SONOMA, Calif. (June 19, 2018) -  Sonoma Raceway will utilize its largest event weekend of the year to honor fire survivors, salute first responders and lend support to the North Bay's ongoing rebuilding efforts through its "Sonoma Rising" initiative.

Sonoma Rising has been featured prominently in both the advance promotion and race weekend activities surrounding the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event, June 22-24.  The effort is intended not only to honor and support those directly affected by the fires, but also to promote the short- and long-term effort to rebuild lives, structures and the economic vitality of the region. Below is a snapshot of how the raceway will honor the community during NASCAR race weekend.

1,100 Fire Survivors to Attend Race Day: Fans, businesses and community members purchased more than 1,100 tickets to allow fire survivors to attend the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at no cost. Tickets were distributed through the United Way of the Wine Country.

Santa Rosa CityBus Drivers Named Hometown Hero Honorees: Race fans submitted nominations for Sonoma County residents who were particularly heroic during the fires; nominees included first responders, community members and public servants. The raceway selected a group of nine Santa Rosa CityBus drivers, who provided critical evacuation services to senior housing, assisted living facilities and Kaiser Santa Rosa Medical Center as the Tubbs Fire raged. One of the bus drivers, John Kay, lost his home the night of the fire while he was helping with evacuation trips. They will be recognized on-stage during the Pre-Race Show powered by Friedman's Home Improvement

"Survivor" 1946 Chevy on Display: Glen Ellen resident Jim Galvin and his wife Colleen lost their home, a 1952 Chevy Fleetside, his Dodge Ram and a car trailer and dump trailer in the fires. Their 1946 Chevy Flatbed, which had been fully restored, was severely burned. When they towed it to Jim's shop, the engine turned over, so they decided to revive it. They fixed all wiring, fuel lines, rebuilt the carburetor, put in new brakes, replaced the interior and the outside was clear-coated to preserve the finish and honor the scars from the fire. The truck will be parked on display in the main paddock on Saturday and Sunday.

Toyota, Denver Mattress and Furniture Row Racing Make Donation to the Community: Toyota, Denver Mattress and Furniture Row Racing have teamed up to leave a lasting impact on Sonoma County, including a donation of the organizations' Aspen mattresses to firehouses in Santa Rosa and Schellville.  The companies will also make a substantial donation to the Sonoma County Parks Department.

Richard Childress Racing, Grainger, American Red Cross to Pack 500 Hygiene Packs in Sonoma: NASCAR Cup driver Ryan Newman, Crew Chief Luke Lambert and the entire No. 31 crew, as well as Grainger, the American Red Cross, and the Ghigliazza family from Santa Rosa will pack 500 personal hygiene kits on Friday of race weekend for families that still need the essentials and for those who may need assistance in future emergencies. The Ghigliazza family of six from Santa Rosa will be guests of Grainger during race weekend. John Ghigliazza is on the board of the local American Red Cross (ARC) chapter and never thought he would actually need to use the services provided by ARC. John and his family lost their home in the fires.

Manager from Santa Rosa Lucky Store to Wave Green Flag: Mark Poston, store manager of the Santa Rosa Lucky store that was spared from the October wildfires, will wave the green flag for the Toyota/Save Mart 350.  In addition, the first responders honored during pre-race ceremonies will take a lap in Save Mart's 13' shopping cart Big Red following driver introductions.

First responders from the following North Bay agencies will be introduced with the top-10 qualified NASCAR drivers during pre-race ceremonies:

  • Cal-Fire: Sonoma, Lake, and Napa Unit
  • California Air National Guard
  • ECA (Engineering Contractor Association) 
  • Marin County Fire   
  • Napa CHP 
  • Schell-Vista Fire Department  
  • Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
  • Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue Authority
  • Wilmar Volunteer Fire Department

Shop Sonoma: Sonoma Raceway has teamed up with the Sonoma Chamber of Commerce, Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau and Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers to drive business to local companies. Race fans can show their tickets at participating Sonoma Valley businesses for special offers and discounts around race weekend through June 26. For a complete list of participating businesses, visit