Nascar Toyota/Save Mart 350 Betting Preview + Pick June 20th, 2008
By: Cappers Picks Staff
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Bet On NASCAR – Toyota Save Mart 350
Road course ”ringers” and road course specialists, both have the same meaning, but get accustomed to hearing each term used often on Sunday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA during the Toyota/Save Mart 350.
The online NASCAR betting community will buckle-up this weekend for a ride featuring maneuvers they’re not familiar with: turning right. The Sprint Cup series invades wine country to get loopy on the twist-and-turns of Infineon Raceway, and it’s a race the online NASCAR gambling becomes bet friendly because of the edges bettors can gain.
Boris Said, Ron Fellows and Scott Pruett are the most popular of the road course specialists and primarily hired by car owners for these specific races. Said will be driving for car owner Mark Simo in the No. 160 Ford Cup series regular Reed Sorenson was removed from the No. 41 Dodge for Pruett, while rookie of the year candidate Regan Smith turns the wheel over to his No. 01 Chevrolet to Fellows.
At first glance, they seem like solid online NASCAR wagering selections because they’re ”hand-picked” to take on the twist-and-turns of road courses and the hype they receive by the media. Before investing in one of the trio of ”ringers”, let’s take a look at some numbers that support why BetUS NASCAR odds aren’t giving them much respect.
Said, Fellows, and Pruett have combined for 12 top-10 finishes in their 33 career road course starts. But none of the three have ever found Victory Lane in a Sprint Cup race with right turns. A “ringer” hasn’t won a road course event in over 30 years. The last was Mark Donohue at Riverside International Raceway in 1973.
Said won the pole in 2003 and has four top-10s in past five years at Infineon, and only three others have finished in the top-5: Robby Gordon (second), Pruett (third) and Terry Labonte, who was third in 2006 while not running a full schedule that season.
Let’s face it, these ”ringers” don’t normally get much media attention or recognition around the garage, because they have made their careers road racing in other series. Series that most of us have never even heard of. But they are lined up for their big shot this weekend.
They don’t do well and when racing against talent of the Sprint Cup series, it’s hard to invest in any of the road course specialists. Oddsmakers aren’t giving them much of a chance at taking the checkers, pricing Said at +1800, Fellows +2000 and Pruett +2000.
If you go for a big payday and insist on riding with a ”ringer”, Said is your man. His 6’4” frame and unique hairstyle that seems unattended to, that can be seen from across the track, makes for groupies called ”Said Heads”. And, he has been able to contend with NASCAR’s best at Infineon Raceway.
Ok, now that we’ve talked about the road course specialists, and the ”Said Heads”, let’s get to the business of winning money and discussing who will actually win this race. According to BetUS NASCAR odds this is going to be a two man race between Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.
Both share favoritism priced at +450 and it’s easy to see why. Gordon leads the way with nine career road course Sprint Cup wins (which includes Watkins Glen) and Stewart is on his bumper with six lifetime road course Cup wins. Gordon holds the advantage at Sonoma, with five wins to Stewart’s two.
Juan Pablo Montoya won this race in 2007 for his one and only Cup win but hasn’t even came close to Victory Lane since. Montoya is a former open-wheel and solid road course racer so last year’s win at Sonoma wasn’t that big of an upset, but what was impressive is he started 32nd to take the checkers. That’s the furthest back any driver has started to win on either road course on the Cup circuit.
Prior to Montoya’s win, no driver outside the top-13 has ever won this race. Based on his past performances by Montoya since that sole win, it’s somewhat surprising oddsmakers have made him their second choice at +550.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended a 76-race winless streak with a victory last week at Michigan International Speedway, but if bet on Sprint Cup action and you’re considering investing in momentum on Sunday, you may want to reconsider even with NASCAR’s most popular driver priced at +3000.
Earnhardt Jr. has never won at Infineon and his career best at the track is 11th, which he collected in 2003 and again in 2004 when he led just nine laps combined.
Analysis: Having won half of the past 10 races on the 1.99-mile road course, Gordon is going to be tough to beat. He’s also collected nine top-5 finishes and 11 top-10’s with a stout 9.7 average of finish in his career at Sonoma. Gordon has yet to win in 2008 but has been progressing weekly and there’s no better place to earn his first season victory than on a track he virtually owns.
Free NASCAR Picks: Jeff Gordon +450 (5:20pm EST)
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