Thursday, June 20, 2013

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West At Sonoma

Fast Facts

  • Sonoma has hosted 23 series races since 1978. In addition, the series participated in nine combination events with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Northern California road course between 1989 and 1997.
  • The Sonoma track, located near the intersection of Highways 37 & 121, opened as Sears Point Raceway in 1968, with its inaugural event on Dec. 1, 1968. The road course was initially a 2.52-mile layout, but reconfigurations in 1998 and 2001 resulted in the current 1.99-mile design for NASCAR events.
  • The Sonoma road course features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest to lowest points. The highest point at Turn 3a reaches 174 feet, while the lowest point at Turn 10 is just 14 feet.
  • Fourteen different drivers have visited Victory Lane in series action at Sonoma. Three drivers – Hershel McGriff (1983, 1985, 1987), Jim Insolo (1978, 1979, 1980) and Bill Schmitt (1981, 1988, 1989) – lead the list of winners, with three wins each.
  • Other multiple winners at Sonoma include Butch Gilliland, who scored back-to-back wins on the historic road course in 1996 and 1997, and his son, David Gilliland, who notched wins in 2007 and 2012. Jason Bowles had consecutive wins in 2008 and 2009. 
  • Of the 14 drivers who won series races at Sonoma, 12 won NASCAR championships. Ten of those were NASCAR K&N Pro Series titles.
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers won the past two K&N West events at Sonoma – Joey Logano in 2011 and David Gilliland in 2012.
  • No previous winners are entered in this year's event.
  • Seventeen drivers have qualified on the pole. While Hershel McGriff leads with three poles at Sonoma – Butch Gilliland, Jim Bown, Roy Smith and Tim Williamson each had won two poles there.
  • Bill Schmitt leads in terms of top-five finishes, with eight, and top-10 finishes, with nine.
  • Hershel McGriff has led the most laps, meanwhile, running out front for 142 laps.
  • McGriff and Jack Sellers have the most series starts at Sonoma, with 14 each. In addition, Sellers also competed in six combination events.
  • The event in 2008 was the only series race at Sonoma that was extended for a green-white-checkered finish since the format was introduced.
  • Five of the 23 series races were won from the pole position. Seven were won by the driver who started second on the grid. Jim Insolo came from the furthest back, charging from 19th to win in 1978.
  • 265 different drivers have raced in series competition at the Sonoma track.

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