Everything you need to know about Sunday’s at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, in three minutes:
Three things to watch
1. The fact that Sonoma has had 10 drivers win the past 11 years suggests there’s no one who truly dominates on the 1.9-mile road course.
2. Pole-winner Carl Edwards won at Sonoma in 2014 and has two victories this season. He has as good a shot as anybody Sunday.
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3. Tony Stewart, who groused Friday about how things are going in his final season as a Cup driver, will start 10th. He has seven road-course victories.
▪ Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fastest during Friday’s second practice but only qualified 13th fastest. He said his car was just as good Saturday, but that others improved their performances for qualifying. Earnhardt is the only driver who won in 2015 who has yet to win this season.
▪ The 2015 Sonoma race provided the springboard for Kyle Busch’s Cup championship. He missed the first 11 races with injuries suffered at Daytona Beach, Fla., then returned in May for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Soon, he would win at Sonoma and reel off three more victories during the next four weeks.
▪ Dylan Lupton, who graduated last month from UNC Charlotte, made the field and will start 38th. This will be his first Cup start, running for BK Racing.
▪ Matt Kenseth has accumulated four warnings – he had a pre-qualifying inspection violation Saturday – and had the last choice in pit stalls.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Carl Edwards: He’ll start from the pole and has won at Sonoma. With two victories this year (and a berth in the Chase locked down), he can relax and race for the win.
AJ Allmendinger: He’s perhaps the circuit’s top road-course racer and will start on the front row with Edwards. A native of Los Gatos, Calif., he considers Sonoma his home track.
Kurt Busch: Will start fourth on a track where he has won and might have had the strongest car in 2015 until he was tracked down and passed by his brother Kyle.
He said it
“We have to keep all the fenders on it and stay out of trouble.” – Rookie Ryan Blaney, who will run his first road-course race Sunday.
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Where: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.
Track type: 1.99-mile road course.
Race distance: 219 miles (350 kilometers), or 110 laps.
Green flag: 3:20 p.m.
Weather: Sunny, high of 92. Zero chance of rain.
TV: Fox Sports 1.
Radio: Performance Racing Network.