Fantasy NASCAR players were able to see two practices at Sonoma before the Driver Group Game lineups need to be set Saturday morning. This is the third week this has happened and the teams who took advantage of seeing the cars on the track usually scored well in the previous races. I evaluated the information from practice and made my picks for the Toyota / Save Mart 350.
There is a big difference between running fast laps in practice and running fast laps in the race. I am not making too many changes to my Driver Group Game picks based on lap times from practice. The drivers who ran up front in previous races at Sonoma should be fast Sunday.
Here are my picks for the Toyota / Save Mart 350…
Driver Group Game A Picks
I am going to gamble in Group A this week. Usually I like to have two drivers available to use for the race but this week I am going after maximum points. I am going to use Martin Truex Jr. in the race and Kyle Larson for qualifying points. Truex has finished 1st, 1st, 2nd and 14th in his last four road course races. He is my pick to win Sunday. Larson has won the last two poles at Sonoma and his car was fastest in final practice. Larson has never qualified outside the top five at this track. He is almost a lock to score qualifying points this week.
Driver Group Game B Picks
I am making two change to my Group B drivers. I am swapping out Daniel Suarez and Alex Bowman for Jimmie Johnson and Aric Almirola. I am almost 100% sure I will use Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch in the race. These two drivers are the best choices in Group B. Bowyer and Busch were fast in practice, they have a history of finishing in the top five at Sonoma and they should be a threat to win Sunday. The No. 48 car looked really smooth in practice and Johnson has not finished worst than 13th at Sonoma since 2008. He looks like a lock for a top-10 finish Sunday. Aric Almirola has been good at Sonoma since he joined Stewart-Haas Racing. He posted the 3rd fastest lap in practice. Almirola should have a good chance to score qualifying points this week.
Driver Group Game C Picks
No changes to my Group C picks. Chris Buescher is the best road course racer in Group C. He will be very good in the race Sunday. My plan is to save Buescher though and use Michael McDowell in the Toyota / Save Mart 350. McDowell grew up racing sports cars so this type of racing suites him perfectly.
Driver Group Game Team
Group A: Martin Truex Jr. (7), Kyle Larson (8)
Group B: Clint Bowyer (3), Kurt Busch (5), Jimmie Johnson (6), Aric Almirola (4)
Group C: Chris Buescher (4), Michael McDowell (8)
I will post my final picks for Driver Group Game Saturday evening.
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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