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« Not looking like such a pleasure for Mark Martin these days | Main | For what it’s worth, NASCAR made the right call in the Ambrose case »

My prediction: Tony Stewart will win in Sonoma

By admin | June 18, 2010


By Richard Allen

Earlier this week I posted a piece in which I pointed out that this is the time of year when Tony Stewart typically makes his move up the Sprint Cup Series standings. The venue on which NASCAR’s top division will move to this week is one of the tracks that has helped this driver make so many of those midseason charges in the past.

The Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California will host this Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350. It will be the first venture onto a road course for Sprint Cup drivers in 2010.

Stewart would not seem the likely choice to win on this type of twisting circuit. He grew up cutting his racing teeth on Midwestern dirt ovals. Usually, drivers from foreign lands or those Americans who have spent time in sports car racing are looked to as potential winners in these races. However, the talented Stewart has shown that he can adapt his skills on road courses just as he can on short tracks and super speedways.

Stewart has won twice in the California wine country and has managed five victories on the road course at Watkins Glen. He had a 2nd place result here last year driving for his own Stewart-Haas Racing team.

This year, the #14 SHR team has really picked up momentum over the past two weeks. He scored top-5s in both Pocono and Michigan in the series’ most recent events.

I believe he will add a win to his season’s resume this week.

He will be joined in the top-5 by Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Mark Martin.

This week’s dark horse will be Robby Gordon.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

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