Sonoma Raceway

Born out of the ideas hatched in a Mexican restaurant in Northern California in the late 1960s, Sonoma Raceway has grown from a quaint regional track to one of the largest and most respected motorsports destinations in North America. Close to the heart of California’s Sonoma wine country, the circuit enjoys beautiful weather year-round, making it an ideal spot for the wide variety of racing that occurs on its varied ribbon—in fact, it’s one of the most utilized courses in the world, with events being held nearly 340 days each year. Sonoma Raceway opened its doors under its original name, Sears Point Raceway, in 1968, and became the host of various SCCA and other local races. Over the years, it has hosted a long list of different race series, including Trans Am, IMSA GT, and the ALMS series. Currently it hosts the IndyCar, AMA Superbike, and NHRA series of races, among others. It is notable as one of two NASCAR road races which are run on the special NASCAR circuit, which bypasses the tight carousel, instead using a route known as “the Chute.” The ribbon itself is known for its challenging banked turns and significant elevation change, from the highest point at Turn 3a (174 feet) to the lowest point at Turn 10 (14 feet). In between, the course has several variations that change the course to best suit the race event. From the white-knuckle Turn 1, to the blind crest of Turn 3a, to highly technical chicane at Turn 9a, it’s a course that challenges even the most experienced drivers. But that’s one of the charms of a course that’s just as suitable for fine Sonoma wine and vintage Ferraris as it is for the thunderous action of stock car racing.

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