NASCAR’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 At Sonoma: TV Channel, Where To Watch Live, Preview, Starting Lineup, Prediction
June 24, 2013 1:24 AM EST
No. 1 Jamie McMurray benefitted from a new qualifying procedure, and will lead off the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.
The Earnhardt Ganassi Racing driver won his first pole since 2011 after the Sprint Cup Series adopted the same qualifying style as Nationwide. Drivers were divided into eight groups of five to six cars, with each car released five seconds apart. Teams had five minutes to complete their laps.
McMurray posted the best lap of 94.986 mph, with Marcos Ambrose, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Clint Bowyer making up the top five.
Bowyer, currently third in the Spring Cup standings, won at Sonoma last year, leading 71 laps around the nearly two-mile track.
Biffle has put together a strong run the last two races, finishing second at Pocono two weeks ago, and his victory in Michigan last week. The Roush Fenway Racing rep has three top five finishes this year, and is currently eighth in the standings.
Ambrose surprisingly fell behind McMurray due to engine trouble, otherwise he might have taken the pole. Since 2009, the 35-year-old Ambrose has placed no lower than eighth at Sonoma.
Starting from the No. 43 spot and making history this week is Victor Gonzalez Jr. A native of Puerto Rico, Gonzalez will be the first driver hailing from the Caribbean to participate in a Sprint Cup race.
Gonzalez praised the accomplishments of Columbia’s Juan Pablo Montoya, but made the distinction between the Caribbean and South America clear.
"I hope NASCAR sees that I can bring a new Hispanic fan base to the sport," Gonzalez said to USA Today. "Juan Pablo has done a great job, but it's a different Hispanic group. South America is different from the Caribbean."
Gonzalez has seven career races, all in Nationwide, and has finished as high as 14th place. He’ss drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing.
The race begins at 3 p.m. Eastern time, and will be broadcast by TNT.
1. Jamie McMurray
2. Marcos Ambrose
3. Carl Edwards
4. Greg Biffle
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Matt Kenseth
7. Kurt Busch
8. Joey Logano
9. Kyle Busch
10. Jeff Gordon
11. Tony Stewart
12. Kevin Harvick
13.Juan Pablo Montoya
14. Martin Truex Jr.
15. Kasey Kahne
16. Paul Menard
17. Denny Hamlin
18. Brad Keselowski
19. Jimmie Johnson
20. Bobby Labonte
21. Casey Mears
22. Jacques Villeneuve
23. David Ragan
24. Boris Said
25. Ron Fellows
26. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
27. Jeff Burton
28. David Stremme
29. David Gilliland
30. Ryan Newman
31. Danica Patrick
32. Aric Almirola
33. Travis Kvapil
34. Jason Bowles (driving for Brian Vickers)
35. Josh Wise
36. Justin Marks
37. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
38. David Reutimann
39. Alex Kennedy
40. Paulie Harraka
41. Tomy Drissi
42. Victor Gonzalez Jr.
43. J.J. Yeley
Prediction: Clint Bowyer
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