The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Wine Country on Sunday, June 12 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern for the 2022 Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. We will get 110 laps on the 2.5-mile long road course in what promises to be an exciting race no NASCAR fan should miss.
The 2022 Toyota / Save Mart 350 will mark the 16th race of the NASCAR 2022 schedule and the 33rd edition of the race, which debuted in 1989. In this article, we will provide you with an in-depth preview of the race where we select our top three NASCAR picks and our main selection for the 2022 Toyota / Save Mart 350.
Toyota / Save Mart 350 Betting Picks
William Byron is priced as one of the outsiders on the NASCAR betting markets, which might sound fair, but at the offered NASCAR odds, he presents us with an excellent value bet. Admittedly, he has not achieved much this season, but there’s more to his performances than his placements suggest.
Even though his finishes are mediocre at best, Byron has always delivered at road tracks. Those with a careful eye can look past his final placements and recognize that Byron consistently delivered in the second stages of the race before entering the pit stop.
This somewhat confusing strategy puts him in a spot where he has to fight his way back to the front of the field and essentially makes it harder for him to win races. But it does maximise his total points.
Why do we talk about his points strategy? Because Byron does not need to compete for points anymore since he already has two wins, he can now focus on winning, and as we know, he is more than capable of winning any race.
Ryan Blaney sits in fourth place on the NASCAR standings, with no wins to his name but five top-5s. Admittedly, Blaney is not known as one of the top road course drivers, but he is actually pretty solid and already has a win on a road course to his name.
Moreover, he drives a very fast car, which just so happens to be a Ford, a manufacturer that won the track in 2014 and 2017. And it doesn’t stop there.
Blaney has a solid track record at Sonoma, with a third-place finish in 2019 and a 10th-place finish in 2021. And while we talk about road course performances, Blaney placed sixth at COTA, having since collected three top-5s, including a fourth-place finish at World Wide Technology Raceway last weekend.
The current no.3 on the NASCAR Cup Series standings, Ross Chastain, is our favorite pick for the Toyota / Save Mart 350. He is priced at close to +1200, making him one of the most appealing NASCAR picks for the upcoming race.
Chastain has won two races this season, which wasn’t enough to pass Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch at the top of the standings, but Chastain is always in contention to win almost any race he appears in. That was not as evident across his last three, as he could only manage two top-10s, but Chastain is still one of the most efficient drivers on road courses.
Earlier this year, he won at COTA, and he was very strong on the track last year. Obviously, COTA is not the same track as Sonoma, but the two are similar, which is why COTA is often used as a form guide for who will do well at Toyota / Save Mart 350.
Toyota / Save Mart 350 Betting Trends
- The most comparable race to Sonoma is COTA, which is often used as a form guide for Toyota / Save Mart 350. The other is Road America.
- Of the 32 past Cup Series races at Sonoma, only twice did we see a driver that started worse than 14th win.
- In 2021, Kyle Larson won the race from the pole, but he was the first to do so since Jeff Gordon in 2004.
- On average, seven drivers lead at least one lap at Sonoma.
- The Toyota / Save Mart 350, on average, saw 4.8 cautions per race over the last 10.
- Six of the last ten race winners led the most lap.
Toyota / Save Mart 350 Betting Prediction
At the offered Toyota / Save Mart 350 odds, it’s very tough not to bet on Chastain. Not only is he one of the most consistent drivers on road courses, but he also won at COTA earlier this year.
Besides that, Chastain was excellent at Sonoma last year in Ganassi equipment, when he placed seventh. And considering he now has much better equipment at his disposal, it’s fair to expect Chastain to do even better.
It’s also worth pointing out that Chastain, like Byron, does not need to race for points anymore, suggesting that he will go for an optimal race-winning strategy this weekend. And that is just another big reason why you can safely expect Chastain to perform well on the track.
Is Chastain the best driver heading to Sonoma? Arguably no, but he is easily the driver with the highest upside and a no-brainer pick to win the 2022 Toyota / Save Mart 350 at the offered betting odds!
Prediction: Ross Chastain to win