Tag Archives: Sonoma

Mid-Week Rankings: Sonoma, 2014

Here are my mid-week driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma. I compiled them by crunching:

  • The loop data for the past 15 Sprint Cup races (excluding Daytona and Talladega);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Sonoma;
  • the loop data for the past four races at Watkins Glen;
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Sonoma; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past four races at Watkins Glen.

The results:

  1. Marcos Ambrose
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Clint Bowyer
  4. Jeff Gordon
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Brad Keselowski
  8. Tony Stewart
  9. Carl Edwards
  10. Kevin Harvick Continue reading

Final Rankings: Sonoma, 2013

Here are my final driver rankings for today’s race at Sonoma. I compiled them by crunching the practice and qualifying data from Sonoma on Friday and Saturday, and then melding it with the historical data:

  1. Marcos Ambrose
  2. Juan Pablo Montoya
  3. Kurt Busch
  4. Clint Bowyer
  5. Tony Stewart
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Jimmie Johnson
  8. Jeff Gordon
  9. Martin Truex, Jr.
  10. Jamie McMurray Continue reading

Early Rankings: Sonoma, 2013

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma. I compiled them by crunching:

  • The loop data for the past 15 Sprint Cup races (excluding Daytona and Talladega);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Sonoma;
  • the loop data for the past four races at Watkins Glen;
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Sonoma; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past four races at Watkins Glen.

The results:

  1. Marcos Ambrose
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Juan Pablo Montoya
  5. Tony Stewart
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Kasey Kahne
  8. Martin Truex, Jr.
  9. Jeff Gordon
  10. Clint Bowyer Continue reading

Final Rankings: Sonoma, 2012

Here are my final driver rankings for today’s race at Sonoma. I compiled them by crunching the practice and qualifying data from Sonoma on Friday and Saturday, and then melding it with the historical data:

  1. Marcos Ambrose
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Jeff Gordon
  4. Juan Pablo Montoya
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Martin Truex, Jr.
  7. Clint Bowyer
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Greg Biffle
  10. Ryan Newman Continue reading

Early Rankings: Sonoma, 2012

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma, Calif. I compiled them by crunching:

  • The loop data for the past 14 Sprint Cup races (excluding Daytona and Talladega);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Sonoma;
  • the loop data for the past four races at Watkins Glen;
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Sonoma; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past four races at Watkins Glen.

The results:

  1. Marcos Ambrose
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Juan Pablo Montoya
  4. Tony Stewart
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Jeff Gordon
  7. Kasey Kahne
  8. Kevin Harvick
  9. Martin Truex, Jr.
  10. Denny Hamlin Continue reading

Final Rankings: Sonoma, 2011

Here are my final driver rankings for today’s race at Sonoma. I compiled them by crunching the practice and qualifying data from Sonoma Friday and Saturday, and then melding it with the historical data:

  1. Jeff Gordon
  2. Marcos Ambrose
  3. Ryan Newman
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Jamie McMurray
  6. Kasey Kahne
  7. Juan Pablo Montoya
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Clint Bowyer
  10. Tony Stewart Continue reading

Mid-Week Rankings: Sonoma, 2011

Here are my mid-week driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the road course at Sonoma, Calif. I compiled them by crunching the loop, practice and qualifying data for the 2010 races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen:

  1. Marcos Ambrose
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Juan Pablo Montoya
  5. Greg Biffle
  6. Jeff Gordon
  7. Tony Stewart
  8. A.J. Allmendinger
  9. Kasey Kahne
  10. Jamie McMurray Continue reading

Race Recap: Sonoma

Jimmie Johnson celebrates his win with one of the Infineon girls. (Photo Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Despite lots of on-track carnage and pit-road tactics, yesterday’s race on the road course at Sonoma, Calif., unfolded pretty much as expected, with one glaring exception.

Marcos Ambrose: In my race preview update, I tabbed the Aussie the favorite to win, and he was well on his way to victory when he committed a colossal error under caution with less than 10 laps remaining. He shut down his engine to preserve fuel, and when he had trouble refiring it, he slipped from first back to seventh.

Jimmie Johnson: My #2 pick was well on his way to finish second, and then Ambrose handed him the win. Continue reading

Race Preview Update: Sonoma

Marcos Ambrose gears up for a practice run on Saturday at Sonoma. (Photo Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

As anticipated, the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams got in all three practices and qualifying at Sonoma this week, giving fantasy NASCAR players and those handicapping NASCAR good, clean data to analyze. A few drivers were slower than I expected and a few were faster, but on the whole my preliminary rankings were fairly on target. But before we get into the updated rankings, a couple thoughts on predictability.

In my Sonoma preview, I rated this race’s predictability below average, and I think we should downgrade that rating just a little. According to the Goodyear Tire Notes section on Jayski’s Infineon Race Info page, the teams are running the same tires as last year, and that improves predictability because the teams already know what to expect with the tires. However, during my race research this week, I read and heard one theme over and over: fuel and/or tire tactics on pit road will likely play a role in the race outcome. I’m therefore thinking now that today’s race predictability is a little less than below average. Fantasy NASCAR players and bettors should adjust their tactics accordingly.

Handicapping Sonoma
I ran the numbers from the three practice sessions and qualifying this week through my scoring system to obtain baseline driver rankings for the race, and I tweaked those results with the historical-data rankings I published in my Sonoma preview. I then further tweaked those rankings with info I gleaned during the practice and qualifying telecasts, in the forum at FantasyNASCARPreview.com, and in articles written by various experts around the ‘net. Continue reading

Race Preview: Sonoma

Kasey Kahne held off Tony Stewart for the win last year at Sonoma. (Photo Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

The NASCAR Sprint Cup series heads to Sonoma, Calif., this week for an interesting run at Infineon Raceway, a 1.99-mile road course featuring elevation changes and, most interestingly, right-hand turns. Of the 36 races on the 2010 schedule, 34 are run on ovals. Only twice a year does the series visit the twisty road courses at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, N.Y., and when it does, fantasy NASCAR players and those handicapping NASCAR must adjust to the fact that many of the regular Sprint Cup front runners simply stink on road courses, and some of the typically slow drivers jump way up in value on these tracks. In addition, we must also ponder the value of the ringers—i.e., the road-course specialists imported into NASCAR just for these races.

As always, we must attempt to gauge Sonoma’s predictability as well. On the down side, the historical data is relatively thin because we have only the two 2009 road-course races to evaluate (there’s little point in looking at any oval-track data this week). In addition, the race is certain to feature a fair number of wrecks, and road-course wrecks have a tendency to collect other cars, a tendency the move to double-file restarts seems to exacerbate.

On the other hand, Weather.com’s forecast at press time calls for pretty terrific weather this week, with consistent temps, mostly sunny skies, and almost no chance of rain, so we should get good practice and qualifying data. Plus, Sonoma’s pit road is pretty roomy, and reduced pit-road congestion typically reduces pit-road trauma. Fuel-mileage doesn’t seem to come into play excessively at Sonoma, and the track doesn’t seem to provoke an above-average number of equipment failures either. Continue reading