Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Sonoma Raceway Cup picks and preview — Fantasy NASCAR

All-Star package tabled for 2018 focus shifts to 2019			Image by Harrelson  LAT All-Star package tabled for 2018 focus shifts to 2019 Image by Harrelson LAT
Cassandra Castillo | 26 June, 2018, 22:26

Larson topped the charts for qualifying for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Saturday afternoon (June 23) with a speed of 94.597 miles per hour. It's the sixth pole of his Cup Series career and the second straight year Larson, who grew up in the Sacramento suburbs, will start first at Sonoma.

"So cool to get a pole, my home track here at Sonoma, DC Solar's home track as well". Last year: Kevin Harvick won at Sonoma, becoming one of just four active drivers with a victory at the track.

TRUEX'S TURN?: Defending Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. starts on the front row. Fast facts: Harrison Burton, 17, won his first pole and finished third last week, also the best finish of his young career. Schedule: Friday, practice, 2:40 and 5:40 p.m. (FS1); Saturday, qualifying, 2:45 p.m. (FS1); Sunday, race, 3 p.m., FS1 Track: Sonoma Raceway (road, 1.98 miles).

"Nobody wanted to go on the race track and the guys who went out early were really slow", he said. "I can always qualify good here for some reason, but racing seems to be a struggle, for whatever reason".

Rodgers entered the first five-minute break at Lap 21 as the race leader over Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars William Byron, Daniel Suarez and Aric Almirola.

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"I've been very good this year about not replying to mean people, and you all should do the same", Hamlin said. Last week: Brett Moffitt survived a last-turn challenge from Noah Gragson to take first at Iowa, his hometown track. "My Ford is a little better than me when it comes to this day".

"We'd like to just get a little more consistent", Truex said. Larson believes his background in sprint auto racing actually helps him on road courses because he knows how to rely on his car's suspension in different ways than most NASCAR drivers. Kurt Busch has finished in the Top 10 in all but one of his starts at Sonoma since winning at the site in 2011.

Truex said he feels his team isn't far off from where it was last season, when he won eight races and captured his first championship.

NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell tells NASCAR.com there's been "a lot of detailed conversations" and they came to the conclusion "the best thing to do was to put some additional effort into some potential tweaks and focus on 2019". This year, I don't want to be a weak link.

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