NASCAR Sprint Cup odds: Toyota/Save Mart 350

It’s one of two road course stops on the NASCAR Sprint Cup series this week as the drivers visit Sonoma, Calif., for the Toyota Save/Mart 350 on Sunday. For once, Jimmie Johnson isn’t the WagerWeb favorite. That would be road course expert Marcos Ambrose who opened at +400.

Ambrose definitely how to get around Sonoma Raceway. Although he has never won on the 1.99-mile road course in California, he has led 46 laps there and is considered a threat every time the green flag drops. Last year, he sat on the pole, led 11 laps and finished eighth. Sonoma is considered the more technical of the two road courses where NASCAR Sprint Cup teams race. Ambrose has back-to-back victories at New York’s Watkins Glen, the first of which came a year after a devastating Sonoma race where he lost the lead when his car stalled as he tried to save fuel. Seven of his 15 career top-five finishes have come on road courses, including two at Sonoma.

Johnson is +600 on WagerWeb along with Tony Stewart. “Smoke” has two wins and three runnerup finishes at Sonoma, including last year, when he finished second to Clint Bowyer. Johnson won this race three years ago.

Last year, Bowyer, who qualified sixth, held off former race winners Stewart and Kurt Busch in a green-white-checkered finish to win. It was Bowyer’s first Cup victory since he won at Talladega, Ala., in October 2011. He led 71 of 112 laps and was the eighth different winner at Sonoma in the past eight years. Stewart was second and Busch was third. There were only two caution flags — a record low for the NASCAR race in Sonoma — for seven laps.

Jeff Gordon (+650 on WagerWeb) leads all drivers with most wins (5), poles (5), top-5 finishes (12) and top-10s (16) at Sonoma. He also is the only driver with consecutive victories at this track — winning three in a row from 1998-2000. Rick Hendrick has the most car owner wins at Sonoma with six. Johnson gave Hendrick his sixth victory there in 2010.

The race winner at Sonoma has started from the pole five times, which is more than any other starting position there. However, a race at this track has not been won from the pole since Gordon did it in 2004. The furthest back a driver has started and won a Cup race at Sonoma is 32nd, accomplished by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2007. Montoya is the only driver who won his first race in the series at this track. Montoya fell on hard times last year on the road courses. He developed an electrical problem in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 and crashed in the Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen, but no one doubts his ability to score a top-10 finish. He won in his first Sonoma attempt in 2007 after coming from deep in the field. He also has a victory at Watkins Glen in 2010.

TRACK FACTS

Number of previous races: 24.

First Sprint Cup race: June 11, 1989, won by Ricky Rudd.

Last Sprint Cup race: June 24, 2012, won by Clint Bowyer.

Won from pole: 5, last time by Jeff Gordon in 2004.

Won from top-5 starting position: 14 times in 24 races (58%).

Won from top-10 starting position: 18 times (75%).

Won from 21st or worse starting position: 2 times (8%).

Worst starting spot for race winner: 32nd, by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2007.

Most laps led: 92, by Jeff Gordon in 2004.

Fewest laps led by a race winner: 2, by Davey Allison in 1991 and Dale Earnhardt in 1995.

Fastest race: 83.624 mph by Clint Bowyer in 2012.

Fastest qualifying speed: 99.309 mph by Rusty Wallace in 2000.

Most lead changes: 12 in 2010 and 2011.

Closest finish: Jeff Gordon’s .197 second margin over Mark Martin in 1999.

Most caution flags: 9 in 1990.

From 2008-2012 a typical Sonoma race had 9.4 lead changes, 5.4 cautions for 14.4 laps, and an average green-flag run of 15.2 laps.

Please note that all lines listed above are opening lines, check our current lines here.

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