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Jun 19, 2014 - 04:53 PM
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Toyota/Save Mart 350 Pit Notes
Posted by: newsla on Jun 19, 2014 - 04:50 PM
Toyota/Save Mart 350 Pit Notes

The following are some points of interest regarding previous NASCAR Cup races in Sonoma, as well as Sonoma Raceway track facts, in advance of this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend:


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• Jeff Gordon is the only driver to win five NASCAR races in Sonoma (1998 – 2000, ‘04, ‘06). There are four two-time winners: Ernie Irvan, (‘92, ‘94), Ricky Rudd (‘89, ‘02), Tony Stewart (‘01, ‘05) and Rusty Wallace (‘90, ‘96).

• Seventeen drivers have tasted victory in Sonoma: Ricky Rudd ('89, ‘02), Rusty Wallace (‘90, ‘96), Davey Allison (‘91), Ernie Irvan (‘92, ‘94), Geoffrey Bodine ('93), Dale Earnhardt ('95), Mark Martin (‘97), Jeff Gordon (‘98-‘00, ‘04, ‘06), Tony Stewart (‘01, ‘05), Robby Gordon (‘03), Juan Pablo Montoya (‘07), Kyle Busch (‘08), Kasey Kahne (‘09), Jimmie Johnson (‘10), Kurt Busch (‘11), Clint Bowyer (’12) and Martin Truex Jr. (’13).

• Sonoma Raceway has hosted nine different race winners over the past nine years, and seven consecutive first time Sprint Cup Series road-course winners.

• The track records for qualifying and race winner speed were both set in 2012. Marcos Ambrose set the track qualifying record at 95.262 mph/1:15.203, while Clint Bowyer became the fastest race winner with an average speed of 83.624 mph.

• Dale Earnhardt won his only NASCAR road-course race in Sonoma in 1995.

• Juan Pablo Montoya holds the track record for the greatest winning improvement when he started 32nd and won in 2007.

• Juan Pablo Montoya was the first rookie ever to win a NASCAR Cup event in Sonoma.

• The closest margin of victory occurred at the inaugural race in 1989 when Ricky Rudd held off Rusty Wallace by .05 seconds.

• Jeff Gordon holds the record for the most poles with five (‘98, ‘99, ‘01, ‘04, ‘05).

• Ernie Irvan (1994), Mark Martin (1997) and Jeff Gordon (1998, ‘99 and 2004) are the only drivers to win a race starting from the pole.

• Jeff Gordon holds the record for most laps completed in Sonoma, completing 2,117 of 2,441 laps.

• Kyle Busch’s 2008 victory marked Toyota’s first-ever win in Sonoma. Brian Vickers earned Toyota its first pole in Sonoma in 2009 (93.678 mph). Toyota has posted three total Sonoma winners (Bowyer, ’12; Truex Jr. ’13).

• Terry Labonte and Michael Waltrip share the track record for the biggest improvement from qualifying to finish at 36 positions. In 2002, Labonte started 39th and finished third. Waltrip started 40th and finished fourth in 2004.


• The Sonoma Raceway road course features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest to lowest points. The highest point at Turn 3a reaches 174 feet, while the lowest point at Turn 10 is just 14 feet.

• The berms on the turns of the road course are painted blue and gold at the suggestion of raceway President and General Manager Steve Page, who attended nearby University of California, Berkeley.

• The property on which the raceway was built was a working farm called Sears Point Farm in the early 1900s.

• The raceway is home to a bustling motor-sports industrial park of more than 70 year-round businesses in 104 shops, including car preparation and restoration shops, materials fabrication, vintage car storage and race teams, to name just a few.

• In 2011, in a partnership with Panasonic Corporation of North America, the raceway completed a solar installation of nearly 1,700 solar panels, which offsets approximately 41% of the raceway’s energy usage.

• Drivers who complete the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup race will make 1,100 turns around the road course. The race spans 110 laps.

• Nearly 3,000 sheep call the raceway their home throughout the year. The sheep, provided by Rocky Mountain Wooly Weeders, provide natural land care, helping to maintain the facility’s grasses and fire lanes.

• Winners in Sonoma celebrate with a sip from the Champion’s Goblet in the Wine Country Winner’s Circle. The goblet was introduced in 2006, incorporating the raceway’s rich wine country heritage and allowing the winner to toast the fans. The goblets are specially created by a local glass blower from Sonoma.

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