events, this will affect their outlook and be noted as such. Otherwise, all picks listed are final.
This article will feature three groups of driver recommendations: Top-priced picks, Mid-Tier picks, and Value Sleepers. Between each of these groups there will be 12 total drivers with their outlooks evaluated for this week’s race. These outlooks are here to help you make tough lineup calls that detail which drivers to start or park every week.
In case you want additional information to follow-up on this article, I encourage you to check out the cheat sheet for this race and the projections tab. Without further delay, I present to you the picks for this week’s race, the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
This year will mark the first year the Cup Series will race at Sonoma since 2019. In 2019, Sonoma used a different track configuration compared to the prior years by using the full-course layout for the first time since the mid-90s. Although there is a lot of past data for Sonoma, this week’s projections and picks are based on a combination of results from 2019’s race at the site and other road course events from this season.
Since this week’s Cup Series race will be at a road course, the overall lap count will be much lower than most tracks. As a result, picking dominators, or drivers likely to lead a lot of laps or a whole portion of the race should not be the most crucial part of lineup construction this week. Instead, DFS players should aim to include more racers that are expected to finish well in comparison to the competition regardless of starting position or those likely to capitalize on Place Differential upside. Since there are no pre-race events this week, starting positions were set based on the NASCAR rulebook so some racers expected to do well start further back while some drivers with unfavorable road course history start towards the front and should be avoided as well. Keeping all of these points in mind, here are my picks for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
LOOP DATA AND DRIVER STATS:
Here are the Top 10 drivers in the field this Sunday at Sonoma in Driver Rating since 2017:
1: Martin Truex Jr. – 132.5
2: Kevin Harvick – 120.6
3: Kyle Busch – 108.3
4: Denny Hamlin – 102.1
5: Chase Elliott – 96.7
6: Kurt Busch – 95.1
7: Brad Keselowski – 89.7
8: Ryan Blaney – 82.5
9: Alex Bowman – 80.9
10: Joey Logano – 80.8
Here are the Top 10 drivers in the field this Sunday at Sonoma in Average Running Position since 2017:
1: Martin Truex Jr. – 6.0
2: Kevin Harvick – 7.0
3: Kyle Busch – 8.9
4: Denny Hamlin – 9.8
5: Chase Elliott – 11.6
6: Kurt Busch – 12.0
7: Brad Keselowski – 12.9
8: Joey Logano – 13.3
9: Alex Bowman – 13.5
10: Ryan Blaney – 13.6
Here are the Top 10 drivers in the field this Sunday in Average Finish at Sonoma since 2018:
1: Martin Truex Jr. – 1.0
2: Kyle Busch – 3.5
3: Kevin Harvick – 4.0
4: Denny Hamlin – 7.5
5: Erik Jones – 7.5
6: Aric Almirola – 8.5
7: Kurt Busch – 9.5
8: Matt DiBenedetto – 10.5
9: Alex Bowman – 11.5
10: Kyle Larson – 12.0
Here are the Top drivers in the field this Sunday in Laps Led at Sonoma since 2018:
1: Martin Truex Jr. – 121
2: Kevin Harvick – 35
3: William Byron – 21
4: Denny Hamlin – 8
5: Chase Elliott – 3
6: Kyle Busch – 3
7: Kyle Larson – 2
8: Kurt Busch – 1
9: Erik Jones – 1
Here are the winners of the last 10 Sonoma races:
June 2019 – Martin Truex Jr.
June 2018 – Martin Truex Jr.
June 2017 – Kevin Harvick
June 2016 – Tony Stewart
June 2015 – Kyle Busch
June 2014 – Carl Edwards
June 2013 – Martin Truex Jr.
June 2012 – Clint Bowyer
June 2011 – Kurt Busch
June 2010 – Jimmie Johnson
TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350 DFS NASCAR PICKS FOR DRAFTKINGS AND FANDUEL LINEUPS
Martin Truex Jr. #19 (DraftKings: $10,900 | FanDuel: $14,000) – Starting: 19th – Historically, Martin Truex Jr. is one of the very best drivers at Sonoma. In 14 starts at the California Road Course, Truex has three wins including the last two races there as well as five top-10 finishes and 213 laps led, the most of active drivers. Although the driver of the No.19 Toyota has been strong at road courses throughout his career, he has yet to place in the Top 10 at the track type and only has one top-5 finish in his last five Cup events there. Despite Truex not performing as competitively at road courses recently, he still is a fantastic pick due to overall history equipment as well as the high amount of PD upside from his starting position. Expect a top-10 finish out of Truex on Sunday with a chance for a top-5.
Chase Elliott #9 (DraftKings: $10,500 | FanDuel: $14,500) – Starting: 2nd – The top driver right now in the Cup Series at road courses is Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott. The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet has five wins in the last six road course races and led the most laps (44) in the one race he failed to win at Daytona Road Course. At Sonoma in his career, Elliott has two top-10 finishes and led multiple laps in his last race at the site before blowing his engine. Elliott has led laps in every road course event since 2019 in the Cup Series and this week will be no exception due to his starting position towards the front. As a top favorite for the win considering his success and strong runs at road courses, DFS players need to build lineups around Elliott this weekend.
Joey Logano #22 (DraftKings: $10,100 | FanDuel: $11,000) – Starting: 13th – One of the best drivers in recent races at road courses that will be a superb pick this week is Joey Logano. The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford collected top-10 finishes in each of the last five road course Cup events while placing in the Top 3 in the last three including both this year at Daytona and COTA. At Sonoma in the Cup Series, Logano has four top-10 finishes and picked up positive PD four times in 11 starts at the site. Considering his starting position and overall performance at road courses recently, look for Logano to capitalize on PD upside as he will compete for a top-5 finish on Sunday.
Kurt Busch #1 (DraftKings: $9,100 | FanDuel: $8,500) – Starting: 30th – Although this season has been one of Kurt Busch’s most unlucky seasons to date, he will be one of the best top-priced options for Sonoma. Since 2013 at the site, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet has placed in the Top 15 in every race there since 2011 including one win and six top-10 finishes. Busch scored top-5 finishes in two of his last three races at road courses and was on track for another great finish at COTA before going off-track and falling behind. The biggest reason to roster Busch in lineups this weekend however is his massive PD upside considering the equipment with Chip Ganassi Racing and his consistency at Sonoma. Considering how Busch is cheaper than most top picks, he is a great choice for a driver to compete for a top-10 finish on Sunday.
Alex Bowman #48 (DraftKings: $8,700 | FanDuel: $9,500) – Starting: 7th – Hendrick Motorsports has been fantastic this season, and Alex Bowman is the cheapest of the team’s four drivers for Sonoma this week. In four starts at the track, Bowman has three finishes with positive PD with a career-best finish of ninth in 2018. The driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet has placed in the Top 15 in every road course race since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2018 including top-10 finishes in each of the last three Cup races at the track type. Although Bowman does not have a lot of PD upside, he has strong equipment and has performed well enough at road courses that he should be considered for lineups this week at Sonoma.
Michael McDowell #34 (DraftKings: $7,600 | FanDuel: $8,000) – Starting: 21st – With another road course race this week, veteran road racer Michael McDowell must be a driver to consider for lineups. In his career at Sonoma, the driver of the No. 34 Ford only has one top-15 finish, but he has been excellent for the price in recent road course events. In his last four road course races, McDowell has three top-10 finishes including Daytona and COTA earlier this season. McDowell’s starting position provides a fair amount of PD upside and considering his road course experience as well as result results, McDowell will finish in the Top 15 with a chance of placing in the Top 10.
Erik Jones #43 (DraftKings: $7,000 | FanDuel: $6,000) – Starting: 18th – Erik Jones is an underrated road course racer that will work out well in DFS lineups this weekend at Sonoma. In three starts at the site, Jones captured positive PD every time and has two top-10 finishes. This season in the Cup Series, Jones placed in the Top 20 and picked up positive PD in both road course races at Daytona Road Course and COTA. Although Jones is in inferior equipment compared to previous years this week at Sonoma, considering his history at the site and how he still is performing decently at road courses, the driver of the No. 43 Chevrolet should compete for a top-15 finish.
Ryan Preece #37 (DraftKings: $6,800 | FanDuel: $4,500) – Starting: 27th – JTG Daugherty Racing driver Ryan Preece is a great recommendation for this week’s race at Sonoma. Although he finished 29th in his only start at the site in 2019, Preece gained top-15 finishes in each of his last three road course starts including a top-10 finish at Daytona. The driver of the No. 37 Chevrolet also led laps while finishing with positive PD in two of his last three road course starts. Based on his starting position, Preece has a high amount of PD upside and based on recent road course races as well as equipment, he should finish in the Top 20.
Daniel Suarez #99 (DraftKings: $6,400 | FanDuel: $6,500) – Starting: 16th – One value sleeper that is expected to finish better than most for the price is Daniel Suarez. The driver of the No. 99 Chevrolet has three top-20 finishes in three starts at Sonoma and he placed in the Top 20 earlier this year at Daytona Road Course. Despite having mixed results throughout recent road course races, Suarez has consistently competed for top-15 finishes at Sonoma and has better equipment this season than previous years. Suarez should finish around his starting position and considering other drivers in this price range, that makes him one of the best options there.
Ryan Newman #6 (DraftKings: $6,300 | FanDuel: $5,000) – Starting: 24th – Veteran Roush-Fenway Racing driver Ryan Newman is one of the better bargain choices for lineups at Sonoma. In 18 starts at the California course, the driver of the No. 6 Ford has 16 top-20 finishes and placed seventh in his last race there. Newman obtained positive PD in both of his road course starts this season while placing in the Top 20 at Daytona Road Course. Considering his starting position, experience, and equipment, Newman is a prime candidate for a top-20 finish on Sunday while competing for a top-15 finish.
Anthony Alfredo #38 (DraftKings: $5,800 | FanDuel: $3,500) – Starting: 28th – Anthony Alfredo is making his first career NASCAR start at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday. In two races at road courses this season, Alfredo picked up two top-25 finishes with positive PD including a best finish of 18th at COTA. Alfredo’s starting position, equipment and his ability to pick up decent results for the price despite the inexperience makes him a favorable play for the price this week.
James Davison #15 (DraftKings: $5,600 | FanDuel: $2,500) – Starting: 32nd – A deep value sleeper for Sonoma that can be utilized for cap flexibility is James Davison. Davison has never raced at Sonoma in the Cup Series before this week, but he scored positive PD and placed in the Top 30 in all four of his career road course starts. Based on his starting position, equipment, and road racing background outside of NASCAR, Davison will likely finish in the Top 30 with a small chance of placing in the Top 25.
CORE 4 PICKS TO WIN:
- Chase Elliott
- Joey Logano
- Kyle Busch
- William Byron
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