|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series|
|Location||Sonoma, California, United States|
|Distance||218.9 miles (352.3 km)|
|Laps||110 (Stage 1: 25
Stage 2: 25
Stage 3: 60)
|Previous names||Banquet Frozen Foods 300 (1989-1991)
Save Mart 300K (1992)
Save Mart Supermarkets 300K (1993)
Save Mart Supermarkets 300 (1994-1997)
Save Mart/Kragen 350 (1998-2000)
Dodge/Save Mart 350 (2001-2006)
|Most wins (driver)||Jeff Gordon (5)|
|Most wins (team)||Hendrick Motorsports (6)|
|Most wins (manufacturer)||Chevrolet (11)|
|Length||1.99 mi (3.20 km)|
The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is a 218.9-mile (352.3 km) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event held annually at Sonoma Raceway at Sears Point in Sonoma, California, This race is one of two NASCAR Cup Series road course events (the other being Watkins Glen), the 220.5-mile (354.9 km) race.
The race joined the NASCAR circuit in 1989. It was added as a replacement for the Budweiser 400 at Riverside, which closed in 1988. The race has undergone several name and length changes since its inception. The NASCAR "West Series" held a combination race from 1989 to 1997 and has held a standalone race since 2006. Due to the track's unique layout, the race generates annual discussion, with media, fans, and participants both in favor and against racing this event. Due to its unique layout, "road course ringers" are common, a NASCAR term standing for drivers that appear on the NASCAR circuit only for the road course races.
From 1989-1997, NASCAR utilized the full 2.52 miles (4.06 km) road course, best known for sports car racing. Subtle changes to some of the turns accommodated the stock cars, and increased passing widths. Ricky Rudd won the inaugural Cup race at Sonoma.
In the 1991 race Sonoma became famous. With 7 laps left in the race Mark Martin tried to pass Tommy Kendall, subbing for an injured Kyle Petty. The two made contact resulting in Martin crashing into the wall-of-tires on a pull-over site and Tommy Kendall cutting his tire. The lead went to Davey Allison. Then with 2 laps left the pole-sitter Ricky Rudd passed Allison for the lead but Allison spun out from contact in the final turn. Ricky Rudd led to the white flag and was contending to win the race, his second Sonoma victory, and to advance his championship points to the lead. However, as he came around to take the win Rudd was black-flagged just 3 feet from the finish line. Davey Allison was declared the winner of the race with Rudd's controversial penalty. Rudd finished in second spot.
The last Sonoma NASCAR race held at the previous road course passage was in 1997 on October 5 at a Truck series event. There Joe Ruttman won the race but controversy erupted when Rich Bickle blamed a loss of a top-ten finish on rookie Boris Said. Rich Bickle cut down Boris' tire and in reply Boris Said waited for Bickle to come back around and crashed him. NASCAR after a brief red flag for a massive crash in a wall of tires, disqualified Said and fined him $10,000 for his actions.
In 1998, the circuit for the NASCAR event was shorted from the full road course to a 1.95 miles (3.14 km) modified road course with the addition of the Chute from turn 4 to turn 7, bypassing turns 5 and 6.
In 2001 the Chute was modified to such that the NASCAR circuit measured 1.99 miles (3.20 km) long.
From 1989 to 2001, the pit road could only accommodate 34 pit stalls. In the early years, some teams were required to share pit stalls while other teams were forced to pit inside the garage area. When cars dropped out of the race, their pit stalls were reassigned to cars who were sharing.
After a few years, a makeshift auxiliary pit road was constructed inside the hairpin (turn 11) nicknamed Gilligan's Island. Cars that had the nine slowest qualifying speeds were relegated to these pit stalls. Pitting in this area was considered an inconvenience and a competitive disadvantage, more so than even the disadvantages one would experience pitting on the backstretch at a short track at the time.
Since the length of the auxiliary pit road was significantly shorter than the main pit road, the cars that pitted there were held from 15-20 seconds to make up for the time that would have been spent if the cars had traveled the entire main pit road.
Pitting on Gilligan's Island had several other inconveniences. The location (the staging area for drag races) was landlocked by the race course, and crew members were unable to leave once the race began. Teams sent only the primary pit crew to Gilligan's Island, and once they were there, they could not access the garage area or their transporters to collect spare parts/tools. The only repairs that could be made were routine tire changes and refueling, as well as only minor repairs. Other auxiliary pit crew members, who were not part of the main crew, were staged in the garage area, and would have to service the car if it required major repairs. If a team pitting on Gilligan's Island dropped out of the race, the crew was unable to pack up their supplies and prepare to leave (a common practice at other tracks) until the race was over.
Changes to the track in 2002 that included separation of the drag strip from the frontstretch, removal of the main drag strip grandstand, and the new control tower for road racing led to the pit road being expanded by extending pit road into the main straight and moving the pit exit up the hill past Turn 1, thereby expanding it to 43 cars, and Gilligan's Island was abandoned.
|Year||Date||No.||Driver||Team||Manufacturer||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|1989||June 11||26||Ricky Rudd||King Racing||Buick||74||186.48 (300.11)||2:27:03||76.088||Report|
|1990||June 10||27||Rusty Wallace||Blue Max Racing||Pontiac||74||186.48 (300.11)||2:41:35||69.245||Report|
|1991||June 9||28||Davey Allison||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||74||186.48 (300.11)||2:33:20||72.97||Report|
|1992||June 7||4||Ernie Irvan||Morgan-McClure Motorsports||Chevrolet||74||186.48 (300.11)||2:17:26||81.413||Report|
|1993||May 16||15||Geoffrey Bodine||Bud Moore Engineering||Ford||74||186.48 (300.11)||2:25:17||77.013||Report|
|1994||May 15||28||Ernie Irvan||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||74||186.48 (300.11)||2:24:27||77.458||Report|
|1995||May 7||3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||74||186.48 (300.11)||2:38:18||70.681||Report|
|1996||May 5||2||Rusty Wallace||Penske Racing||Ford||74||186.48 (300.11)||2:24:03||77.673||Report|
|1997||May 5||6||Mark Martin||Roush Racing||Ford||74||186.48 (300.11)||2:27:38||75.788||Report|
|1998||June 28||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||112||218.288 (351.3)||3:00:56||72.387||Report|
|1999||June 27||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||112||218.288 (351.3)||3:06:06||70.378||Report|
|2000||June 25||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||112||222.88 (358.69)||2:46:14||78.789||Report|
|2001||June 24||20||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing||Pontiac||112||224 (360.493)||2:57:06||75.889||Report|
|2002||June 23||28||Ricky Rudd||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:42:08||81.007||Report|
|2003||June 22||31||Robby Gordon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:57:55||73.821||Report|
|2004||June 27||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:49:34||77.456||Report|
|2005||June 26||20||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||110||218.9 (352.285)||3:00:18||72.845||Report|
|2006||June 25||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:57:36||73.953||Report|
|2007||June 24||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dodge||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:56:11||74.547||Report|
|2008||June 22||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||112*||222.88 (358.69)||2:54:56||76.445||Report|
|2009||June 21||9||Kasey Kahne||Richard Petty Motorsports||Dodge||113*||224.87 (361.893)||3:10:00||71.012||Report|
|2010||June 20||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:56:38||74.357||Report|
|2011||June 26||22||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing||Dodge||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:54:10||75.411||Report|
|2012||June 24||15||Clint Bowyer||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||112*||222.88 (358.69)||2:39:55||83.624||Report|
|2013||June 23||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:51:20||76.658||Report|
|2014||June 22||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:51:30||76.583||Report|
|2015||June 28||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:55:39||74.774||Report|
|2016||June 26||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:42:13||80.966||Report|
|2017||June 25||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||110||218.9 (352.285)||2:46:52||78.71||Report|
Track length notes
|# Wins||Driver||Years Won|
|5||Jeff Gordon||1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2006|
|3||Tony Stewart||2001, 2005, 2016|
|2||Ernie Irvan||1992, 1994|
|Rusty Wallace||1990, 1996|
|Ricky Rudd||1989, 2002|
|Kyle Busch||2008, 2015|
|# Wins||Team||Years Won|
|6||Hendrick Motorsports||1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2010|
|4||Joe Gibbs Racing||2001, 2005, 2008, 2015|
|3||Robert Yates Racing||1991, 1994, 2002|
|2||Richard Childress Racing||1995, 2003|
|Penske Racing||1996, 2011|
|Michael Waltrip Racing||2012, 2013|
|Roush Fenway Racing||1997, 2014|
|Stewart-Haas Racing||2016, 2017|
|# Wins||Manufacturer||Years Won|
|11||Chevrolet||1992, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2016|
|8||Ford||1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2014, 2017|
|4||Toyota||2008, 2012, 2013, 2015|
|3||Dodge||2007, 2009, 2011|
Televised rights were first handled by ESPN from the race outset in 1989 through 2000. The 1998 race started on ESPN2 because a golf tournament, which aired before the race, was in a playoff. Fox held broadcast rights between 2001-2006. TNT broadcast the race from 2007-2014. In 2015, the race will return to Fox Sports. With the final schedule being revealed on August 26, it was announced that the race will be shown on Fox Sports 1, in 2016, the race will air on Fox, the first time aired since 2006. Maxim magazine ranked this race as one of their top ten annual NASCAR Cup Series races.
|1989||ESPN||Bob Jenkins||Benny Parsons
|2001||Fox||Mike Joy||Darrell Waltrip
|2007||TNT||Bill Weber||Wally Dallenbach
|2015||FS1||Mike Joy||Darrell Waltrip