Saturday, September 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

NASCAR to invade Sonoma Raceway

By
From page B7 | June 21, 2013 |

Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch leads the field during the NASCAR Quicken Loans 400 auto race at Michigan International Speedway, Sunday, in Brooklyn, Mich. (The Associated Press file)

Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch leads the field during the NASCAR Quicken Loans 400 auto race at Michigan International Speedway, Sunday, in Brooklyn, Mich. (The Associated Press file)

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s time to turn right again.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series invades Sonoma Raceway’s road course Friday through Sunday, with practice Friday, qualifying Saturday and the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday.

The NASCAR West Series qualifying and race are also Saturday, including local favorite Jim Inglebright, making an action-packed weekend for race fans.

Clint Bowyer is the defending Cup champion in the Wine Country, with Kurt Busch winning the 350 two years ago.

NASCAR has instituted a new road-course qualifying format this season, with practice times dictating which group of five or six cars will qualify together, with the fastest cars in practice qualifying together last, making even more excitement for racing fans.

Each similarly timed car will hit the course 5 seconds apart.

At a press conference in San Francisco, Thursday, Cup drivers Busch and David Gilliland, along with car owner Michael Waltrip, chimed in on the new qualifying format and how much they like coming to race in the Bay Area.

“I was definitely eager to get here and it’s a track that was a big difference maker in my career,” Busch said. “Sonoma is my sentimental favorite track. I just enjoy coming out here with the different pace of life in California and coming back toward home. I grew up in Las Vegas. Over the years, the track’s been nice to me. I’ve won in a Southwest Tour car and in a Cup car. It’s definitely a track on the map that I look forward to getting to.”

Gilliand, who won the West Series race in the Wine Country in 2012, is in favor of the road course qualifying change.

“Qualifying here has been tough in the past because you go out there and you have one lap and a lot of opportunities to make mistakes,” he said. “With the European-style qualifying, I’ve been doing it for the last couple of years in the K&N Series, if you do make a mistake, or you don’t nail it on the first lap, you’ve got the second one. It gives you a second chance. . . . It’s going to be exciting.”

Waltrip’s take on the format was similar to Gilliland’s.

“Qualifying at a road course is so difficult,” the co-owner of the cars driven by Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. said. “It’s going to be interesting to see if the pole sitter is going to be able to get it done in one lap or get it done in a couple. There’s definitely a twist to qualifying this year that I’m sure the boys are looking forward to.

“It’s nice to know that you have the insurance of having another lap if something doesn’t go right the first time. The guys put it on the edge anyway, but with that knowledge of the insurance of being able to do it again, we’ll probably see a track record with the cars going really fast.”

With the road course comes plenty of contact, and both Busch and Gilliland know that’s part of the track’s nature.

“Sonoma is always circled on our calendar. It’s a special place. Just like Kurt said, growing up on the West Coast (Riverside), it’s a great time for us. I’ve been coming here ever since I wasn’t even able to get in the pits, running around on the hills, getting dirty. It’s just a great track . . . and it’s a great race. You can get into someone’s bumper. It gets pretty physical out there.”

Added Busch: “Any time you put short corners together, there’s a chance you might run into somebody. This track has definitely taken on a short-track attitude. You have Bristol, Martinsville . . . so this is one of those places where you can get physical with guys and you see some retaliation, and you have to expect it. Even though road racing is supposed to be a more gentlemen’s-type sport . . . everybody can kind of destroy each other like a couple years ago. It’s a track that lends itself to some good racing and also some good pit strategy as well.”

And with the new Gen-6 car making its road-course debut, Busch is a little nervous about how it will handle Sonoma’s 1.99-mile, 12-turn layout.

“There’s two programs that we set up,” he said. “One is a more aggressive-style setup and one’s more conservative. We’ve already challenged our guys back at the shop to come up with setups and the direction we’re going to go. Now it’s going to be the guys at the track that will have to manually change the car over and we’re going to do that with quick decisions after the first third of practice (Friday).

“It’s a tough balance. The good teams will know exactly how to attack qualifying. Then once Saturday rolls around, you already have to have your decision. If you’re going after a two stop race or a three stop race. The new car, new tires, the new qualifying, it’s all a little bit different. So (Friday) we’ll get more answers.”

Maybe the answers he had when he won in Sonoma in 2011.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or barnold@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.
Brian Arnold

Brian Arnold

1992 graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Memorial focuses on hope, healing from addiction

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Solano jobless rate drops, jobs rise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Vacaville High graduate shines at tech event

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
New law aimed at urban water district reports

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Travis celebrates KC-10′s 20 years at base

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Highway 37 detours in place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Maintenance begins on Rio Vista Bridge Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Mother gives late daughter a voice by helping others

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Record-setting retardant used on California fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Brown vetoes diaper changing-station bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Oakland mother charged in cocaine death of son, 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California school gender equity ruling upheld

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
State to ban smoking at home day cares

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Driver of stolen van that hit dog gets prison time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
License plate scanner networks capture movements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Feds approve California’s immigrant license words

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
California man accused of killing fellow gym-goer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Fence-jumper makes it into the White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Florida town knew shooter had troubled past

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
3 guilty in Ga. salmonella-tainted peanut trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Fierce fighting in Yemeni capital kills 120

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Sierra Leone begins 3-day Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ambush suspect could be aided by dense woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
France joins US against Islamic State over Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

After vote to stay in UK, Scots must heal divide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Lots of services available for Solano veterans

By Ted Puntillo | From Page: A8

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield Ford boosts animal adoption efforts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Make sure you get educated during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

 
Fallon to pay up, broadcast show in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Legs power Mustangs in win over Falcons

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s Lester holds Phillies to 5 hits in 7 innings in 3-1 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Big plays in second half lift Vanden past Center

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
After NFL, baseball addresses domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kershaw gets 20th win as Dodgers pound Cubs 14-5

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders could be down 2 starters on defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks open with new vibe after playoff collapse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers’ Davis, McDonald questionable for Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stewart slogs through tough day at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rio Vista gets easy football win over Delta

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Keselowski wins pole at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
China fines GlaxoSmithKline $492M for bribery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
California adopts olive-oil labeling standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

Yahoo rakes in another jackpot from Alibaba’s IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

The Kuro taste: Peppery tang and hint of squid ink

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Charles Randolph Orr

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Corazon Libunao Thompson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Allie M. Zell-Jones

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
George Junior Rhode

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 09/20/14

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

New Standard Pacific models in Vacaville

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3