Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway marked the first road course of the season for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the 1.990-mile track located north of San Francisco certainly did not disappoint. Leaving Sonoma, here are five of the top storylines of the day. Harvick Checks Another Track off the List Starting the season, Kevin Harvick had just four tracks that he had not yet won at: Kentucky, Pocono, Sonoma, and Texas. After Sunday’s race, Harvick took that list down to three,Read More
By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer Coming off three-straight Top 10 finishes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season, Chase Elliott was looking to improve on his 21st place finish in last year’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. The driver of the No. 24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet SS finished eighth in his backup car after a mistake with just minutes left in the final practice on Friday left his primary car destroyed, and his Hendrick Motorsports team scrambling. Though he had no laps in the backup car,Read More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service SONOMA, Calif. – Kevin Harvick won Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event at Sonoma Raceway. That was like taking candy from babies. But Harvick mixed it up with the big boys in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350, and the outcome was the same. Executing an ideal strategy for the long green-flag run that consumed the second half of the race—minus roughly 200 yards—Harvick won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event for the first time this season, the first time at Sonoma andRead More
By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer The Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway was a difficult test for the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year (ROTY) contenders in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Of the three official ROTY contenders, Daniel Suarez is the only driver with experience at the 1.99-mile road course, and at the end of the day he was the best of the 2017 Rookie class. Daniel Suarez started the weekend off by running the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Carneros 200 at Sonoma. He started seventh andRead More
By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor In a car that looked more like it had been through a demolition derby than a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, Clint Bowyer showed just how strong his No. 14 team was after bouncing back to score a runner-up finish at Sonoma, which is his best finish on the season since finishing second at Bristol back in April. Entering the day, Bowyer’s confidence was high that he could make it back to back wins for Stewart-Haas Racing at Sonoma and score his first winRead More
By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor Heading into Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma, Brad Keselowski had never finished better than 10th in seven previous starts on the 1.990-mile road course, but now the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion can mark down a top-five in the record book after bringing home a third place finish. “The Freightliner Ford was really good today,” said Keselowski. “We didn’t have the qualifying fun we wanted. We had amazing race pace. That’s a credit to everyone at Team Penske. It felt really good.Read More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service SONOMA, Calif. – Kyle Larson didn’t think he had a pole-winning lap, especially after he wheel-hopped into Turn 11 at Sonoma Raceway and lost speed through the tight hairpin corner in Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series knockout qualifying session. But Larson’s lap was good enough to edge Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray for the top starting spot in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 (3 p.m. ET on FS1) at the 1.99-mile road course in California wine country. “The whole lap actually felt prettyRead More
By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor You wouldn’t think a driver that grew up on the dirt tracks of Kansas would be one of the best road course racers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, but over the years, Clint Bowyer has found success making left and right turns, especially at Sonoma Raceway, site of this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350. In a season where he has had some hiccups with his new ride at Stewart-Haas Racing, a trip out west to California wine country could be just what the doctorRead More
By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor It’s not often that NASCAR takes away a win from a driver that crossed the finish line first. In NASCAR’s Modern Era, the sanctioning body has only taken that step twice: Back in 2008 at Talladega, when Regan Smith passed Tony Stewart below the yellow line to win and 26 years ago at Sonoma Raceway, site of this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350. With that in mind, the 1991 Banquet Frozen Foods 300 and the controversial finish that ensued will be the focus of this week’sRead More