Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

The Latest Info on the Sonoma Raceway Repave

Article Contents

Article Contents

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts

What’s Happening?

The Denny Hamlin/Marcus Smith drama on social media all stemmed from a very concerning incident at Sonoma Raceway. During testing for various road course racing series, potholes began to appear at the race track. What happened at Sonoma Raceway?

  • Sonoma Raceway was completely repaved over the off-season for the first time since 2003. Goodyear held a tire test featuring 3 NASCAR Cup Series drivers, and no issues with the track surface were found.
  • This is not the only track SMI repaved this off-season. North Wilkesboro Speedway also was repaved during the offseason before they host the NASCAR All-Star Race this May.
  • Fans are growing very concerned with these recent issues. If the track is already breaking up now, what will happen when the Cup Series heads to the track in June?

Wednesday and Thursday

The Fanatec GT World Challenge is on track at Sonoma Raceway this weekend for their season-opening race. Testing was taking place on the track on Wednesday until problems began to arise.

The pavement at various parts of the track began to fail. As a result, all on-track activity was canceled for Thursday at Sonoma to repair the asphalt. A Sonoma Raceway representative said this to Fred Smith of Road and Track.

Pavement from isolated problem areas has been removed around Turns 11, 7, 9 and 4. Repair and repave is taking place in those areas today. Multiple track days, a vintage racing event and a NASCAR tire test took place on the circuit with no issues over the past six weeks since the repave was completed in late February, so samples of the damaged pavement are now being analyzed to determine the cause of the problems.

Sonoma Raceway

The weekend schedule for Sonoma was affected as well. On-track activity was eliminated on Thursday with only one 30-minute session for the TGRNA GR Cup of North America scheduled for Friday. Saturday and Sunday are still filled with activity throughout, including 10 races across 5 different series.

Friday

Thursday and Friday were both largely spent repairing all of the tracks. This included removing the faulty pavement and repaving the track in the problem areas. John Dagys highlighted the work done in turn 11.

We will have to wait until the on-track activity for the weekend is complete before we see how the track holds up. For now, the hope is that the new asphalt solves the problems.

Will This Be a Problem for the Cup Series?

The hope is that the pavement issues should be fixed by the time the Cup Series heads to Sonoma this June. It does raise some concern amongst fans and Denny Hamlin about the pavement at North Wilkesboro Speedway, SMI’s other venue.

However, it’s better to have this happen during a test session than during a Cup Series race. Problems with the track surface almost always cause red flags, and it makes the racing surface much more treacherous. Perhaps the most glaring example came in the 2010 Daytona 500.

However, it is worth noting that the Cup Series cars suffered no problems with the track surface during the test session at Sonoma back in March. However, there were only 3 cars on track at a time, so, it wasn’t even close to the full fields we will see in June.

Time will tell if the fixes to the pavement at Sonoma Raceway hold up. We will keep fans posted if anything notable happens to the racing surface.

Let us know what you think

Join the conversation on socials

Share this:

Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts