Joey Logano leads the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings by nine points and has travelled to Sonoma Raceway in California for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 hoping to increase his advantage.
The defending champion won the FireKeepers Casino 400 in Brooklyn, Michigan, on June 10 and is out to win successive Cup Series races for the first time in nearly four years.
Second-place Kyle Busch has experience winning this race at Sonoma—something Logano doesn't—and both drivers have been in electric form.
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Joe Gibbs Racing star Busch has four wins to his name this season—more than any other driver in the series—and sits more than 60 points in front of third-place Brad Keselowski as he seeks to close the gap to Logano.
Date: Sunday, June 23
Location: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California
TV Info: FS1 (U.S.)
Upcoming NASCAR TV Schedule
Saturday, Feb. 23
Monster Energy Cup Series qualifying, 3:10 p.m. ET (FS1, TSN)
Gander Outdoors Truck Series qualifying, 6:35 p.m. ET (FS2)
Gander Outdoors Truck Series CarShield 200, 10 p.m. ET (FS1)
Sunday, Feb. 24
Monster Energy Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350, 3 p.m. ET (FS1, TSN)
No driver has successfully defended a NASCAR Cup Series title since Jimmie Johnson won the crown five times in a row between 2006 and 2010, but Logano remains on course to repeat as champion.
The frequent turns at Sonoma promise to make things interesting, but Logano is in the mood to get back to winning races if his triumph in the FireKeepers Casino 400 was much to go by. Footage courtesy of Fox (U.S. only):
Logano ended a run of 11 events without a first-placed finish at Michigan International Speedway.
That win saw Logano record a first among NASCAR drivers this season. Reporter Bob Pockrass shared the 29-year-old's reaction after capitalizing upon his pole position:
Busch has two career victories in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 (2008, 2015) while older brother Kurt has one Sonoma win to his name.
However, the introduction of a carousel section between Turns 4 and 7 has added a complication. The official NASCAR website explained this alteration increases the track from 1.99 miles to its original 2.52-mile length.
The No. 18 Toyota driver came across a handful of issues during Friday's final practice and went off track at the carousel:
Nevertheless, Busch will dust himself down and still be in contention for the top prize come Sunday afternoon, having finished only one of his 15 races in 2019 outside the top 10.
Sonoma has a reputation for producing fireworks, and Fox highlighted some of the most memorable moments at this track:
Martin Truex Jr., sixth in the Cup Series standings, took first place at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 last year and will also be one to watch come Sunday.
He also has two career wins at Sonoma (2013, 2018) and has three Cup Series victories from the past seven races, not to mention he finished third in Michigan last time out.