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Jun 22, 2014 - 07:05 AM
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2014 Sonoma: NASCAR Sprint Cup Starting Line-up & Race Preview
Posted by: ASkyler on Jun 22, 2014 - 06:59 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Sonoma: NASCAR Sprint Cup Starting Line-up & Race Preview


By Mike Sulka

For the second straight year, Pole sitter Jamie McMurray and his No. 1 Cessna Chevrolet will lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup field to the flag at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California as the series races at the road circuit for the 26th time.

Yet... He is quite likely doomed.

Just once in thirteen races - since the year 2000 - has the pole sitter won at Sonoma (Jeff Gordon - 2004). In fact, winners at Sonoma have started 11th or worse multiple times (Jeff Gordon - 2006 - 11th), (Juan Pablo Montoya - 2007 - 32nd), (Kyle Busch - 2008 - 30th),(Kurt Busch - 2011 - 11th), and last year's winner Martin Truex Jr (14th).

Furthermore, if you add in Tony Stewart's win from 2005, Kasey Kahne's victory in 2009, and Clint Bowyer in 2012, eight of the last nine winners at the Sonoma circuit have started fifth or worse.

So there a clear trend in California, starting up front guarantees you exactly nothing. So McMurray, AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Larson, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch are not going to win today.

Over the 24-year history of racing at Sonoma, there is one clear standout, Jeff Gordon.

Jeff Gordon owns this track like none other. The NASCAR Sprint Cup series has been coming here since 1989. Gordon has raced in 21 of those 25 races. Five times the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion has won this race. 12 times in 19 tries Gordon has finished third or higher - an amazing 63%! But should Gordon fail to finish in the top three, he's more likely to finish 32nd or lower.

Only one other driver in the field today can boast multiple wins at Sonoma, Tony Stewart (2 - 2001, 2005). In 2009 & 2012, he finished second, and other than Jeff Gordon, he has been one of the most consistent drivers. In fact, Stewart has scored more points than Gordon over the last 10 years at Sonoma. This year, Stewart starts 21st.

So, our pick to win today's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway is not an easy one. The two drivers with the best history at the track haven't won here recently.

But, let's go for it anyway and pick Jeff Gordon to seal the deal with a win despite not winning here since 2006.

You'll definitely want to keep an eye on two other major contender for the win today: Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer. Stewart because he is the only other multiple race winner, and Bowyer because he is the only other driver with four top-fives in the last six visits.

So we've made our call... Enjoy the first road course show of the season!

 

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Starting Line Up by Row
Sonoma Raceway
26th Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350
Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Sat, June 21, 2014 @ 02:43 PM Eastern
Track Race Record: Clint Bowyer 06/24/12 02:39:55 83.624
Row Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1 1 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 74.354 96.350
2 47 AJ Allmendinger Kingsford / Clorox Chevrolet 74.557 96.088
2 3 42 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet 74.670 95.942
4 99 Carl Edwards Aflac Ford 74.736 95.857
3 5 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 74.856 95.704
6 4 Kevin Harvick Outback / Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet 74.894 95.655
4 7 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 74.925 95.616
8 55 Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 74.958 95.574
5 9 27 Paul Menard Richmond / Menards Chevrolet 74.994 95.528
10 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 75.081 95.417
6 11 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 75.083 95.414
12 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 75.152 95.327
7 13 2 Brad Keselowski Alliance Truck Parts Ford 74.924 95.617
14 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 74.933 95.605
8 15 24 Jeff Gordon Panasonic Chevrolet 74.975 95.552
16 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight Toyota 75.032 95.479
9 17 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet 75.046 95.461
18 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet 75.054 95.451
10 19 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 75.069 95.432
20 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Pretzel Toyota 75.112 95.378
11 21 14 Tony Stewart Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet 75.167 95.308
22 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 75.176 95.296
12 23 9 Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford 75.215 95.247
24 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. EcoPower Oil Ford 75.303 95.136
13 25 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 75.376 95.044
26 3 Austin Dillon # Dow Chevrolet 75.388 95.028
14 27 38 David Gilliland Love's Travel Stop Ford 75.417 94.992
28 95 Michael McDowell K-LOVE Radio Ford 75.433 94.972
15 29 43 Aric Almirola Nathan's Famous Ford 75.492 94.897
30 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips Chevrolet 75.518 94.865
16 31 34 David Ragan Long John Silver's Free Fish & Fries Ford 75.575 94.793
32 26 Cole Whitt # Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters Toyota 75.622 94.734
17 33 98 Josh Wise Dogecoin / Reddit.com Chevrolet 75.755 94.568
34 83 Ryan Truex # Burger King Toyota 75.760 94.562
18 35 51 Justin Allgaier # Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet 75.817 94.491
36 33 Alex Kennedy Media CAST Chevrolet 76.094 94.147
19 37 40 Timmy Hill carsforsale.com Chevrolet Owner Points
38 23 Alex Bowman # Dr Pepper Toyota Owner Points
20 39 44 David Mayhew Phoenix Warehouse Chevrolet Owner Points
40 36 Reed Sorenson Theme Park Connection Chevrolet Owner Points
21 41 32 Boris Said 7-Eleven / Amerigas Ford Owner Points
42 7 Michael Annett # Pilot / Flying J Chevrolet Owner Points
22 43 66 Tomy Drissi MightyHercules.com Toyota Owner Points
Did Not Qualify: None.
Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs
Chevrolet 23 0 Toyota 9 0






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