Sonoma Raceway Tag

By David Morgan, NASCAR Contributor In the midst of celebrating his first win in three years, Tony Stewart took a moment at Sonoma Raceway to look ahead to the future once he steps out of the driver’s seat for the final time when the checkered flag flies at Homestead in November. Stewart’s departure at season’s end marks the second top tier driver to step away from the cockpit in as many years with Jeff Gordon vacating the No. 24 car at the end of 2015. With both Stewart and GordonRead More
By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer Recently, road courses have not been kind to Denny Hamlin. In the last 12 road course races, Hamlin has had an average finish of 29.1. However, the weekend started promising after Hamlin qualified in sixth for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Hamlin slid back to ninth after the first caution, but never fell out of the top ten. Hamlin then settled into the ninth position until the second caution waved on lap 46. On the restart, Hamlin worked his way into the lead.Read More
By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a strong weekend all the way around in Sonoma. He was fast in both practice sessions, and he qualified a respectable 13th for Sunday’s race. In the early stages of the race, Earnhardt worked his way up into the top-five where he would stay for a good portion of the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Earnhardt looked poised to cruise to his third-consecutive top-10 finish at Sonoma Raceway. However Earnhardt got shuffled back late in the event, after a sluggish pit stop mired him inRead More
By David Morgan, NASCAR Contributor Heading into Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway, one driver at the top of everyone’s list of potential winners was AJ Allmendinger, who has run exceptionally well on the 12-turn California road course over the years only to have lost the race for one reason or another. With a second place start, Allmendinger looked to be in prime position to make the most of the race in an effort to score his first win at the track and moved into the lead over polesitter Carl EdwardsRead More
By David Morgan, NASCAR Contributor After an impressive start to the season for the 2016 rookie class, all eyes were on Sunday’s Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma as it served as the first road course race of the season and would be a tough test for the rookies to continue their streak of strong finishes. As it has for rookies throughout the years, Sonoma was the source of many struggles for the 2016 rookie class on Sunday, with none of the four rookies finishing inside the top-20. Coming outRead More
By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor The abysmal season for Clint Bowyer at HScott Motorsports continued Sunday at Sonoma Raceway in the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Bowyer rolled off from a respectable 18th-starting position at one of his best tracks, but it didn’t take long for things to come undone for the driver of the No. 15 Five-Hour Energy Chevrolet SS. On lap five, Bowyer came to a stop on the racetrack. As he attempted to re-fire his machine, smoke began to billow from under the dashboard. Bowyer quickly hopped out, andRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service SONOMA, Calif. – Carl Edwards ran a lightning-fast lap in the first round of Saturday’s knockout qualifying at Sonoma Raceway—and it worried him. “After that first lap—I have to be honest—I sat here and thought, ‘Man, I’m really going to screw this up on the second one,’ ‘cause the first one was really good, but it held on for the pole, and so I’m really excited.” Edwards toured the 1.99-mile road course in 1 minute, 14.392 seconds (96.301 mph) in the first round andRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service SONOMA, Calif. – Since when is finishing last a good omen? It could be for Kyle Busch, who finished 43rd at Michigan last year before scoring the breakthrough victory at Sonoma that propelled him into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and ultimately to the series championship. A year later, Busch comes to Sonoma fresh from another last-place run at Michigan—40th this time because of the smaller Sprint Cup starting grid under the Charter system instituted this season. Last year, Busch missed theRead More
By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor Over the course of his Sprint Cup Series career, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s biggest Achilles Heal had been Sonoma Raceway. Through his first 14 starts at the track, Earnhardt had never recorded a top-10 finish. He even once threatened to blow the track up with dynamite to demonstrate his frustration with the weaving and winding track in the land of wine. However things began to take a turn for Earnhardt at Sonoma two seasons ago. That year he qualified a lackluster 17th, but when the raceRead More
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service SONOMA, Calif. – As proficient as Kyle Larson has been on high-banked ovals, you might be tempted to discount his chances of getting his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on a road course. Then there’s his lack of experience at venues like Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Interestingly, Larson credits his dirt-track background with the ability to get a quick handle on road courses. “I don’t have hardly any road course experience,” Larson acknowledged on Friday at Sonoma. “My first road courseRead More