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NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway

NASCAR Starting Lineup for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway

Defending champion Kyle Larson is on the pole for the road course in California Wine Country.

Stock cars march into the heart of Wine Country, Sonoma Raceway, this weekend for the 16th race of the NASCAR Cup Series season. The 2022 Toyota/Save Mart 350 kicks off a spurt of four road course events in the next 11 races, the most of any track type left on the regular-season schedule.

Related: Toyota/Save Mart 350 Preview

This year’s Sonoma event will be run on the smaller 1.99-mile layout, removing the Carousel and replacing it with a “Chute” connecting turn 4 and turn 7. A shorter track cuts the lap times by over 15 seconds and also adds another passing zone on a course where there’s limited time to move through the field: this 110-lap race was run in just over two and a half hours in 2018.

Last year’s winner, Kyle Larson, picked up where he left off by winning the pole. One of the sport’s premier road course racers, Chase Elliott, starts alongside with both drivers over a tenth of a second faster than the rest of the field. Perhaps the biggest surprise after qualifying was three-time Sonoma winner Martin Truex Jr., mired in the middle of the pack back in 28th. It’s the worst starting position at Sonoma on speed since running the track as a rookie way back in 2006.

Only the 36 chartered cars made the trip to Wine Country, leaving the field four short of a full 40-car grid. Just one “open” team has shown up at any of the past six races: Floyd Mayweather’s The Money Team Racing, whose No. 50 showed up at the Coca-Cola 600 with Kaz Grala.

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1. Kyle Larson
2. Chase Elliott
3. Chris Buescher
4. Michael McDowell
5. Tyler Reddick
6. Cole Custer
7. Ross Chastain
8. Daniel Suarez
9. Joey Logano
10. Denny Hamlin
11. Kurt Busch
12. Kyle Busch
13. Austin Dillon
14. Ryan Blaney
15. Chase Briscoe
16. AJ Allmendinger (i)
17. Joey Hand
18. Justin Haley
19. Alex Bowman
20. William Byron
21. Aric Almirola
22. Brad Keselowski
23. Kevin Harvick
24. Todd Gilliland (R)
25. Austin Cindric (R)
26. Harrison Burton (R)
27. Bubba Wallace
28. Martin Truex Jr.
29. Josh Bilicki (i)
30. Corey LaJoie
31. Christopher Bell
32. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
33. Erik Jones
34. Ty Dillon
35. Scott Heckert
36. Cody Ware

(R) – Rookie
(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points

Qualifying Notes

  • Kyle Larson (first) earned the 12th pole of his Cup Series career and second of the season. Four of them have now come at Sonoma, a career high.
  • Chase Elliott (second) has just his second front row start of the season after winning the pole at Martinsville Speedway back in April.
  • Chris Buescher (third) was the highest-qualifying Ford. He’s back in the No. 17 car this week for RFK Racing after sitting out a week to COVID-19. (Zane Smith subbed in).
  • Michael McDowell (fourth) has the first top-5 starting spot on a road course in his Cup career. It’s also his best qualifying effort of the year.
  • Cole Custer (sixth) has his fourth top-6 starting spot of the season. He had just one in the first two seasons of his Cup career.
  • Joey Logano (ninth) was last week’s winner at World Wide Technology Raceway.
  • Denny Hamlin (10th) was the highest-qualifying Toyota driver.
  • Joey Hand (17th) replaces Parker Kligerman in the Rick Ware Racing Ford. Hand is a road course ringer running a limited schedule for RWR.
  • Todd Gilliland (24th) was the fastest-qualifying rookie.
  • Scott Heckert (35th) replaces BJ McLeod in the Live Fast Motorsorts No. 78 this week. He runs a handful of road course races for the team and was 26th in this race last year.

Related: Best Sonoma Raceway Drivers for DraftKings

NASCAR Race Breakdown

Race: Toyota/Save Mart 350
Track: Sonoma Raceway (Sonoma, Calif.)
Date: Sunday, June 12
TV: FS1, 4 p.m. ET
Distance: 110 laps (300 miles)
Stage 1: 25 Laps
Stage 2: 30 Laps
Stage 3: 55 Laps

Pre-Race Preview

Frontstretch Podcast host Bryan Nolen brings not just one but two drivers onto the show this week: Sam Mayer and Sheldon Creed. Both talk through their up-and-down NASCAR Xfinity Series seasons before Nolen and co-host Jared Haas turn their attention toward to the NASCAR Cup Series race out in Wine Country. See who they think will prevail in the second road course race of the year out in Sonoma.

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