The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) heads to Sonoma Raceway for the first street race of this 2019 season. In an additional twist, this is going to be the first time since 1997 that the series races on the complete 2.52-mile design, which includes the”Carousel” segment, rather than this 1.99 mile design used the past two decades.
Sonoma is a technical road course, considerably slower than its longtime counterpart on the Cup schedule.
NASCAR Props Challenge Picks for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma
Read now When gambling this race, an important note: Do not overvalue overall road course functionality. All of my best performing models demonstrate that overall street course performance is not a substantial factor.
Instead, track record at Sonoma far outweighs performance across all the road courses (including the Charlotte Roval that was conducted for the first time in last season’s playoffs). Top aspects in my models include both long-run and short speed in practice, and year-to-date functionality across all races.
1 other major factor which is not predictive of finishing position or winning: beginning position. Since 2005, eight of the 14 winners have begun 10th or worse, involving two motorists winning despite starting from the 30s.
On the flip side, only two drivers have won from the front row (both starting second), and only four drivers starting inside the top five have won. If books overreact to qualifying, this can be an opportunity to jump some value from elite drivers staring mid-pack, or fade subpar Sonoma drivers starting toward the front.
With that in mind, let’s look at the top futures bets for Sunday’s race, including some quite surprising chances for the motorist who sits atop my model.
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