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Sonoma NASCAR Weekend Primer

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What’s Happening?

NASCAR travels to “Wine Country” and Sonoma Raceway this weekend for the series lone West Coast race of the summer. The Cup Series and Xfinity Series are set to go road course racing with the ARCA Menards Series West in tow. Here is all you need to know for this weekend.

  • Sonoma has been a staple of the NASCAR Cup Series schedule since 1989, and it hosts the second road course race of the season. After this, the Chicago Street Race is the only road course race left in the regular season, so this is a big opportunity for NASCAR’s road course specialists.
  • The Xfinity Series and ARCA Menards Series West tag along, with one series having a deep, rich history at the track and the other with a much thinner notebook. The Xfinity Series visited Sonoma for the first time ever in 2023, with 2023 and 2024 forming part two of back-to-back road course races in the series. The ARCA West Series competed at the track as far back as 1969 when it was known as the Winston West Series.
  • Fans are used to seeing Sonoma on the calendar this time of year, and Sonoma often offers an interesting change of pace from oval to road course racing. This makes fans look forward to Sonoma race weekends.

Weekend Schedule (All Times ET)

Friday, June 7th – ARCA West Race

  • 4:00-5:00 PM – Xfinity Series Practice on the Fox Sports App*
  • 5:00-6:00 PM – Cup Series Practice on FS1
  • 6:30 PM – ARCA Menards Series General Tire 200 on FloRacing

*Xfinity Series practice will be shown on TAPE DELAY on FS1 at 8:30 PM ET

Saturday, June 8th – Xfinity Series Race

  • 3:30-4:30 PM – Xfinity Series Qualifying on FS2
  • 6:00-7:00 PM – Cup Series Qualifying on FS2
  • 7:30-8:00 PM – Xfinity Series RaceDay on FS1
  • 8:00 PM – Xfinity Series Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 200 on FS1

Sunday, June 9th – Cup Series Race

  • 2:00-3:30 PM – NASCAR RaceDay on FS1 (Moves to FOX at 2 PM)
  • 3:30 PM – Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 on FOX

Race Facts

Sonoma Raceway

  • Year Built: 1968
  • Length: 1.990 Miles/3.203 Kilometers
  • Shape: Road Course
  • Banking: None (Features 160+ Feet of elevation change)
  • Surface: Asphalt
  • Lights?: No
  • Rain Tires?: Yes

ARCA Menards Series West

  • Race Length: 64 Laps (127.360 Miles/204.992 Kilometers)
  • Stages: None
  • 2023 Winner: Ryan Preece

Xfinity Series

  • Race Length: 79 Laps (157.21 Miles/253.037 Kilometers)
  • Stages: 20 Laps (Stage 1), 25 Laps (Stage 2), 34 Laps (Stage 3)
  • Purse: $1,747,861
  • 2023 Winner: Aric Almirola

Cup Series

  • Race Length: 110 Laps (218.900 Miles; 352.330 Kilometers)
  • Stages: 45 Laps (Stage 1), 95 Laps (Stage 2), 100 Laps (Stage 3)
  • Purse: $8,426,274
  • 2023 Winner: Kyle Busch
  • Former Winners in the Field: Martin Truex Jr. (4 Wins), Kyle Busch (2 Wins), Kyle Larson, and Daniel Suarez

Entry Lists

ARCA West (Full List Here)

A total of 32 cars are entered for the ARCA West race at Sonoma, including three NASCAR National Touring Series drivers. Cup Series driver Noah Gragson will drive the No. 30 for Rette Jones Racing, joining Xfinity Series stars Sammy Smith (No. 23) and Brandon Jones (No. 42). Other notable entries include former IndyCar winner at Sonoma, Marco Andretti (No. 17), and Joe Gibbs Racing prospect, William Sawalich (No. 18).

Xfinity Series

The Xfinity Series features 39 cars entered for 38 spots, meaning one driver will go home. Notable entries include Alex Labbe (No. 07), Brad Perez (No. 14), Boris Said (No. 17), Ty Gibbs (No. 19), John Hunter Nemechek (No. 20), Ed Jones (No. 26), Austin Green (No. 32), Sage Karam (No. 35), Preston Pardus (No. 50), and Josh Bilicki (No. 92). The JD Motorsports No. 6 car does not have a driver listed yet.

Cup Series

The Cup Series has 38 drivers entered for 40 spots on the grid, meaning no drivers will go home. All-Star Car entries include Kaz Grala (No. 15) and A.J. Allmendinger (No. 16). The two open cars are occupied by Supercars stars making their Cup Series debut, Will Brown (RCR No. 33) and Cam Waters (RFK No. 60).

What to Watch For

ARCA West Series

The ARCA West race often attracts a gaggle of Xfinity or Cup Series drivers looking to improve their road course racing skills. Since the series returned to Sonoma in 2006, 10 winners competed full-time in the NASCAR National Touring Series at the time of their win. The 2023 race saw NASCAR National Touring Series drivers Ryan Preece, Sammy Smith, and Riley Herbst sweep the top-3.

Xfinity Series

The 2023 race at Sonoma saw Aric Almirola give RSS Racing their first Xfinity Series win. However, RSS Racing must contend with Kaulig Racing’s Road Course “Dream Team” of SVG and A.J. Allmendinger. Allmendinger finished second at Sonoma in 2023, so he will be a threat this weekend.

Cup Series

Sonoma Raceway became Martin Truex Jr.’s personal playground in 2023, leading 51 laps en route to his fourth career win at the track. He’s always the favorite at Sonoma, but fellow former winners Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch should also be threats. Dark horses Daniel Suarez and Michael McDowell should also be fun to watch.

This article will be updated as more news comes in about the race weekend.

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