Sonoma Raceway represents one of the few wild card tracks on the NASCAR circuit.
With it being one of two road courses the Cup Series visits, it opens the door for someone who needs a win to get it.
NASCAR America’s Analysts shared who they’ll be watching this weekend at the California road course and they debated who they think will win first this year: Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin or Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Slugger Labbe: “For me it’s the 88 team of Dale Earnhardt Jr. The next two weeks are very, very important. He runs very well at Sonoma. The last three races there he has a 7.1 average (finish). He leads all the current drivers there. Daytona’s good for him as well. The team, I’m really worried about their transmission issues they had at Pocono two weeks ago. Dale Earnhardt Jr. blew up two engines, fell out of the race. He’s going to be doing a lot of shifting this weekend at Sonoma and that’s going to be key to that race team.”
Dale Jarrett: “Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer … I think both of these are drivers we maybe expected to have a victory by this time or maybe be further up in the points. A lot of different things are happening between the two of them. As I look at Clint Bowyer, this is someone that’s run extremely well at Sonoma over the years. He has a real chance and an opportunity to do some good things this weekend. … They need to get heading back in the right direction.”
Parker Kligerman: “I don’t have as much confidence in this 11 car of Denny Hamlin. I feel like all the cars at Joe Gibbs Racing that have been affected throughout the season from the lack of speed, the 11 has been the hardest hit. He has consistently struggled in traffic this season. I know he got a good finish this weekend, but I’m telling you it didn’t come easy and it wasn’t because of speed. It was a little of that driver in Denny Hamlin making things happen on restarts, making moves that just happened to work out.”