IndyCar Championship Weekend, NASCAR Highlight 2016 Sonoma Raceway Schedule
Sonoma Raceway will continue to serve as Northern California's premier motorsports destination in 2016, with a schedule headlined by the country's top racing series and the Verizon IndyCar® Series championship weekend.
For the second consecutive year, the Verizon IndyCar Series championship will be decided on the challenging road course, with the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma slated as the series season finale, Sept. 16-18. The 2016 Sonoma Raceway major event schedule will also feature the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and historic car racing.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its only stop in Northern California for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 24-26. The first road-course event of the series' 36-race schedule has become one of the most exciting and unpredictable each year, with 10 different winners over the past 11 years.
NASCAR's popular elimination-style qualifying format will return on Saturday, June 25, along with the 64-lap main event for the NASCAR Pro Series West. The 110-lap Toyota/Save Mart 350 will be the feature on Sunday.
After closing out the 2015 Verizon IndyCar® Series season in dramatic fashion, the series will culminate its 2016 season at Sonoma Raceway, Sept. 16-18. This marks a three-week shift from Sonoma's traditional IndyCar date in late August, which allowed the raceway to continue as the series finale.
"This year's event demonstrated pretty clearly that Sonoma Raceway is an ideal venue for the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale, with a challenging circuit to contest the championship along with the unparalleled backdrop of Wine Country and the San Francisco Bay Area," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway. "We look forward to crowning IndyCar champions in Sonoma for many years to come."
The 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course served as a perfect setting for the conclusion of the 2015 season, as Target Chip Ganassi's Scott Dixon claimed his second consecutive Sonoma victory and second Verizon IndyCar Series championship title.
"Sonoma has really become one of the 'must-see' events on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule over the years," said Dixon. "The Target team has had great success there recently, and we ended the season on a high note there in 2015 with our second straight win at the track en route to the championship. I always look forward to that race and so do the hundreds of guests the team entertains there each year."
Race fans should expect another record-breaking weekend as the fastest sport on earth returns to Sonoma for back-to-back weekends of the world's best drag racing, highlighted by the 29th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 29-31. Seven track records were set in 2015, including a national elapsed time record of 3.921 seconds by Funny Car winner Jack Beckman.
The NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel, kicks-off the drag racing weekends, July 22-24.
Fans of vintage racing will have multiple opportunities to see historic machines take to the road course, highlighted by the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival (June 2-5) and the Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge (Oct. 1-2). The popular Ferrari Challenge North America Series also returns April 8-10.
Ticket deposits for all 2016 major events at Sonoma Raceway are now being accepted. For tickets or more information, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit www.racesonoma.com.
The complete Sonoma Raceway major event schedule for 2016:
- Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival - June 2-5
- Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - June 24-26
- NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel - July 22-24
- NHRA Sonoma Nationals - July 29-31
- GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series- Sept. 16-18
- Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge - Oct. 1-2
* Schedule subject to change without notice.