Odds & Ends - Sonoma
June 19, 2012
By VI News
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The track opened as a 2.52-mile road course and drag strip in 1968.
The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held in 1989.
The first nine races were 300 kilometers and switched to a 350k format in 1998.
The track was reconfigured to 1.949 miles in 1998 with the installation of an 890-foot chute between the original Turns 4 and 7.
The track was reconfigured to 2.0 miles in 2001 and re-measured at 1.99 miles in 2002.
There have been 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma since the first race there in 1989.
Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole.
Ricky Rudd won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
14 different drivers have won poles; only four have won more than one.
Jeff Gordon (five) leads all pole winners. Ricky Rudd has four, including three consecutive (1990-92), Rusty Wallace and Kasey Kahne each have two.
There have been consecutive pole winners three times: Ricky Rudd (1990-92) and Jeff Gordon (1998-99 and 2004-05).
15 different drivers have won races; five have multiple victories there - led by Jeff Gordon with five. Ernie Irvan, Ricky Rudd, Tony Stewart and Rusty Wallace (all with two) are the other multiple-race winners.
Jeff Gordon is also the only driver with consecutive wins, winning in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Five of 23 races have been won by the pole winner, including three times by Jeff Gordon. His victory from the pole in 2004 is the most recent.
The lowest starting position by a race winner was 32nd, by Juan Pablo Montoya; it also was his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win.
Boris Said posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole.
Jeff Gordon is the all-time leader in road-course victories, with nine. Tony Stewart is second, with seven.
Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sonoma winner: Kyle Busch (06/26/2008 - 21 years, 1 month, 2 days).
Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sonoma winner: Ricky Rudd (06/23/2002 - 45 years, 9 months, 11 days).
Race #: 16 of 36 (06-24-12)
Track Size: 1.99 miles
Race Length: 110 laps / 219 miles/ 350 Kilometers
Number of Turns: 12
Top 12 Driver Rating at Sonoma
Marcos Ambrose 108.8
Tony Stewart 107.9
Kurt Busch 106.1
Juan Pablo Montoya 104.0
Jeff Gordon 99.1
Jimmie Johnson 94.1
Ryan Newman 93.5
Kyle Busch 92.1
Jamie McMurray 86.6
Carl Edwards 85.8
Clint Bowyer 85.1
Elliott Sadler 84.9
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2011 races (seven total) at Sonoma.
2011 pole winner: Joey Logano, (93.256 mph, 76.821 seconds)
2011 race winner: Kurt Busch, (75.411 mph, 2:54:10, 06-26-11)
Track qualifying record: Jeff Gordon, (94.325 mph, 75.950 seconds, 06-24-05)
Track race record: Ricky Rudd, (81.007 mph, 2:42:08, 06-23-02)
Driver Ratings for Winners
Driver/Year (Driver Rating Series-Driver Rating Rank)
Kurt Busch/2011 (100.0-5th)
Jimmie Johnson/2010 (80.4-18th)
Kasey Kahne/2009 (58.7-30th)
Kyle Busch/2008 (90.6-10th)
Juan Pablo Montoya/2007 (N/A-1st race at Sonoma)
Jeff Gordon/2006 (77.2-19th)
* Pre-Race Driver Ratings of the year the driver won at Sonoma (last six races).
NASCAR in California
There have been 132 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in California:
418 drivers from NASCAR's three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as California.
There have been 34 race winners from California in NASCAR three national series: