Sonoma Raceway Sprint Cup Preview – Just the Facts

With only 11 races remaining in the regular season, the action heats up as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Sonoma Raceway this weekend for some road course action in California.

Did you Know?

• The NSCS competes at Sonoma Raceway once each season. The first Cup race was held there in 1989.
• Ricky Rudd won the first race on June 11, 1989 at a speed of 76.088 mph.
• Rusty Wallace won the inaugural pole with a 90.041 mph lap.
• Danica Patrick is the only female NSCS driver that has competed at Sonoma Raceway.
• Dale Earnhardt won his only NASCAR road course race at Sonoma in 1995.
• The last 10 races have produced 10 different winners:

2005 – Tony Stewart
2006 – Jeff Gordon
2007 – Juan Pablo Montoya
2008 – Kyle Busch
2009 – Kasey Kahne
2010 – Jimmie Johnson
2011 – Kurt Busch
2012 – Clint Bowyer
2013 – Martin Truex Jr.
2014 – Carl Edwards

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Winners and Losers:

• Kurt Busch has the best driver rating at Sonoma (106.5) followed by Jeff Gordon (103.4) and Tony Stewart (98.8).
• Gordon’s resume, however, may be the most impressive as he leads the series with nine road course wins, five at Sonoma and four at Watkins Glen. Although his last triumph was in 2006, this could be one of his best opportunities to bring home his first checkered flag of the season.
He is the only driver with consecutive wins at this track, with three victories between the years 1998-2000. Gordon is also the lone competitor to win from the pole more than once (1998, 1999 and 2004) and he leads the series with 14 top-five finishes at Sonoma.
• Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are at the other end of the spectrum. They have the dubious distinction of leading all active drivers with the most NSCS starts at Sonoma (15) with no wins to show for their efforts. A trip to Victory Lane would be huge for either driver but if their driver ratings at the track are any indication, Earnhardt (72.1) and Kenseth (75.4) are long shots at best.

Milestones:

• Brad Keselowski is set to make his 300th NSCS consecutive start on June 28 at Sonoma Raceway.
• If Kevin Harvick places in the top-two this Sunday, he will accomplish something that only one other driver in NSCS history has done by capturing 11 top-two finishes in the first 16 races of the season. Bobby Allison did so in 1972.
• Carl Edwards is tied with Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 24 series career wins. A win at Sonoma would tie him with Joe Weatherly and Denny Hamlin who are 29th on the all-time wins list with 25.

Ten different drivers have secured their spot in the Chase with a victory this year. Will a new driver emerge victorious at Sonoma Raceway this weekend? Tune into the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on FOX Sports 1 Sunday, June 28 at 3 p.m. to find out.

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