Early Week Driver Rankings for Sonoma


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series travels back to the west coast for the first road course race of the seaon. The racing at Sonoma is always exciting but this year it could be even better. To celebrate 50 years of racing at the course, Sonoma will add “The Carousel” to the already tricky track. This will make the road course 2.52-miles in length and have 12 turns. The Toyota / Save Mart 350 can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on FS1.

The MENCS will have two practices Friday. The first is at 3 p.m. ET (FS1) and final practice is at 5:30 p.m. ET (FS1). Qualifying will be Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on FS1.

The cars will be back to the 750 HP engines and the aero ducts will be removed. I expect the racing will be the same as it was in 2017 and 2018 at Sonoma since the cars will have a similar aero package to what they had in the past.

My early week pick for the pole is Kyle Larson. The Northern California native does not always race well at his home track but he has been the best in qualifying trim. Larson has won the pole for the last two races at Sonoma and he has never qualified outside the top five.

Each week I use different stats in my model to create the best rankings possible to give you an edge on the completion. This week I used driver rating on road courses, driver rating at Sonoma, average running position at Sonoma, green flag passes at Sonoma (We want drivers who know how to pass on road courses) and momentum over the last four weeks.


Here are the early week driver rankings for Sonoma…


1. Kevin Harvick
2. Kyle Busch
3. Kurt Busch
4. Clint Bowyer
5. Chase Elliott
6. Martin Truex Jr.
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Brad Keselowski
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Aric Almirola
11. Joey Logano
12. Alex Bowman
13. Daniel Suarez
14. Chris Buescher
15. Kyle Larson
16. Ryan Blaney
17. Paul Menard
18. Austin Dillon
19. Erik Jones
20. Michael McDowell
21. Ryan Newman
22. William Byron
23. Daniel Hemric
24. Matt Dibenedetto
25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
26. David Ragan
27. Ty Dillon
28. Ryan Preece
29. Matt Tifft
30. Corey Lajoie
31. Darrell Wallace Jr.
32. Landon Cassill
33. Tommy Drissi
34. Parker Klingerman
35. Josh Bilicki
36. Quinn Hauff


* I will post my final driver rankings Saturday night.

**Stats from Driveraverages.com and NASCAR Media. Career stats from Racing-Reference.Info

*** Photos from NASCAR Media


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