Friday, August 1, 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

‘Boyhood’ mature on music, moments

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Mr. Clean: Dennis Regan offers friendly jokes, with a bite

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Gemstones shine at Solano County Fair

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta: ‘The Who’s Tommy’ third play in three months

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Japan Summerfest returns this month

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Highway 12 to close overnight in Jameson Canyon

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Air district calls Spare the Air alert

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Vallejo police arrest suspect in shooting death

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Solano Tea Party Patriots schedule meet

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Stabbing victim dies in Vacaville

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

As US job market strengthens, many don’t feel it

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Dow plunges as multiple worries vex investors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
A look at the impact of Wisconsin’s union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Abbas seeks broad support for war crimes charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US, UN announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Californians to see increase in health plan costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Appellate court overturns high-speed rail rulings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Report: Secrecy enveloped Bay Bridge construction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Yosemite wildfire weakened, evacuations to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

California ex-mayor sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

See-through mice reveal details of inner anatomy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
CIA spied on Senate, internal review finds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA to test making rocket fuel ingredient on Mars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Investigators reach Ukraine jet wreckage site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Congress races to finish VA, highway bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Nice guy becomes House majority leader

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 
Should union organizing be a civil right?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

To err is human – but not in print

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Why do so many Americans support Hamas

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

.

Living

Today in History for Aug. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My irregular monthly cycles were a symptom of cancer, not menopause

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for Aug. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 1-7, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘Godfather of Makeup’ Dick Smith dead at 92

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Boseman drips with charisma as James Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Starz’ ‘Outlander’ brings novels to life vibrantly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Dionne Warwick knows her way to San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
‘Sharknado 2′ whipped up storm of viewers, tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Chekwa taking reps with Raiders while Hayden sits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Expos fall short in 10-9 loss to Leghorns

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

 
A’s deal Tommy Milone to Twins for Sam Fuld

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

A’s get Lester, Gomes from Red Sox for Cespedes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Commonwealth Games athlete convicted for assault on rival

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Lynch ends holdout, arrives at Seahawks camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nick Watney leads PGA Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rich get richer: Rays’ Price traded to Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Dumdumaya takes third in World Junior/Junior Olympic tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

AP Source: Trump advances in Bills sale process

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Mudcats get 15-7 win in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Phelps to compete in 4 events at US nationals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Ravens’ Rice: His actions ‘totally inexcusable’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Dustin Johnson takes leave of absence from golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Derrick Brooks set standard for NFL linebackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Business

Daimler launches new version of tiny Smart car

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

SeaWorld, Southwest Airlines ending partnership

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Target taps outsider as CEO for needed shakeup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Iliad of France makes surprise bid for T-Mobile US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
In San Francisco real estate, $1M won’t buy much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Facebook’s Internet.org expands in Zambia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Debit overdraft fees often exceed cost of purchase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9