NASCAR highlights Sonoma Raceway’s 2013 season
Shaky AMA not on major event lineup
The 25th annual NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend of June 21 through 23, will highlight the Sonoma Raceway’s 2013 Big O Tires season. Pictured is Jeff Gordon (No. 24) leading a pack of racecars around a turn at the Valley course during the 2012 Toyota/Save Mart 350 race.
A quarter century of NASCAR racing in the Valley will be the featured attraction on another action-packed motorsports schedule at the Sonoma Raceway, which will open and close its 2013 Big O Tires season with historic car racing the weekends of May 18 and 19, and Oct. 5 and 6, respectively.
The highlighted 25th annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 NACAR Sprint Cup Series weekend begins at Sonoma Raceway on Friday, June 21, continues on Saturday, June 22, with NASCAR’s Pro Series West race, and concludes with the main event – the Toyota/Save Mart 350 race – on Sunday, June 23.
Following NASCAR on the Valley raceway’s main-event lineup will be back-to-back weekends of drag-racing action, with the 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals – where all eight Sonoma track records were broken in 2012, including a 327.43-mph blast by Spencer Massey in Top Fuel – running from July 26 through 28.
Preceding the exciting Sonoma Nationals event with kick-off festivities and drag-racing will be the NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel the weekend of July 19 through 21.
With August comes the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend, which marks the IZOD IndyCar Series’ ninth annual visit, and its only stop in Northern California, to Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 23 through 25.
In 2012, Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe won the Indy Grand Prix race to become its seventh different winner over eight years of INDYCAR racing in Sonoma. Drivers also encountered a modified road-course layout that resulted in more on-track passing.
For the second consecutive year, the FIA WTCC will bring its international flair to Sonoma on Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8, which will feature two 13-lap main events.
The inaugural 2012 touring-car event was well received by Northern California race fans, and the drivers were thrilled with their first visit to the challenging circuit.
After the 2013 Sonoma Raceway season opens with the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival (May 18 and 19), which will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Corvette, the Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge (Oct. 5 and 6) will be the Valley’s racing schedule’s closing event.
As for AMA Pro Road Racing, which has been featured on the Valley’s calendar since 1993, Sonoma Raceway will not host an AMA Pro Road Racing event in 2013.
Sonoma Raceway’s management has indicated that current conditions within the motorcycle industry, as well as the economy, did not provide the necessary confidence to promote a financially viable event in 2013.