The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to wine country for their first road course event of the 2019 season. It’s 1 of 3 three again. Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 (3 p.m. ET/FS1/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is always must see action and this weekend’s race shouldn’t be any different.
Here are the top five storylines to watch.
We saw this last year when Martin Truex Jr. faked out Kevin Harvick on a pit sequence. That will be a common theme again this year as pit strategy will be the biggest key for this race on Sunday. Do you short pit and go on one more stop than some but have better tire life and quicker speeds, or do you go on a long stint but know you’ll compromise speed for less stops on pit road? Do you get caught out by a caution in doing that too?
There are a number of pit strategies that teams will play in this one.
5 Straight Different Winners
Heading into last year, we had a different winner for several years. But, Truex’s win ended that. Now, we have five straight years with a different victor in Sonoma. Furthermore, 10 of the last 12 years have seen a new face in victory lane. The only repeat winners since 2007 have been Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
Will we see another new winner on Sunday?
Toyota Drivers The Ones To Beat
Toyota has had the best speed this season. Combined, they’ve won nine of the 15 races in 2019. What if I told you in Sonoma that they’ve won four of the last seven there too? This could be another Toyota show on Sunday.
This weekend and two weeks from now in Daytona can shake up the playoff standings drastically. Currently, only six different drivers have won in 2019. That leaves 10 wildcard spots available. But, with a road course and a superspeedway being two of the next three races on the season, we could definitely see a new winner coming soon.
What if it’s a longshot winner? That takes a playoff spot away from someone if so. That’s why the next three weeks will say a lot for who makes the playoffs. The bottom of the playoff standings are so tight and two wildcard races and bad luck in them could sway who get in and who doesn’t come September.
Last Race On Fox Sports For The Year
Sonoma is the 16th and final race of Fox Sports’ coverage of NASCAR in 2019. The rest of the season goes to NBC Sports starting next week in Chicagoland. That means this is Darrell Waltrip’s last race as a commentator in NASCAR.