Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. isn’t a good road course racer and at Sonoma it’s very hard to see any upside in picking him. Last year on this track type he scored the 29th most points, his five year scoring average at these venues is 27.8. I think its pretty clear he ranks in the bottom third of the field. At Sonoma over five starts he boasts a 28.4 average finish. Last year he had his worst result and finished 38th after wrecking on lap 31 while running in 22nd. In 2016 he didn’t run well. He finished 26th and had a 28th place average running position. In 2015 at Sonoma he had his best result. He started 40th, had a 24th place average running position and finished 20th. In 2014 he didn’t have a smooth race. He spun in turn 11 and then later in the race he spun on the straightaway when Vickers went out of his way to wreck him. When that race reached its conclusion he finished 26th. In his 2013 debut he finished 23rd. Last year at Watkins Glen, Stenhouse Jr. finished 20th. On Sunday I would look for him to finish in the twenties.
Trevor Bayne – Trevor Bayne who’s been missing in action since Dover will be returning at Sonoma. Hopefully during his off-time he’s been practicing on the simulator because Sonoma hasn’t been a good track for him. Over his three starts his results have gotten worse every race. Let’s hope that trend doesn’t continue. Last year he finished 27th and had a 27th place average running position. In the two races prior to that he had results of 25th and 23rd.
Ty Dillon – Last year at Sonoma, Ty Dillon made his track debut and he was glaringly uncompetitive. I think it’s clear nothing good will come from picking him. His car didn’t even look like it was in the ball park. When the checkered flag waved he finished 28th, had a 28th place average running position and earned the 28th best driver rating. On Sunday I would consider finishing in the low-twenties to be a success.
David Ragan – Sonoma has been a dreadful track for David Ragan. In eleven starts he has a best result of 24th and a 30.7 average finish. Over the last four races he’s finished in the thirties. On Sunday if you pick him I think he’s likely once again destined for a poor result. Last year he finished 31st and had a 28th place average running position. In 2016 he was even worse finishing 32nd and having a 33rd place average running position.
Matt DiBenedetto – Matt DiBenedetto won’t get confused for being a road course ringer anytime soon. OK, actually he might since they aren’t very good anymore. Over his six combined road course starts his average finish is 28.5. Some good news is that last year at Sonoma he had his best road course race. When the checkered flag waved he finished 23rd and had a 24th place average running position. In his two Sonoma starts prior to that he had results of 29th and 31st.