TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350
JUNE 24, 2018
No other manufacturer has visited Victory Lane at Sonoma Raceway more often than Chevrolet. The Bowtie Brand has been in Winner’s Circle 11 times at the 11-turn, 1.99-mile venue.
CHEVY HISTORY MINUTE:
Ernie Irvan took Chevrolet to Victory Lane for the first time at Sonoma Raceway in 1992. Since then, Chevrolet has powered five different drivers and four (Lumina, Monte Carlo, Impala and SS) different nameplates to Winner’s Circle at the Northern California track.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray leads all active drivers with three pole starts at Sonoma Raceway. This weekend, McMurray will try to parlay his starting position into his first Sonoma victory.
Five drivers in the 39-car field hail from The Golden State. Sixty percent of those drivers will pilot Chevrolet Camaros at Sonoma. AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson all call California home. Only Johnson has been able to record a victory at the 1.99-mile track, but both Allmendinger and Larson consider Sonoma to be their “home” track.
On display this weekend as part of the “Sonoma Rising” will be a ’46 Chevrolet Truck that was partially burned during the Northern California fires. Instead of trashing the truck, the owner, Jim, had it sealed to preserve the burn and minimally repaired so he could run it. The truck has been named ‘Survivor’. (Photos attached)
DID YOU KNOW?
Career-long Chevrolet driver, Jeff Gordon, leads almost all statistical categories at Sonoma Raceway. Gordon has the most wins (5), most poles (5), most top five’s (14) and most top 10’s (18). The former driver of the No. 24 Chevy earned all these achievements behind the wheel of a Bowtie Branded race car.
The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is scheduled to begin on Sunday, June 24 at 3 pm, ET. Live coverage can be found on FoxSports1, PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Chevrolet has won 39 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships
Team Chevy drivers have scored 776 wins and 696 poles in MENCS competition
Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of 29 races at Sonoma Raceway. Victories by current Team Chevy drivers are:
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Camaro ZL1, has one trophy from Sonoma Raceway (’10)
Kasey Kahne, No. 95 Procore Camaro ZL1, has one victory at Sonoma Raceway (’09)
A Chevrolet driver has sat on the pole at Sonoma 14 times
Team Chevy drivers have scored 61 top-five and 115 top-10 finishes at Sonoma Raceway
A Chevrolet has led 1,233 laps (42.8% of possible 2,881 laps) at Sonoma Raceway
KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 DC SOLAR CAMARO ZL1 – 10TH IN STANDINGS
“I enjoy Sonoma, and always enjoy getting back up to Northern California. Katelyn and I both grew up around there, so it’s nice to have a chance to catch up with some friends and family while we’re in town. It’s my home race, so I would like to go there and do well. I’ve always qualified good at Sonoma, but I haven’t really raced well there. I spent some time in the Chevy simulator a couple weeks ago running some laps around Sonoma, so that was nice to get familiar with the corners and have a chance to work on some different setups without having to use actual practice time to do it. So, hopefully this year we can qualify good and race well too. It’s always fun to compete for a pole there, but I would just like to finish that off with a win too.”
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S FOR PROS CAMARO ZL1 – 12TH IN STANDINGS
“I hope everyone had a great off-weekend – I know I did. To be successful on a road course, you have to hit specific lines and marks. You have to be perfect. At Sonoma, it’s a narrow track and there are slower corner speeds. That can be tough on tires. Up until we finally broke through with a win in 2010 at Sonoma, it was one of my toughest tracks. I enjoy going there. It’s always great to get back to California.”
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – 13TH IN STANDINGS
“I thought the first year at Sonoma was a struggle and I thought we picked up a lot on that from the first year to last season. I felt like we put ourselves behind a little bit, we crashed in practice, so ended up having to get a back-up car out there last year. Hopefully, keep our main car, I think that is worth some time and worth some spots. Looking forward to getting back, I’ve always loved road racing and hope that it goes another step better.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 – 15TH IN STANDINGS
“I’m not really sure how we are going to perform at Sonoma. I’ve never road course raced in a good car. We will have to wait and see. I think we can be pretty solid. I really don’t know until I get there I guess. But we will probably run the Chevy simulator in order to prepare. It’s a good tool for us to have and be able to use for me to get some laps in to prepare.”
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 CAMARO ZL1 – 18TH IN STANDINGS
“I definitely enjoy going to Sonoma it is beautiful country. We stay in Petaluma. It’s a trip that we like to try and go out early just to enjoy the countryside. Sonoma was really good to us last year. I love how that track kind of falls off. Really, probably one of the oldest asphalts that we go to, there and Atlanta you just have no grip. It’s a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed it now it’s one of my favorite places to go.
“In order to prepare for Sonoma there will be a lot of simulator time. Get in the simulator and run a lot of laps. We will be finding some time to do that within the busy schedule.”
JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 1 CESSNA CAMARO ZL1 – 19TH IN STANDINGS
“I really enjoy our trip to Sonoma every year. This is a very technical track and there isn’t much room for error, so focus is key. We usually experience hot temperatures at this race and it can get crazy hot in the car which adds to the fatigue factor. Our team has had some really good qualifying efforts at Sonoma, including both of our team cars starting on the front row last year. Coming off of a top-10 finish in our last race at Michigan (Speedway) it would be nice to get a string of good finishes going and hopefully we can be in a position to make that happen on Sunday.”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 – 20TH IN STANDINGS
“I’ve done some preparation for Sonoma over the offseason, just trying to get an understanding of shifting and the blips. Really, Pocono was another good chance to practice shifting. I think the biggest things at Sonoma are getting your shifts right and your braking the way it needs to be. Trying to make speed on the entry of the corner is a lot more important than most places. On the ovals, it’s all about the exits, but on the road courses the entry is very important, and the exit is very important too, so you have to attack both parts of it.”
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 31 GRAINGER/AMERICAN RED CROSS CAMARO ZL1 – 22ND IN STANDINGS
“The key to being successful at Sonoma Raceway is keeping your rear tires alive, not overheating them. You need to be good to your brakes and having a car that turns and rotates. You’ve got to be multi-talented because Sonoma boasts so many different types of corners. You’ve got to be able to drive through them all, mistake-free.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 KROGER CLICKLIST CAMARO ZL1 – 23RD IN STANDINGS
“I love racing at Sonoma Raceway. It’s a racetrack where when we go there, we feel like we always have a chance to run up front and be in the top-five, maybe win the race. Sonoma is really hard on rear tires, so that’s something we always focus on in practice. We have some good notes from last year to help set up the car to save the rear tires, but we can always make improvements on our long run speed. I think we’ll be good at Sonoma if we execute. Having a clean race and a good day on pit road will make for a great day. In these races, if you give yourself a chance, anything can happen. More than anything I focus on, winning is definitely the ultimate goal, but we have just got to go focus and execute for a whole weekend and get a great finish out of it in our Kroger ClickList Camaro ZL1. It’s a racetrack where we can really gain some points and have a good weekend.”
DARRELL ‘BUBBA’ WALLACE, JR., NO. 43 WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY CAMARO ZL1 – 24TH IN STANDINGS
“We’re proud to have World Wide Technology back on our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend. It’s my first race at Sonoma, but Monday I spent all afternoon at the simulator. That helps, but nothing will be like the real thing. I think we have some realistic goals this weekend- staying on the blacktop is on top of that list. We just want to get better each practice on Friday, qualify better than we practice and then get better throughout the race. Drew is really good at calling races, so if I can be smooth, I know that he’ll put us in the best position at the end of the day for a good finish.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 MAXWELL HOUSE MAX CAMARO ZL1 – 26TH IN STANDINGS
“I’ve only been to Sonoma Raceway twice, so I don’t have a whole lot of experience as far as that goes. I enjoy road racing. It’s not my background, but I like the change of pace. I like to do something different. I feel like I’ve adapted fairly well to it, even got a win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on their road course in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2014. It’s helped even more having AJ (Allmendinger) as a teammate, somebody I can really lean on when we go to road races to get some advice. That’s been awesome for me to have that person to try to teach me the fine details to make our Maxwell House Max team that much better than the rest of the field at road courses. Sonoma is a beautiful area, and we’re thrilled to have a ton of our partners attending this weekend that are our biggest supporters. It’s just a nice road course. It’ll be hot, which throws an extra curve ball at the setup. But as far as knowing much about the track, the biggest things that help me are trying to run the simulator beforehand and get on iRacing. Anything I can do to run laps and familiarize myself with breaking points and track features. When you get there for the real thing it’s different, but at least you know what corner is coming up next and you get to refresh your memory.”
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 95 PROCORE CAMARO ZL1 – 28TH IN STANDINGS
“Sonoma is a really fun track, but it can also be a tough track. Making your tires last, as well as turning in Turn 4, Turn 7, and Turn 10 are some pretty key things to focus on there. Getting off of Turn 11 is also really important, but having forward drive and keeping your tires on the car throughout the race are some of the important things we focus on at Sonoma. The restarts at Sonoma can be challenging because there’s a lot that goes on there usually with a preferred line, but it also kind of relies on the cars that are around you and how they’re able to take off up the hill and those first few corners. Everything matters at Sonoma, but the restarts are a place where you can either gain a lot, or lose a lot depending on where you’re at. You have to get off of Turn 10 really well in order to get into Turn 11 well and out brake everyone else in order to get to the inside line in that corner. A lot of times, you’ll see guys covering up that line since the field really backs up to you going into Turn 11. When you have a car that brakes really well and pulls all four tires down to suck down into the track, that’s a fun spot to try to pass and get an advantage.”
TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 – 29TH IN STANDINGS
“I enjoyed my time at Sonoma last year. It was obviously very challenging given that it was my first time ever racing there. The surface is one of the roughest on tires that I have ever raced on, which you don’t typically expect from a road course. They tend to be gentler on tires. So that was a fun and unexpected weekend. I honestly didn’t think that the challenge of a new course would be that hard because I enjoy road course racing and have been pretty good at it throughout my career. I’m looking forward to going back with our GEICO Camaro ZL1 now that I have a year of experience under my belt and a better of understanding of what it takes to run well there.”