Located in the heart of California’s wine country, Sonoma Raceway is one of the premier racing destinations in the United States. Formerly known as Sears Point Raceway and Infineon Raceway, Sonoma Raceway is a multi-purpose facility that hosts a variety of racing events throughout the year. From NASCAR and IndyCar to sports cars and motorcycles, Sonoma Raceway is a must-visit destination for any racing enthusiast.
To understand the track layout of Sonoma Raceway, it’s important to note that the track is not a perfect oval, but rather a complex series of twists and turns. The track features a total of 12 turns, with elevation changes throughout the circuit. The circuit is 2.52 miles long and has a total of 160 feet of elevation change.
One of the most notable features of Sonoma Raceway is “The Chute,” a fast downhill straightaway that leads into a hard left-hand turn. This turn leads into a series of S-turns that are known for being challenging and technical. The final turn on the track is a long, sweeping right-hand turn that leads back onto the main straightaway.
Sonoma Raceway is a versatile track that can be configured in a variety of different ways, depending on the type of racing event that is taking place. There are three main configurations that the track can be set up in: the full course, the short course, and the drag strip.
The full course is the most common configuration and features all 12 turns of the track. This configuration is used for most major racing events, including NASCAR and IndyCar.
The short course configuration is used for smaller events and features a modified version of the track that skips the S-turns and leads directly into the long, sweeping final turn.
The drag strip configuration is used exclusively for drag racing events and features a quarter-mile straightaway that is designed for drag racing.
Sonoma Raceway has several different parking areas that are designated for various types of vehicles. The main parking area is located near the entrance to the track and is reserved for cars and motorcycles. There is also a large parking area designated for RVs and campers, as well as a separate parking area for buses and other large vehicles.
One of the most unique features of Sonoma Raceway is its “Hot Pits” parking area. This area is reserved for high-performance cars and features a separate entrance and parking area that allows these vehicles to be easily accessed by their owners and mechanics.
Sonoma Raceway is home to one of the most exciting races on the NASCAR circuit: the Toyota/Save Mart 350. This annual race takes place in June and features some of the biggest names in NASCAR competing on the challenging road course.
NASCAR at Sonoma Raceway is unique because it requires drivers to use a combination of speed and technical skill to navigate the twists and turns of the track. The race is also known for its unpredictable nature, with many upsets and unexpected winners over the years.
In addition to NASCAR, Sonoma Raceway also hosts the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma. This race takes place in late September and features some of the best drivers in open-wheel racing competing on the challenging road course.
Sonoma Raceway is a unique and beloved destination for race fans and drivers alike. Its picturesque location in the heart of California’s wine country, combined with its challenging and varied circuit layouts, make it a must-visit track for anyone interested in motorsports.
With its storied history, modern facilities, and wide variety of events, Sonoma Raceway is a true gem of the motorsports world. Whether you’re a seasoned racing fan or a curious newcomer, there’s something for everyone at this legendary venue.