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Sonoma Raceway: History

Sonoma Raceway:

History

  • The track opened as a 2.52-mile road course and drag strip in 1968.
  • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 11, 1989 – won by Ricky Rudd at a speed of 76.088 mph.
  • The first nine races were 300 kilometers and switched to a 350k format in 1998.
  • The track was reconfigured to 1.949 miles in 1998 with the installation of an 890-foot chute between the original Turns 4 and 7.
  • The track was reconfigured to 2.0 miles in 2001 and re-measured at 1.99 miles in 2002.

Notebook

  • There have been 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma Raceway since the first race there in 1989 – one race per season.
  • 191 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway; 133 in more than one.
  • Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte and Terry Labonte lead the series in starts at Sonoma with 21 each.
  • Rusty Wallace won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Sonoma in 1989 with a speed of 90.041 mph. 
  • 15 drivers have Coors Light poles at Sonoma, led by Jeff Gordon with five.
  • Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Sonoma Ricky Rudd and Jeff Gordon. Ricky Rudd holds the record for most consecutive poles at Sonoma with three; fall 1990 through 1992.
  • Jeff Gordon is the only active driver to have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Sonoma: 1998-‘99 and 2004-’05. 
  • Youngest Sonoma pole winner: Joey Logano (06/26/2011 – 21 years, 1 month, 2 days).
  • Oldest Sonoma pole winner: Rusty Wallace (06/25/2000 – 43 years, 10 months, 11 days).
  • 17 different NSCS drivers have won at Sonoma Raceway, led by Jeff Gordon with five wins. Tony Stewart has the second most wins (two) among active drivers at Sonoma.
  • Jeff Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in road course wins with nine (Sonoma, five; Watkins Glen, four); Tony Stewart has the second most road course wins all-time with seven (Watkins Glen, five; Sonoma, two).
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison holds the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record for the most wins (six) at a single road course track – Riverside International Raceway.
  • Jeff Gordon is the only driver to post consecutive wins (three total) at Sonoma Raceway (1998 and 1999 each from the pole and 2000 from the fifth starting position).
  • Youngest Sonoma winner: Kyle Busch (06/22/2008 – 23 years, 1 month, 20 days).
  • Oldest Sonoma winner: Ricky Rudd (06/23/2002 – 45 years, 9 months, 11 days).
  • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Sonoma in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with six: Jeff Gordon (five) and Jimmie Johnson (one).
  • Six different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Sonoma; led by Chevrolet with 10 victories; followed by Ford with six and Toyota with three.
  • Five of the 25 (20%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Sonoma have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Jeff Gordon in 2004. Gordon is the only NSCS driver to win from the pole at Sonoma more than once.
  • The Coors Light pole position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more wins (five) than any other starting position at Sonoma Raceway.   
  • Eight of the 25 (32%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Sonoma have been won from the front row: five from the pole and three from second-place.
  • 18 of the 25 (72%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Seven of the 25 (28%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Sonoma have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
  • Two of the 25 (8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Sonoma have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Michigan was 32nd, by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2007.
  • Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Sonoma with four; followed by Tony Stewart with three.
  • Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Sonoma with 13; followed by Ricky Rudd with 10.  
  • Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-10 finishes at Sonoma with 17; followed by Mark Martin with 13.
  • Marcos Ambrose leads the series in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Sonoma with a 4.500.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Sonoma with an 8.238. Clint Bowyer (9.125) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10.
  • Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin competed at Sonoma Raceway eight times each before visiting Victory in Lane; the longest span of any the eight active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners. Johnson won in 2010 and Martin won in 1997.  
  • Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Sonoma without visiting Victory Lane at 16.
  • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma Raceway was the June 27, 1999 race won by Jeff Gordon over Mark Martin with a MOV of 0.197 second.
  • There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Sonoma Raceway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): 2008 (110/112); 2009 (110/113) and 2012 (110/112).
  • None of the 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Sonoma Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions.    
  • Qualifying has never been cancelled in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma Raceway.  
  • Boris Said posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Sonoma Raceway (6/22/2003).       
  • Juan Pablo Montoya posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Sonoma Raceway (6/24/2007). 
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Sonoma with 454 laps led in 21 starts.   
  • Danica Patrick is the only female driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to compete at Sonoma Raceway.
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06/17/2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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