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Race 16 – Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway Preview

Posted by chadmusselman on June 20, 2008

Sonoma. The first of two road courses in the NASCAR season. The good thing about this race is that you shouldn’t hear people complaining about the new car since it really shouldn’t have an affect on this race. It’s always tough to pass on this track, but there are a few places on the course that they can, and we should see some good action.

A road course also means there’ll be drivers who aren’t regulars to NASCAR in the race, trying to show their skills. (Think Boris Said, Ron Fellows, and Brian Simo to name a few.)

Four drivers with a real shot to win
Jeff Gordon
15 races here, five wins, nine top 5s, 11 top 10s, and an average finish of 9.7. He’s won two and finished 7th in three of the last four here. I know Jeff hasn’t looked real good lately, but he is an awesome road course driver. He’s probably the only NASCAR regular that could go to F1 and win. He’ll win on Sunday.

Boris Said
Boris isn’t an every week driver, but road courses are his specialty, and teams hire him just for the two road courses. He’s finished 6th, and has two 9ths in the last four here. He averages a 9.7 place finish in the races that he completes all the laps….Which means he has to avoid the wrecks and he’s virtually guaranteed a top 10 finish, and should be contending for the win.

Jeff Burton
Jeff’s career numbers aren’t great at Infineon Raceway, averaging a 19.4 place finish, but he has three top 10 finishes in the last four here. His worst finish this season was 15th last week, which was only the 5th time he finished outside of the top 10. He’ll be running up front again in this race.

Tony Stewart
Tony had a bad stretch this season starting at Darlington where he finished 18th or worse in four straight races. He turned that around at Michigan with a 5th place finish, and should get another top five finish this weekend. In nine career races he has two wins, three top 5s, and five top 10s with an average finish of 10th place.

Two others that should do well:
Greg Biffle
Greg only has five races here under his belt with two top 5s which were in the last two here. He’s starting a good trend, and it should continue this weekend.

Kurt Busch
Kurt has finished 3rd and 5th in two of the last three here. He’s had a rough season, but he’s a pretty good driver on road courses and should be able to get a top 10 finish.

Dark horse
Elliot Sadler
Elliot has done very well in Sonoma. He has a 10th, 6th and 8th in three of the last four. In nine career races he has four top 10s. He may not get a top 5 finish, but should be around the top 10 most of the day.


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