DFS NASCAR: Toyota Save/Mart 350

DFS NASCAR: Toyota Save/Mart 350

This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.

Toyota Save/Mart 350

Location: Sonoma, Calif.
Course: Sonoma Raceway
Format: 1.99-mile road course
Laps: 110

NASCAR Toyota Save/Mart 350 Race Preview

Sonoma Raceway hosts the NASCAR Cup Series this week after Joey Logano avoided the drama to win his second race of the year last week at World Wide Technology Raceway. Logano's victory made him just the fourth driver to win multiple races this season and leaves five playoff positions available for nonwinners. Last week's race will likely best be remembered for the feuds played out between Ross Chastain and two former series champions, however. Chastain also happens to be the latest to win on a road course, having picked up his first series victory earlier this year at Austin's Circuit of the Americas. To become the first three-time winner of 2022, Chastain will have to overcome Kyle Larson, though. Larson is the defending victor of this week's race and has firmly established himself as one of the top drivers on road courses since returning to the series last season.

Key Stats at Sonoma Raceway

  • Number of races: 32
  • Winners from pole: 6
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 17
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 23
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
  • Fastest race: 83.922 mph

Previous 10 Sonoma Winners

2021 - Kyle Larson
2019 - Martin Truex Jr.
2018 - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 - Kevin Harvick
2016 - Tony Stewart
2015 - Kyle Busch
2014 - Carl Edwards
2013 - Martin Truex Jr.
2012 - Clint Bowyer
2011 - Kurt Busch

Sonoma will return to its traditional NASCAR layout this week after organizers experimented with the venue's longer 2.5-mile layout for the last two races. While the configuration change shortens the overall distance, it may open one more passing opportunity as cars come downhill chute and brake to enter the esses. Overall the track presents few opportunities for passing, and the primary zone for overtaking will remain the entry to its final turn before cars hit the front straight. Making passes in either passing zone means strategically setting up the cars ahead and out-braking them into the corner. Like most road courses, track position and pit strategy will be two of the most important factors Sunday. The course's long lap time enables plenty of opportunities to pit off sequence and remain on the lead lap. The goal of any strategy will be to give the drivers as much time on track without traffic in order to maximize lap speed. One of the more popular strategies to do that is pitting just before each stage finish to gain track position for the start of the following segment. Fantasy players will want to build their rosters around those drivers who can put in those qualifying-like laps when they are in clean air, minimizing mistakes throughout the miles of twisting and turning racing.

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DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS for the Toyota Save/Mart 350 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Larson - $10,600
Chase Elliott - $10,400
Kyle Busch - $10,100
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Ross Chastain - $9,800
Denny Hamlin - $9,600
Ryan Blaney - $9,400
William Byron - $9,200

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Christopher Bell - $8,900
AJ Allmendinger - $8,800
Tyler Reddick - $8,500
Austin Cindric - $8,400

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Kevin Harvick - $8,100
Erik Jones - $7,500
Austin Dillon - $6,900
Brad Keselowski - $6,600

NASCAR DFS Cup Picks for the Toyota Save/Mart 350

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Larson - $10,600
Denny Hamlin - $9,600
Austin Cindric - $8,400
Kevin Harvick - $8,100
Austin Dillon - $6,900
Bubba Wallace - $6,400

A handful of drivers have asserted themselves as top prospects at road course in recent seasons, and Larson (DK $10,600, FD $13,500) is one of them. There may currently be no faster driver at Sonoma, too. Larson has started from pole at the track each of the last four races, finally converting the top starting spot into a win there last season. Denny Hamlin (DK $9,600, FD $10,500) has also been pretty good there. He has not yet won at the track but has finished in the top 10 in the last five consecutive visits. He has also had a fine upturn in competitiveness in recent weeks, last week's drama aside. Another stout competitor on road courses should be Austin Cindric (DK $8,400, FD $11,000). Five of the top six finishes from his career in the Xfinity Series were on road courses with four wins. Kevin Harvick (DK $8,100, FD $7,000) has also been in good form recently with two top-fives and three top-10s in the five races before last week's trip to St. Louis. He is a former Sonoma winner and finished sixth or better there in five straight races before 2021. Austin Dillon (DK $6,900, FD $5,800) may not immediately pop into mind when thinking of value selections on a road course. However, Dillon grabbed his best Sonoma finish of 13th last season and scored a top-10 earlier this season at the Circuit of the Americas. He will also get some extra seat time behind the wheel in the Truck Series ahead of Sunday's Cup race. Bubba Wallace (DK $6,400, FD $4,200) can handily take the final selection after his 14th-place finish at Sonoma last season. He is another driver that has been improving on these tracks and could be in position to repeat last year's performance.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,100
Ross Chastain - $9,800
AJ Allmendinger - $8,800
Chase Briscoe - $8,700
Erik Jones - $7,500
Todd Gilliland - $5,100

Kyle Busch (DK $10,100, FD $12,500) has been one of the best at Sonoma. He has two wins at the track and finished seventh or better in every series start at the track since 2015. He may also be in line for the weekend sweep with another outing in the Truck Series to start his weekend. Chastain (DK $9,800, FD $12,000) impressed with his first series win at the road course in Austin earlier this year. He remains one of the most competitive in the series right now, but he will have to overcome the feuds he found himself embroiled in after last week's race. There is no question AJ Allmendinger (DK $8,800, FD $11,500) should be a top consideration, too. He won on a road course in the series last season at Indianapolis in a part-time schedule, and there is no reason he can not do that again. He overcame everything to win at Portland in the Xfinity Series last week in one of the most impressive comebacks so far this year, which should give him some extra confidence this week. Fantasy players should remember Chase Briscoe's (DK $8,700, FD $8,800) drive to earn his first series victory last year at Indianapolis that ultimately opened the door for Allmendinger to win. Briscoe started second that day and was in a battle for the win with Hamlin before suffering a penalty for track limits. Briscoe has his win now and will be looking to improve upon his 17th-place Sonoma finish last season. Road courses are a good opportunity for Erik Jones (DK $7,500, FD $6,500) to be more competitive than some other types of circuits. That said, he and his team have been making significant strides forward in recent weeks. Jones is working himself into the playoff picture and finished ninth at Austin earlier this season despite starting 30th. His average finish from four Sonoma starts is 12.8. The final choice in the higher-risk lineup then brings us to Todd Gilliland (DK $5,100, FD $3,500). This will be his first series visit to Sonoma, but his 16th-place finish at Circuit of the Americas is proof he can bring value to fantasy players willing to take a chance on him this week.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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