On Sunday, NASCAR will be racing at Sonoma! This west coast venue went unvisited in 2020, but NASCAR’s bests will be ready to roll on Sunday. Sonoma is an extremely technical road course where tire wear is high. Joey Logano has called it the “Short track of road courses.” This isn’t an “attack the track” road course, this is a race where drivers need to be smooth off corners and manage their tires.
In terms of variables I want in a fantasy pick at Sonoma I want ….
- A driver who has proven their proficiency at Sonoma. This is a skill track where the driver is a difference maker.
- A driver who’s been good at road courses. Sonoma hasn’t been visited in two years, so that’s a great way to gauge drivers fantasy potential on this track type
- A driver who’s performing at a high-level, week in and week out.
- A driver who’s starting reasonably near the front, but I’ll note 4 of the last 5 races here have been won from a starting position between 8th to 12. Here’s the SONOMA STARTING LINEUP.
This year at ifantasyrace.com we’re committed to writing about the full field every week. Find out what Super Low Tier drivers are the best of the best in ….. “The Super Low Tier – SONOMA”
Sonoma Fantasy NASCAR Rankings
1) Kyle Busch (Starting – 5th)
Sonoma Fantasy Spin – Kyle Busch is a super-elite performer at Sonoma who should be on your short list of favorites. He’s one of the best road course racers in NASCAR, and he’s thrived at this west coast track. Roval Racing has been brutal to Busch, but at “Traditional Road Courses” (Sonoma, Watkins Glen and COTA) he’s been to victory lane four-times and is almost always a factor to win. In recent races at Sonoma, Busch has been stellar. Over the last five Sonoma races he’s been to victory lane once and has an impressive 4.0 average finish. One attribute I like about Busch is how strong the #18 team is performing on a weekly basis. Since Kansas minus Dover where he had engine problems his average finish is 4.25. On Sunday, look for Busch to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Sonoma Track History – Kyle Busch is one of the best in the business at Sonoma and in recent races he’s performed at an exceptionally high-level. In 2019 when the series most recently raced at Sonoma, Busch had a great car and finished 2nd. In terms of speed analytics, Busch had the 2nd best Total Speed Ranking, was the 2nd Fastest Driver Late In A Run and had the 2nd best Green Flag Average Speed. In the fourth segment I’ll note, Busch had the fastest car on the track. In 2018, Busch had a strong showing. He finished 5th, earned the 5th best driver rating and had a 9th place average running position. In 2017, Busch had a very competitive afternoon. He finished 5th and earned the 6th best driver rating. In 2016, he was very strong and had one of the best cars. In the race he earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position and finished 7th. In 2015, Busch was poised to finish 3rd, but thanks to a late caution which allowed him to get a tire advantage he was able to race his way to victory lane.
DraftKings $10,300/ FanDuel $13,000
2) Chase Elliott (Starting – 2nd)
Sonoma Fantasy Spin – Chase Elliott is the premiere road course racer in NASCAR, and at Sonoma there’s no question he’ll be a factor. Since 2018 on this track type minus this years race at the Daytona Road Course where he was poised to win until the “Rain Caution”, and 2019 at Sonoma where his engine blew up while running in 3rd, Elliott has won 6 of the 8 races and has a 2.0 average finish. Sonoma is the only road course he’s winless at, but I think that will motivate him as he pursues the title of “King Of The Road Courses.” One attribute you have to like about Elliott heading into Sonoma is how well the #9 team is performing week in and week out. Over the last five races heading into the weekend, Elliott has a series best 3.6 average finish. On Sunday, look for Elliott to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Sonoma Track History – Chase Elliott has been fast at Sonoma and if he didn’t have problems in 2019, Elliott would currently have back to back top 4 finishes in “Wine Country.” In 2019 at Sonoma, Elliott had a great car but came home a clunker 37th. In the race, Elliott’s engine blew up with about 60 laps to go while he was running in 3rd. In terms of Total Speed Rankings, Elliott ranked as the 3rd best overall and in the three segments he competed he had speed rankings of 7th, 3rd and 3rd. In 2018, Elliott finished 4th and had a 6th place average running position. In 2017, Elliott had a competitive performance. He finished 8th and earned the 10th best driver rating.
DraftKings $10,500/ FanDuel $14,500
3) Kyle Larson (Starting – 1st)
Sonoma Fantasy Spin – At Sonoma, Kyle Larson will be tough to beat. The #5 team is dominating and crushing the competition on a weekly basis right now, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be a contender at Sonoma. Over the last four races heading into the weekend, Larson has results of 2nd, 2nd, 2nd and 1st. This year at road courses, Larson has been stellar. He finished 2nd at COTA and at Daytona RC he crashed late while attempting to make a pass for 2nd. On Sunday, Larson will be starting on the pole for his 4th straight race at Sonoma and he’s had limited success in those races in the past, but with how well the #5 team is running, things will be different this time around. At Sonoma, look for Larson to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Sonoma Track History – Kyle Larson has been respectable at Sonoma, but I would stop short of saying great or even good. In 4 of his last 5 races here he’s finished between 10th to 15th. In 2019 when the series most recently raced here, Larson started on the pole, finished 4th in Stage #1, 6th in Stage #2, ranked as the 9th Fastest Driver Late In A Run, had the 11th best Total Speed Ranking and came home 10th, which marks his only career Sonoma top ten. In 2018, Larson once again started 1st but in the race he finished 14th, earned the 14th best Driver Rating and had a 14th place average running position. In 2017 he looked fast, but finished a misleading 26th. In that race he started on the pole and led the opening 9 laps, unfortunately trouble was never far. People kept spinning and he clipped them every time. In 2016 he was solid and overcame a speeding penalty to finish 12th. Additionally, he had a 10th place average running position and earned the 8th best driver rating.
DraftKings $9,700/ FanDuel $12,500