NASCAR DFS: Toyota/Save Mart 350 Picks

NASCAR DFS: Toyota/Save Mart 350 Picks

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

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

Race Preview

Sonoma Raceway marks the first road course race of the season. The natural-terrain circuit offers blind corners, elevation changes and close racing that generates plenty of excitement. The drivers and teams will be challenged to set up their machines to handle the hard breaking and tight twists of the course, while giving them plenty of power out of the turns to make passes in the braking zones. The best opportunities for overtaking occur into turns 1 and 2, and following the long esses section into turn 10. Carl Edwards won the race in 2014. Qualifying is important at the tight track, but the long laps and caution periods can open the door to fuel strategy plays. Starting up front used to be a premium, but winners have come from as far back as 32nd in the last 10 years.

Key Stats at Sonoma Raceway

  • Previous races: 26
  • Winners from pole: 5
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 15
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 19
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
  • Fastest race: 83.624 mph

Last 10 Sonoma Winners:

2014 – Carl Edwards
2013 – Martin Truex Jr.
2012 – Clint Bowyer
2011 – Kurt Busch
2010 – Jimmie Johnson
2009 – Kasey Kahne
2008 – Kyle Busch
2007 – Juan Pablo Montoya
2006 – Jeff Gordon
2005 – Tony Stewart

The top Sprint Cup drivers have improved tremendously on road courses in recent history. Gone are the days of road-course ringers flying in for the weekend and challenging for the win. The teams and drivers have learned how important these two races can be, and many of the drivers still lacking a win in 2015 will be viewing this week as an opportunity to pull off an upset victory. Qualifying will be important due to the difficulty of passing, but any driver that can get passes done on this course will have a chance to move forward for the win. Caution periods can offer teams a chance to alter their fuel strategy, and track position will be very important.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

Tier 1 Values
Jimmie Johnson - $13,100
Kurt Busch - $12,400
Jeff Gordon - $11,300

Tier 2 Values
Martin Truex Jr. - $11,200
Kasey Kahne - $10,700
Carl Edwards - $10,500
Jamie McMurray - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values
Ryan Newman - $9,600
Greg Biffle - $9,200
Clint Bowyer - $8,900

Long-Shot Values
Kyle Larson - $10,000
Tony Stewart - $9,400
A.J. Allmendinger - $8,300

WHO I WOULD CHOOSE THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup

Jimmie Johnson - $13,100
Jeff Gordon - $11,300
Tony Stewart - $9,400
Clint Bowyer - $8,900
Landon Cassill - $7,300

While Johnson may be one of the hottest drivers on the circuit at the moment, his teammate Gordon is the value this week. Gordon owns virtually every top mark at Sonoma Raceway among active drivers, and he is desperately hungry for a win in his final full season of competition. Stewart may have been an underperformer much of this season, but Sonoma offers him a chance to close the gap to the competition due to the circuit. Bowyer has been down this season as well, but he won here in 2012, and hasn't finished outside of the top-10 at the track since 2011.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup

Brad Keselowski - $11,500
Joey Logano - $11,300
Martin Truex Jr. - $11,200
A.J. Allmendinger - $8,300
Casey Mears - $7,600

While the Penske Racing teammates have been a bit behind the competition in recent weeks, Sonoma is an equalizer and offers both drivers a chance to sneak in another win. Things couldn't be going much better for Truex, and he won at Sonoma in 2013. Allmendinger was raised on road courses in his formative years and won last season at Watkins Glen, which makes him a top value this week. Lastly, Mears is a consistent top-15 runner at Sonoma, and the trustworthy type of driver that can add solid points to any lineup at the California circuit.

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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