Sonoma Raceway's Top Six Moments of 2015
2015 just may have been one of the best years on file here at Sonoma Raceway. With everything from shattered records on track to a bittersweet goodbye to a legend, we saw it all this year. Here are our top-six memorable moments from 2015:
- Kyle Busch's victory at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 signaled the beginning of an historic career comeback. With his brother, Kurt Busch, just behind him, Kyle clinched his second Sonoma victory after an 11-race absence due to a broken right leg and left foot from an accident in Daytona. Clearly Sonoma was a good luck charm, as Busch went on to capture his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.
- Jeff Gordon's retirement tour hit especially close to home as his hometown community rallied together to bid farewell to the Vallejo native's professional driving career. Although his arrival was celebrated thoughout NASCAR week in Northern California, the droves of "Hometown Hero" rally towels that waved on lap 24 was an especially bittersweet moment even for Gordon, as he gave a quick wave to the crowd through his car window.
- Just when we thought the speed of the NHRA Sonoma Nationals couldn't get any more ferocious, Funny Car driver Jack Beckman electrified the drag strip with an elapsed time of 3.921 seconds -- a new national record. He later went on to claim his first victory in Sonoma with a run of037 seconds at 310.63 mph.
- The Verizon IndyCar Series made a grand entrance to Northern California by taking a detour across the Golden Gate Bridge in full brigade formation. With the passing of Justin Wilson just days before, his friend and team member Marco Andretti led the parade in Wilson's 25 Honda to pay tribute.
- For the first time in history, the Verizon IndyCar Series Champion was determined on a road course -- our road course, to be exact. After a nail-biting race with double points on the line, Dixon overcame a 47-point deficit to take both the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and Series Champion title. Dixon's win was his second consecutive at Sonoma Raceway, and the 100th victory for Chip Ganassi Racing Team.
- Although we saw several champions made here this season, we claimed our own personal victory as well. Through events such as the Children's Champions Grand Marshal Banquet, the Eric Medlen Ice Cream Social, the ever-popular Laps for Charity and many more, the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children's Charities raised $380,000 for youth groups in Sonoma County. Since 2001, the Sonoma Chapter of SCC has contributed more than $5.1 million to kids in need, and in 2016 we're aiming to set the bar even higher.
It's obvious that 2016 has some big shoes to fill, although with the lineup we've got going, the competition looks more fierce than ever. Join us for the celebration, and be a part of another epic year.