Sonoma Raceway Pays Tribute to Jeff Gordon at Toyota/Save Mart 350
Northern California's Jeff Gordon is the undisputed king of Sonoma Raceway, and this year's Toyota/Save Mart 350 will mark the NASCAR legend's final visit to the challenging road course as a full-time driver in the Sprint Cup Series.
Gordon, a native of nearby Vallejo, has had more success at Sonoma than any other NASCAR driver. He holds almost every significant NASCAR track record in Sonoma, including most wins (five), most pole positions (five), most top-five finishes (14) and most laps led (440). In 22 Sonoma starts, Gordon has 17 top-10 finishes, including nine consecutive top-10 finishes, and is the top money earner at $3,307,604.
"I love the challenge of that road course," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet. "I just normally feel good when I'm out there. I got engaged to Ingrid out there. It's just that good things happen when I'm out there and a lot of it is that home feeling."
While Gordon grew up in Vallejo, not far from Sonoma Raceway, he never saw the road course until the first time he raced there in 1993.
"I grew up racing in go-karts, racing all around the area and that was extremely critical and important to where I ended up getting to," he said. "I didn't have a lot of experience (on road courses), but I always had a hometown crowd pulling for me."
To pay homage to the four-time Cup Series champion, Sonoma Raceway has put together a number of tributes to its "Hometown Hero." Gordon will be front and center for fans during a Q&A session on Saturday of race weekend at 9 a.m. on the start/finish line. All Track Pass season ticket holders, weekend-pass holders and campers receive a free credential for stage-front access to the Q&A. Fans who have already purchased a Sunday ticket can get a Saturday ticket for just $24, which includes access to the Main Grandstand to watch the Q&A.
Two of Gordon's vintage race cars will also be on display all weekend behind the main grandstand for fans to enjoy. Sonoma Raceway has also prepared a special tribute video to Gordon, which will be shown during pre-race ceremonies.
Fans can also pick up two commemorative Gordon items during the race weekend. The first 10,000 fans to enter the gates on race day, Sunday, June 28, will receive a free Hometown Hero rally towel to be waved on Lap 24 of the 110-lap feature. In addition, fans who download the Sonoma Raceway app will receive a free poster commemorating Gordon's dominance in Sonoma.
For more information on Jeff Gordon's final NASCAR race in Sonoma as a full-time driver at the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 26-28, visit www.RaceSonoma.com/NASCAR or call 800-870-7223.