|12/07/18||Track Facts & History|
|04/21/16||Track Facts & History|
Track Facts & History
- The 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 2016, Sonoma Raceway installed more than 5,000 square feet of high-resolution, full LED Panasonic screens. An 85-foot tall, four-sided LED scoring tower replaced the outdated lap/leader board above Turn 1 of the road course, and an 84 x 12-foot Panasonic LED screen was added to the front of the three-story Drag Tower building.
- In 2011, in a partnership with Panasonic Corporation of North America, the raceway installed nearly 1,700 solar panels, which offset 41% of the raceway's energy usage.
- Drivers who complete the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Cup Series race will make 1,080 turns around the road course. The race spans 90 laps.
- 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.
- Winners in Sonoma celebrate with a sip from the Champion's Goblet in Victory Lane. The goblet, which is handcrafted by a Bay Area glass glower, was introduced in 2006 and incorporates the raceway's rich wine country heritage.
- The raceway has collected more than 734 tons of recyclable material (1,469,341 pounds) since the inception of the recycling program in 2004, including more than 39 tons in 2019.
- Through the Track Ambassador program, the raceway engages approximately 250 volunteers to help around the facility during event weekends and at various promotional and charitable activities throughout the year.
- The raceway donated 7,326 event tickets valued at nearly $260,000 to Northern California non-profit organizations in 2019.
- Levy Restaurants partnered with 12 local non-profits to provide staffing for concession stands and catering events during event weekends in 2019. The non-profits received more than $103,000 for their efforts. Levy also donated more than 1,600 points of food to Sonoma Food Runners, which relay excess food to the hungry throughout Sonoma County.
- Twenty owl boxes 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 their likeness, which are placed onto the Wall of Fame located behind the main grandstand. The Wall of Fame includes competitors from all forms of motor racing in Sonoma, including NASCAR, NHRA, AMA, open-wheel cars, sports cars and those who have made significant contributions to the raceway over the years.
2005: Rusty Wallace (NASCAR), Mark Martin (NASCAR), Warren Johnson (NHRA)
2006: Miguel Duhamel (AMA), Rich Oliver (AMA), Jeff Gordon (NASCAR), O. Bruton Smith (Speedway Motorsports), John Force (NHRA)
2007: Mat Mladin (AMA), Ricky Rudd (NASCAR), Bob Piccinini (Save Mart Supermarkets), Gary Scelzi (NHRA), Joe W. Huffaker (Huffaker Engineering)
2008: Ken Clapp (NASCAR), Doug Kalitta (NHRA)
2010: Rick Hendrick (NASCAR)
2011: Don Prudhomme (NHRA)
2013: John Cardinale (Sonoma Raceway)
2015: Ron Capps (NHRA), Roger Penske (INDYCAR and NASCAR)
2016: Tony Stewart (NASCAR), Ernie Irvan (NASCAR)
2018: Georgia Seipel (NHRA)
2019: Joe Gibbs (NASCAR), Robert Marshall (NASCAR)
2020: Jere Starks (Sonoma Raceway)
The 2019 race season marks 50 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.
June 26, 2016: Tony Stewart claims the last victory of his historic Cup Series career. It marked his third Sonoma Raceway win and ended an 84-race winless streak.
April 19-22, 2018 and April 3-6, 2019: Sonoma Raceway hosts more than 1,000 students from 99 high schools and universities across North and South America at Make the Future California featuring Shell Eco-marathon Americas. This event challenges future engineers and scientists to go the farthest with the least amount of energy.