NASCAR's biggest stars are set to descend upon Sonoma Raceway for the 2013 Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday.
The 220-mile race is always one of the most interesting of the season. Paired with Watkins Glen, it's one of only two annual road circuit races on the Sprint Cup schedule. Last year, Clint Bowyer dominated the unique track en route to one of his three wins of the season.
Bowyer has yet to win a race in 2013 but should be a favorite to earn his first of the year after qualifying fifth.
With the season nearing the halfway point, every race is important, and this one gives drivers yet another opportunity to climb in the standings. Here's a look at all the important information about Sunday's race.
When: Sunday, June 23, at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
|13||Juan Pablo Montoya||42||Chevrolet|
|14||Martin Truex Jr.||56||Toyota|
|26||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||88||Chevrolet|
|37||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||17||Ford|
|42||Victor Gonzalez Jr.||36||Chevrolet|
*Driving for Brian Vickers
Drivers to Watch
As previously mentioned, this is the best opportunity for Bowyer to get into the win column this year. He dominated this race in 2012, leading 71 laps before taking the checkered flag.
Besides failing to net a win this season, Bowyer is having a fantastic season. He's No. 3 in the current Sprint Cup standings, and the only one without a win in the top five.
Throw in the fact that he ran the fastest time in the final practice round and Bowyer has to be the favorite.
Jeff Gordon isn't having the greatest season this year. He's just 16th in the Sprint Cup standings, but he can't be discounted at Sonoma regardless of how he's doing right now.
His five wins on the track makes him the all-time leader, and he finished sixth in last year's race.
An early crash forced him to a disappointing 39th-place finish in his last start at the Quicken Loans 400. However, this is the perfect track for him to get back in the mix.
Jimmie Johnson has reached must-watch status in every race this year. He leads the Sprint Cup standings both in total points with 538, but he also leads in total wins at three.
Johnson was closing in on the lead in the final 10 laps at the Quicken Loans 400 last time out, but a blown tire forced him to a 28th-place finish.
A win at Sonoma would make his lead atop the standing even more commanding.