O’Reilly Motorsports leaves the Irish Hills of Michigan and heads west to Wine Country and Sonoma Raceway. This 2.52 mile road course has brought some unexpected winners over the years and we’re wondering if it will happen again.
Five drivers who don’t regularly compete in the Monster Energy Cup Series will be in Sonoma to show off their road course skills. Let’s take a look at who they are:
*Alon Day will compete in the No. 23 BK Racing Toyota. Day has competed in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for 2 years, he additionally has starts in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
*Boris Said will sub in for Jeffery Earnhardt in the No. 33 Circle Sport/ TMG Chevrolet. Said is a road-course ringer with 52 previous starts in the Monster Energy Cup Series with most being on a road course.
*Billy Johnson, an IMSA road-course specialist, will be filling in for Aric Almirola in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford.
*Josh Bilicki, a Wisconsin-native, will take over the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet at Sonoma and Watkins Glen in the 2017 season. Bilicki has a handful of starts in the Xfinity Series over the last two years.
*California native, Tommy Regan, will make his Cup series debut in the No. 55 Premium Motorsports Toyota. Over the past several seasons Regan has made six truck series starts for multiple teams.
The question is, will one of these five drivers lock in their first cup series win or will a California native get his 3rd win in 2017?
Kyle Larson who grew up 80 miles from Sonoma Raceway is coming off a victory at Michigan International Speedway. He has 13 playoff points to date with three stage wins and two race wins (Larson won in March at Auto Club Speedway). Can he continue his momentum into Sonoma and secure his first road course win?
Another cup series regular is chomping at the bit to lock in his first win in the 2017 season and he has had success at Sonoma before. Kyle Busch and the Joe Gibbs Racing team are winless so far in 2017; but, it isn’t for a lack of trying. Busch has led an average of 19 laps per race in the last 6 races and has four stage wins. Will the winless streak be over, for Kyle Busch, after Sonoma or will he have to wait another day?
The normal unpredictability of race winners will also be heightened by the 3 stages in the race to be played out on Sunday. Sonoma Raceway is the first road course on the 2017 schedule and we can’t wait to see how the forced cautions will affect the traditional road-course racing.
Let us know who you think could win at Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota Save Mart 350!
If you are heading out to Sonoma Raceway this weekend don’t forget to stop by the O’Reilly Auto Parts booth in the midway and say Hi!
Safe travels and we will see you at the race!
June 24 – 25, 2017
Sonoma Raceway | Sonoma, CA
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