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Sonoma 350 Race Preview

Written by Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

After the Gateway 300 that was filled with twists and turns, we now approach Sonoma with yet another race winners, and this also means that there is one less playoff spot for other drivers. 

Heading into Sonoma, one of the unpredictable race tracks of the season, can any of the other drivers finally punch their ticket to the playoffs? Or would one of the race winners continue adding playoffs points to their name?

Track Preview

The Sonoma Raceway, located in Sonoma County, California, is one of the five tracks on the NASCAR calendar that is a road course. Built in 1968, it wasn’t on the NASCAR calendar until 1989. The track has hosted the NASCAR race every season other than 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The track has a few different layouts for different motorsport series, but NASCAR will be using the shorter layout, going around the downhill esses.

The track is 1.99 miles (3.20 kilometres) long, with 12 different turns. The track starts with a quick uphill left turn into a right handed turn two, then leading to the esses in turns three and four. Following the esses is a flatout right turn at turn five then a downhill run towards turn six. 

After a couple of chicanes through turns seven to ten, drivers have a long left turn towards turn 12, where they go straight until the final hairpin corner, back to the main straight and the start/finish line.

The drivers will be racing 110 laps around the track, with 25 laps in the first stage, 35 laps in the second stage, and 50 laps in the final stage, totalling a distance of 218.9 miles (352.3 kilometres) around the track.

The weather forecast predicts little to no precipitation, with slightly cloudy skies. The race will commence on the Sunday of June 9th, at 15:30 ET (12:30 PT, 21:30 CET).

Race Predictions

After Gateway, Ford must be feeling really good about themselves. They had three of their drivers secure a top five finish, while Austin Cindric took the win in the final lap. They are finally finishing the job and bringing home the points when they get into advantageous positions. 

Historically, Ford hasn't performed well at this track, but they have come close to the win on a few separate occasions. They will absolutely be looking for another win in Sonoma, hoping to send another one of their drivers into the playoffs.

On the other hand, the Chevrolet’s will be looking to get back into the winning column, after three consecutive races missing out on victory lane. They have the best record in Sonoma, winning 13 times at the track. 

They have missed out on certain opportunities in both Charlotte and Gateway, leading to them striking out twice. And similar to Tony Gwynn, the Chevys won’t be striking out three times.

Their star-studded lineup, alongside a car that has performed well on road courses, is a recipe for success. Therefore, the prediction would be one of the Chevrolet drivers, taking a win here in Sonoma.


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