Friday, June 19, 2009

Fantasy NASCAR: Save Mart 350

The series this weekend takes to the first road course of the year. A road course is a completely different beast for those who are used to turning left only. This week the teams are in Sonoma, California for the Save Mart 350. It's a 2.5-mile track with 12 turns including a horseshoe turn right before the start finish line. For those not accustomed to road races this one may not be the most exciting but it brings a whole new skill level to racing.

This weekend you will see new guys near the front of the pack. Some drivers are signed onto teams just for this race. These drivers excel at road racing better than regular tracks and have the ability to maneuver the car in and out of turns where other drivers are unfamiliar with breaking so often. Over the past eight years at Sonoma there have been six different winners. Usually you stick to the top name drivers but road courses are the exception. Here's how it will play out.

1. Tony Stewart - I sound like a broken record but seriously, when you're hot you stick with what is working for you and Tony Stewart has been on fire lately. Stewart has won here twice over the past eight years and is a former Indy Car driver used to racing road tracks. Stewart has more points than any other driver at this track over the past 10 races. Everything is clicking for him. The only thing to keep him from winning is an inexperienced driver crashing into him.

2. Jeff Gordon - Gordon has been in a bit of a slump lately but this is what we call a 'slump buster'. Gordon has the second most points over the past 10 races here and has more wins, 5, than any other driver at this track. Gordon is one of the best, if not the best, driver in NASCAR today. He succeeds at every track especially on the road courses. This could jump start him going into the last 10 races of the regular season.

3. Elliot Sadler - Sadler starts eight at Infineon Raceway and over the last 10 races only two other drivers have accumulated more points at this track than him. Sadler races a full season but this is a track in which he makes his biggest splash and earns the most money for his team. You can bet that anything outside of the top 5 will be a disappointment for him.

4. Juan Pablo Montoya - Juan Paubs has always been a road racing guy. His first NASCAR win came on a road course in Mexico. Coming from Indy Car racing he is a very skilled driver on this course. He won here two years ago after starting in 32nd, no other driver has finished further back in the pack to win here.

5. Borris Said - Said hasn't raced all year but comes out of the woodwork for this race. Over the past eight races at this track, Said has the 7th best points total. He is a road track warrior and you will hear a lot of his name on Sunday even if you've never heard of him before. Also keep an eye out for Robby Gordon. Said starts 9th.

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