Archives for Sonoma Raceway PR

GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Pit Notes

SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2017)  — The Verizon IndyCar® Series returns to Sonoma Raceway this weekend for its season finale at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 15-17. Below are some points of interest regarding previous INDYCAR events in Sonoma:

  • The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma has featured eight different winners since the series’ first visit to Sonoma in 2005: Tony Kanaan, 2005; Marco Andretti, 2006; Helio Castroneves, 2008; Dario Franchitti, 2009; Ryan Briscoe, 2012; Will Power, 2010, 2011, 2013; Scott Dixon, 2007, 2014 and 2015 and Simon Pagenaud, 2016.
  • This is the third consecutive year Sonoma Raceway has hosted the Verizon IndyCar Series championship race.
  • The championship title has been decided in the season-finale for 12 consecutive years.
  • Simon Pagenaud set the track qualifying record in 2016 with a fast lap of 1 minute, 16.2530 seconds at 112.599 mph.
  • Pagenaud set the track record for most laps led by a race winner in 2016 with 76 (of 85) and record for fastest race winner (101.181 mph).
  • The 2015 and 2014 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma events both featured 10 lead changes and 20 drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • Scott Dixon set the track record for worst starting position of a winner in 2015 (9th). He also set the track record for the largest margin of victory in an IndyCar Series event at 6.1115 seconds over Ryan Hunter-Reay also in 2015.
  • The raceway unveiled a modified track layout in 2012, with changes to Turns 7, 9 and 11 designed to enhance passing. With the modifications, the track length is 12 turns, 2.385 miles and race distance was increased from 75 to 85 laps.
  • Will Power became the first repeat INDYCAR winner in Sonoma after claiming back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011.  Dixon is the only other repeat Sonoma winner (2014, 2015).
  • Marco Andretti won his first-ever INDYCAR race at Sonoma Raceway in 2006.  At 19-years, 167 days, Andretti became the then-youngest driver in history to win a major open-wheel event.  Andretti also claimed victory in Sonoma in the 2005 Firestone Indy Lights event.
  • 2008 marked the first year that the unified INDYCAR and Champ Car World Series competed in the Sonoma Valley.
  • Will Power has led the most laps in IndyCar competition at Sonoma Raceway with 276.
  • The 2005 INDYCAR event in Sonoma marked the first major open-wheel event at the Sonoma facility in 35 years and the first permanent road-course event in the 11-year history of INDYCAR.
  • Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan are the only drivers who have competed in all 12 INDYCAR events in Sonoma.
  • Five of the 12 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma winners have started from the pole (Castroneves, Franchitti, Pagenaud, Power – twice).

Track Facts

  • The raceway has installed nearly 200 feet of Humboldt Redwood stand-up bars under the main grandstand and at the raceway’s newest fan entertainment area, The RevZone at Turn 7. These stand-up bars offer a shaded location under the grandstand or a picturesque view above Turn 7 to enjoy the variety of food options and beverages at the raceway. Fans will also be able to sit at one of 14 new redwood picnic tables under the main grandstand.
  • In 2016, Sonoma Raceway installed more than 5,000 square feet of high-resolution, full LED Panasonic screens. An 85-foot tall, four-sided LED scoring tower has replaced the outdated lap/leader board above Turn 1 of the road course, and an 84- x 12-foot Panasonic LED screen has been added to the front of the three-story Drag Tower building.
  • The Sonoma Raceway road course features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest point (Turn 3a, 174 feet) to its lowest point (Turn 10, 14 feet).
  • The berms on the turns of the road course are painted blue and gold at the suggestion of raceway President and General Manager Steve Page, who attended UC Berkeley.
  • The property on which the raceway was built was a working farm called Sears Point Farm in the early 1900s.
  • In 2011, in a partnership with Panasonic Corporation of North America, the raceway completed a solar installation of nearly 1,700 solar panels, which offsets approximately 41% of the raceway’s energy usage.
  • Nearly 3,000 sheep, housed at the raceway and provided by Rocky Mountain Wooly Weeders, provide natural land care, helping to maintain the facility’s grasses and fire lanes.
  • Winners in Sonoma celebrate with a sip from the Champion’s Goblet in Sunoco Victory Lane.  The goblet, which is handcrafted by a local glass blower from Oakland, was introduced in 2006 and incorporates the raceway’s rich wine country heritage.

Full-field INDYCAR Test Kicks-Off  GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

  Sept. 14 Event Open to Ticket Holders & Buyers SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 8, 2017) – The full field of Verizon IndyCar® Series drivers, including the drivers in contention for the series championship, are scheduled to participate in a series-sanctioned open test at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday, Sept. 14, the day before the GoPro Grand…

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Team Penske Prepares for Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with Test at Sonoma Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 7, 2017) – Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power completed a one-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday to prepare for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship race weekend at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 15-17. This marks a particularly important test session for…

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Tito’s Handmade Vodka Named an Official Sponsor of Sonoma Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. (June 14, 2017) – Race fans can enjoy more than your typical trackside beverage during the upcoming race season in Sonoma, as Tito’s Handmade Vodka has extended its official sponsorship of Sonoma Raceway. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is produced in Austin at Texas’ first and oldest legal distillery, will host a full-service bar at…

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Thirteen IndyCar Drivers Complete One-Day Honda Test at Sonoma Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. (April 4, 2017) – Thirteen drivers from five Verizon IndyCar® Series teams completed a one-day Honda test session at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday. This marked the largest IndyCar test of the year so far at Sonoma Raceway, which will host the 2017 series season finale for the third consecutive year at the GoPro…

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Thirteen IndyCar Drivers Set to Test at Sonoma Raceway, April 4

SONOMA, Calif. (March 29, 2017) – Thirteen drivers from five Verizon IndyCar® Series teams will take part in a one-day Honda test session at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday, April 4.

This marks the largest IndyCar test of the year so far at Sonoma Raceway, which will host the 2017 series season finale for the third consecutive year at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 15-17. Drivers slated to participate in the test include Nevada City’s Alexander Rossi, the defending Indianapolis 500 winner, as well as past Sonoma race winners Tony Kanaan (2005), Marco Andretti (2006) and three-time winner Scott Dixon (2007, 2014-2015).

The teams/drivers scheduled to participate in the test on the 12-turn, 2.38-mile road course include:

  • Andretti Autosport(Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato)
  • Chip Ganassi Racing(Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Max Chilton)
  • Dale Coyne Racing(Sebastian Bourdais, Ed Jones Jr.)
  • Schmidt Peterson Motorsports(James Hinchcliffe, Mikhail Aleshin)
  • Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing(Graham Rahal)

Race fans are invited to enjoy the test session for free, with testing slated from approximately 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Raceway Café will be open for lunch.

In addition to the on-track action, race fans can also help save lives as Sonoma Raceway teams up with Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP) to help drive blood donations during the test. A BCP blood mobile will be on site from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. To make an appointment to donate blood at the raceway, go to; enter the sponsor code “Sonoma Raceway.” Walk-ups on the day of the test session are also welcome.

For tickets to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or Tickets can also be purchased on-site at the test session.

Sonoma Raceway to Host 2018 SCCA National Championship Runoffs

SONOMA, Calif. (Jan. 26, 2017) – The Sports Car Club of America® today announced that the 2018 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® will be held at Sonoma Raceway, Oct. 16-21, 2018. It is the first time the Runoffs will be held at the Northern California facility. “We’re excited to have the Runoffs again head west, continuing…

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John’s March at Sonoma Raceway Raises $23,000 for No Stomach For Cancer

SONOMA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2017) – John’s March Against Stomach Cancer reached new heights at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, Jan. 21, as the 6th annual event raised more than $23,000 for the fight against gastric cancer.

Nearly 350 people turned out for the No Stomach For Cancer fundraiser (, which generated over $5,000 more than its prior record-setting year in 2016. Walkers, runners and even dogs enjoyed a spin around the 2.52-mile, 12-turn road course on foot during the event, which is held in honor of John Cardinale, the long-time Sonoma Raceway spokesman who passed away in 2013 after a two-year battle with stomach cancer.

John’s March has raised nearly $90,000 over the past six years and is the only major fundraiser for No Stomach For Cancer on the West Coast.

“No Stomach For Cancer’s mission is to unite the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer,” said Jon Florin, executive director of No Stomach For Cancer. “So, we’re here not just to focus on finding a cure, but to help prevent stomach cancer, support families and patients with stomach cancer and to make it a manageable disease.”

Participants ranged from competitive runners to families, including children on bikes and in strollers. In addition, all 35 members of the Stanford Men’s Rowing team hit the track for John’s March before heading to the Petaluma River for additional training.

“Our team was honored to join John’s Army and be a part of this incredible event,” said Stanford Men’s Rowing Coach Craig Amerkhanian. “This spectacular venue provided inspiration and a strong community bond as people from all over the bay walked and ran on this race course of champions for stomach cancer awareness.”

No Stomach For Cancer is a non-profit group that works to increase awareness and education about stomach cancer, provide a support network for affected families and support research efforts for screening, early detection, treatment and prevention of stomach cancer.

Donations can still be made in honor of this event at  Sonoma Raceway will host its 7th annual John’s March Against Stomach Cancer in January 2018. For more information or to get involved, contact Diana Brennan at


Ayesha Curry Named Grand Marshal of GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 8, 2016) – Celebrity chef and popular Bay Area personality Ayesha Curry has been named Grand Marshal of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway, Sept. 16-18.

Curry, wife of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, began her career as the creator of the popular food and lifestyle blog Little Lights of Mine and is now moving on to become one of the rising stars in the culinary world. Curry has guest judged on popular Food Network shows such as Guy’s Grocery Games and Chopped Junior, and recently authored her first cookbook, The Seasoned Life, which will be published on September 20 from Little, Brown and Company. She is also slated to host her own TV show on Food Network, Ayesha’s Homemade.

In June, Curry teamed up with chef and restaurateur Michael Mina to open International Smoke, a pop-up restaurant in San Francisco’s Mina Test Kitchen, with additional locations set to open in the next several months. Curry also boasts a meal-delivery startup, curated a collection of baby footwear and has her own signature line of olive oils, vinegars and aprons sold at retail.

In her role as Grand Marshal of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Curry will take part in pre-race activities on Sunday, Sept. 18, and give the official command of, “Drivers, Start Your Engines.” This will mark her first visit to a motorsports event.

“This will be my first time going to Sonoma Raceway and a Verizon Indycar Series event, so I’m very excited,” said Curry. “You can’t beat seeing a sporting event like this in person, and I’m sure it will be an incredible experience. It’s an honor to be named Grand Marshal; I can’t wait to say “Drivers, start your engines!”

The Curry family quickly grabbed local and international attention during the Golden State Warriors’ record-setting run to the 2015 NBA Championship. In addition to daughter Riley, a popular addition to Steph’s post-game press conferences, the Currys welcomed a second daughter, Ryan, in 2015.

“We are very excited to have Ayesha join us for the GoPro Grand Prix weekend,” said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager. “She has emerged over the last two years as one of the Bay Area’s most dynamic personalities and culinary stars, and she’ll be a perfect fit for such a high-energy event in the Sonoma Wine Country.”

For more information or to purchase tickets for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, including preferred parking, garage access, pit and pre-race passes, visit or call 800-870-7223. Kids 12 and under are admitted FREE all weekend and parking is FREE.

Online Charity Auction Offers Experiences for IndyCar Championship Weekend in Sonoma

Ride of a Lifetime Experiences, Signed Memorabilia Up for Auction

SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 6, 2016) – Fans of the Verizon IndyCar Series can enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences and unique collectibles, all in the name of charity, with the Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC) online charity auction in advance of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway.

The auction, which launched today at, features nearly 20 items, including “Ride of a Lifetime” experiences with top INDYCAR drivers, autographed memorabilia and unique race-weekend packages. The online format opens the auction to all race fans, including those who still need to purchase tickets for race weekend, and will run through Tuesday, Sept. 13.

The highlight of the auction is the chance to bid on Ride-a-Lifetime Experiences with 12 different Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. These packages include a ride around the road course in the back of a Honda Ridgeline immediately following driver introductions. The drivers included in this year’s auction are:
* Marco Andretti
* Helio Castroneves
* James Hinchcliffe
* Ryan Hunter-Reay
* Tony Kanaan
* Charlie Kimball
* Juan Pablo Montoya
* Josef Neogarden
* Simon Pagenaud
* Will Power
* Graham Rahal
* Alexander Rossi

The auction also includes autographed items and collectibles, including
* Alexander Rossi Signed Indianapolis 100th Running Hat and Roadster Car
* Real. Strong. Humboldt Redwood Deck Experience Package
* Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi signed hat and champagne
* 2017 IndyCar Two-Seat Racing Experience
* Autographed Sonoma Raceway Aerial Image
* A.J. Foyt Signed Champagne Bottle
* A.J. Foyt Signed Wine Bottle

SCC will also continue its “Little Wheels Big Fun” raffle during IndyCar weekend, offering the chance to win a set of four Yokohama Geolander or Passenger Tires and a Surge Roadster battery-powered car. The Surge Roadster seats two young children with adjustable seat belts, working horn, 12-volt motor with a 45-minute run time and was donated by local American Canyon wheeled-goods supplier, Dynacraft, Inc. Raffle tickets sell for $1 each, 6 for $5, 13 for $10 and 27 for $20. Tickets can be purchased during race weekend at the Ticket Pit Stop located behind the Main Grandstand or by contacting Cheri Plattner at (707)933-3950 or The winning ticket will be chosen on Oct. 6.

All proceeds from the auction benefit the Sonoma chapter of SCC, the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway. The Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities is dedicated to helping children in need in Sonoma County and has distributed more than $5.1 million to qualified youth groups since 2001. For more information on the local chapter, visit

For more information or to purchase tickets for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend, visit or call 800-870-RACE (7223).

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