NSCS: Toyota / Save Mart 350 Preview

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to California for the Toyota / Save Mart 350 at the Sonoma Raceway. The event, which is the first of two road course events of the year, marks the 16th race of the season for the series. Carl Edwards comes into the weekend as the defending race winner.

The entry list features 44 drivers and will send one driver home after qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Some of these include Boris Said, Alex Kennedy, Justin Marks, Matt DiBenedetto and Michael McDowell. Brendan Gaughan must qualify top 36 or better in round one to make the race.

The last 10 Sprint Cup Series races at Sonoma have all produced 10 different winners. These include Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Juan Pablo Montoya won in 2007 but is not entered. Two of these drivers, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart, went on to win the NASCAR championship later that year.

Jeff Gordon will make his final start at the Sonoma Raceway on Sunday. The California native, from Vallejo, has scored five victories, 14 top five and 18 top 10 finishes in 22 combined starts. He also has started from the pole for a total of five different times. Over his long NASCAR racing career, Gordon holds nine victories on the road courses, making him the all-time leader.

Jamie McMurray comes into the weekend looking to capture his third consecutive pole at the road course in California. McMurray, in 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, has captured the pole three different times at Sonoma. The Missouri native captured the pole last season and drove to a fourth-place finishing position. He holds two top five and two top 10 finishes.

Fans can watch the Toyota / Save Mart 350 on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports Go at 3:00 p.m. ET. on Sunday. The Performance Racing Network will carry the live radio broadcast of the race. Sonoma will serve as the final Sprint Cup Series race of the year on the FOX family of networks.

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.