The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to Sonoma Raceway for the final time as the epic series finale to the 2018 racing schedule. Summer may be winding down, but the competition will be hotter than ever as double points are on the line, and a solid performance in Sonoma will determine who will reign as champion. Check back as more exciting details are announced, or feel free to give our Raceway Specialists a call for the inside scoop on our best deals.
Track Facts & History
SONOMA RACEWAY FUN FACTS
• The Sonoma Raceway road course features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest point (Turn 3a, 174 feet) to its lowest point (Turn 10, 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 UC Berkeley.
• The property on which the raceway was built was a working farm called Sears Point Farm in the early 1900s.
• The raceway houses a motorsports industrial park of more than 70 businesses in 104 shops.
• 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 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race will make 1,100 turns around the road course. The race spans 110 laps.
• The NASCAR configuration of the Sonoma Raceway road course is lined with 1,000 tire packs made up of 25,000 tires, 90,000 screws, 90,000 clips and 180,000 washers.
• Mat Mladin (AMA), Josh Hayes (AMA), Doug Kalitta (NHRA, Top Fuel), John Force (NHRA, Funny Car) and Jeff Gordon (NASCAR) are the only riders/drivers to three-peat in a major racing series in Sonoma.
• Nearly 4,000 sheep, housed at the raceway and 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 Sunoco Victory Lane. The goblet, which is handcrafted by a local glass blower from Sonoma, was introduced in 2006 and incorporates the raceway's rich wine country heritage.
• The raceway has collected more than 475 tons of materials (950,110 pounds) since the inception of its recycling program in 2004.
• Through the Track Ambassador program, the raceway engages approximately 300 volunteers to help around the facility during event weekends and at various promotional and charitable activities throughout the year.
• The raceway donated 8,045 event tickets valued at more than $418,356 to Northern California non-profit organizations in 2014.
• Levy Restaurants partnered with 14 local non-profits who worked in concession stands during event weekends in 2014. These groups received more than $76,000 for their efforts.
• Sonoma Raceway is home to 15 owl boxes, which encourage owls to nest and help with natural rodent mitigation.
WALL OF FAME
The Wall of Fame is designed to honor those who have excelled not only in their form of motor racing, but more importantly, in Sonoma. Each inductee is recognized during a ceremony with a marble plaque engraved with his/her likeness. All of the plaques are placed onto the Wall of Fame, which is located behind the main grandstand.
The Wall of Fame includes competitors from all forms of motor racing featured in Sonoma, including NASCAR, NHRA, AMA, open-wheel cars, sports cars and more. It will also include those who have made significant contributions to the raceway over the years. A raceway committee oversees the selection process on an annual basis.
WALL OF FAME INDUCTEES:
Rusty Wallace (NASCAR)
Mark Martin (NASCAR)
Warren Johnson (NHRA)
Miguel Duhamel (AMA)
Rich Oliver (AMA)
Jeff Gordon (NASCAR)
O. Bruton Smith (Speedway Motorsports, Inc.)
John Force (NHRA)
Mat Mladin (AMA)
Ricky Rudd (NASCAR)
Bob Piccinini (Save Mart Supermarkets)
Gary Scelzi (NHRA)
Joe W. Huffaker (Huffaker Engineering)
Ken Clapp (NASCAR)
Doug Kalitta (NHRA)
Rick Hendrick (NASCAR)
Don Prudhomme (NHRA)
John Cardinale (Sonoma Raceway)
Ron Capps (NHRA)
Roger Penske (INDYCAR and NASCAR)
Tony Stewart (NASCAR)
Ernie Irvan (NASCAR)
The 2016 race season marks 47 years of racing action in the Sonoma Valley. Below are a few memorable highlights from the 12-turn road course and the lightning-quick quarter-mile drag strip:
1968: Ground was broken in August and paving of the race surface was completed in November. The first official event at then-Sears Point Raceway was an SCCA Enduro, held on Dec. 1, 1968.
1970: Dan Gurney wins a 150-mile USAC IndyCar race with a field that included Mario Andretti, Mark Donahue and Al Unser.
1977: Paul Ritter wins the first AMA SuperBike event in Sonoma on a Ducati.
1988: The raceway hosts the first NHRA-sanctioned drag race. The winners were Joe Amato (Top Fuel), Mark Oswald (Funny Car) and Harry Scribner (Pro Stock).
1989: NASCAR makes its debut in the Sonoma Valley with Ricky Rudd taking the inaugural victory.
1995: The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is added to the track's schedule for three years.
1996: The track is purchased by O. Bruton Smith and Speedway Motorsports, Inc.
2000: The raceway begins its four-year, $100 million Modernization Plan, which renovates and updates nearly all aspects of the facility.
2002: The facility announces that is has been renamed Infineon Raceway as part of a 10-year strategic partnership with Infineon Technologies.
2005: INDYCAR racing returns to the Sonoma Valley after a 35-year hiatus. Tony Kanaan claimed the inaugural victory and did push-ups in the Wine Country Winner's Circle.
2006: The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series makes its debut in Sonoma. Auburn's Scott Pruett and teammate Luis Diaz took the checkered flag.
2008: Kyle Busch earns his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course victory when he takes the checkered flag. His victory also marks the first win for Toyota in the Sonoma Valley.
2009: Kasey Kahne earns his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course victory and the first for team owner, Richard Petty, since 1999.
2012: The 10-year partnership with Infineon Technologies ends and the raceway is rebranded Sonoma Raceway.
2015: Sonoma Raceway hosted the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale for the first time ever with Target Chip Ganassi's Scott Dixon taking the race win and clinching his second series championship.