Ever wanted to visit wine country and go to a NASCAR race on the same weekend? Well, you’re in luck! It’s almost time for the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Head out to Sonoma for some wine, camping, and fast cars on June 23rd for an event that’s fun for the whole family… or, ya know, just you and your buddies. Sonoma is celebrating 50 years of racing this June, so it’s bound to be a spectacular time! Even the trophy has wine barrels on it! And there’s more to Sonoma Raceway than just racing…
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Camping at Sonoma Raceway
The big NASCAR Cup Race takes place on Sunday, but what better way to maximize your time here than by going all in on the whole weekend? Pack up your friends (or the kids), bring an RV or a tent, and take whatever food and drinks you like! Don’t forget the accessories, like the flags to designate your campsite, cornhole boards, or even a mobile bar on tractor wheels. (No, seriously, watch this video on camping at Sonoma Raceway. People bring all of those things!) The party starts in the campground and you’re sure to make a ton of new friends – NASCAR fans truly are the best. For those interested in camping, you can get set up as early as Thursday. There are five campgrounds to choose from – you can read more about them and reserve your spot here. Be sure to check whether or not your campsite includes race passes! If not, we’ve got you.
The scenery around Sonoma Raceway is gorgeous, so even if you don’t have time to cruise around and visit a few vineyards before the race (although why the heck wouldn’t you?!) you can still take in the rolling hills all around you when you set up camp for the night. The northern California weather in the heart of June should be fabulous as well.
The Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma is one of only three road race events in the NASCAR Cup Series this year. Dating back to 1989, this racetrack has a unique layout, making it a bit controversial – most drivers either love it or hate it. This year marks the return of the full 12-turn road course and fans will see the reintroduction of “The Carousel” after a 20-year hiatus. The Carousel is a sweeping left turn over a decline of over 70 feet, and no current drivers have ever experienced it inside a Cup car. The 2019 race will be 2.52 miles long, compared to the 1.99 that it has been in recent years, so it’s sure to create a totally new challenge. Drivers must make it through all 90 laps to win!
You can even expect a few “road runners” or “road course ringers” to make an appearance. That’s what they’ve nicknamed the non-NASCAR drivers who only come out to race in road course events. While they don’t usually cross the finish line first, a win at Sonoma pretty much guarantees the driver a spot in the playoffs! So yeah, the stakes are high here. Love it or hate it, this road courses is always a fun change of pace!
Martin Truex, Jr. won at Sonoma last year. He’s also got 9-2 odds to win this year. Other favorites to win the race include Kevin Harvick (7-2), Kyle Bush (6-1), Clint Bowyer (6-1), and Chase Elliot (6-1).
Things to Do on Race Day
It’s not all about the race either. You can meet the Sonoma Raceway Girls at one of their many weekend appearances – they’re even hosting a dance party on Sunday! To check out some behind-the-scenes auto action, you could grab a pit pass or opt for a pace car ride. This year, there will also be autograph sessions, happy hour, driver Q&As, kids activities, a stunt plane demonstration, and even an air show by the Patriots Jet Team too. After the race, fans can take part in a Track Walk for prizes! Don’t miss out on all these little extras that come with your NASCAR race ticket!
See the full Sonoma Raceway weekend schedule here!
Want to go see another NASCAR race this summer? We’ve got cheap NASCAR tickets to all the Cup Series races coming up!