SONOMA — Sonoma Raceway is gearing up for the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, June 21-23 and has put together an unforgettable pre-race show featuring everything from jets to giant shopping carts to live music entertainment.
There will be plenty of on-track action to enjoy throughout the day, but be sure to get your tickets and arrive early, as pre-race entertainment will get underway at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 23.
Listed below is what fans can expect during this year’s incredible pre-race show:
Vintage Aircraft Flyover, 10 a.m.
Fastening Systems International (FSI), a Sonoma-based supplier of aerospace and industrial fasteners, tooling, sheet metal and composite repair tool kits, is pleased to celebrate its 30th anniversary by sponsoring this year’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 pre-race kickoff flyover, featuring two pairs of the most famous American fighter aircraft, the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang, well known for its air superiority in offering protection to Allied Bombers during World War II, and the Curtiss Wright P-40 Warhawk, made famous by Lt. General Claire Lee Chennault’s AVG “Flying Tigers” in China.
Drumline Performance, 10:20 a.m.
Sacramento’s Grant Union High School Drumline will march their way through the paddock and onto the pre-race stage igniting the audience with a 15-minute performance with their percussion instruments.
Vintage Stock Car Parade, 10:45 a.m.
Enjoy a walk down memory lane as six historic stock cars make their way around the twists and turns of Sonoma Raceway. The collection features some of NASCAR’s most famous rides including a 1979 No. 43 STP Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by the “King” Richard Petty; a 1993 Chevy Lumina and a 1995 Monte Carlo driven by No. 24 Jeff Gordon and the 1990 No. 3 Chevy Lumina originally driven by Dale Earnhardt.
Patriots Jet Team Air Show, 10:50 a.m.
The Patriots Jet Team will electrify race fans with a 25-minute air show just one hour before the green flag drops! The demonstration will feature six-L-39 albatross jets strutting their fast-paced formation flying, choreographed six-jet diamond-formation aerobatic maneuvers and their signature “Tail Slide,” where the aircraft actually slides backwards toward the ground.
Freestyle Motocross, 11:15 a.m.
The Brigade Freestyle Motocross Team will be in the house performing sets of freestyle motocross jumps in Turns 2 & 9 you have to see to believe.
Driver Introductions, 11:25 a.m.
We’re putting you closer than ever to your favorite drivers as they walk the “cat walk” before taking their pre-race parade lap. Be sure you’ve purchased your Pre-Race Pit & Track Pass to get an up-close look at driver introductions.
Save Mart Giant Shopping Cart, 11:50 a.m.
That couldn’t be a giant shopping cart!? Oh, yes it is! Save Mart Supermarkets will take its giant 12 1?2 foot shopping cart for a lap around the road course!
National Anthem by American Idol’s James Durbin, noon
American Idol’s James Durbin will perform the national anthem prior to the green flag for the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350. Durbin, a Santa Cruz native, finished fourth in season 10 of American Idol and has performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Conan. Saturday’s National Anthem prior to the Carneros 200 will be sung by recording artist Gina Sicilia, who released her new CD, It Wasn’t Real, in April.
GoPro Bomb Squad, Noon
GoPro’s official team of skydivers will jump from 4,000 feet and make their way down to the raceway in their revolutionary wingsuits (goprobombsquad.com). Think humans can’t fly? Wait until you see these guys.
Drivers, Start Your Engines!, 12:07 p.m.
This year’s famous command will be given by the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 Grand Marshal and NASCAR Hall of Famer, Darrell Waltrip!
Huey Flyover, 12:08 p.m.
Just minutes before NASCAR’s top drivers take the green flag, be sure to keep your eyes to the sky as a 1965 Vietnam War era “Huey” helicopter makes its way over the Sonoma Valley road course. This model UH-1H helicopter served in the 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi in Vietnam from 1967 to 1970, surviving multiple small arms attacks and a RPG strike. It was restored to its original US Army configuration and colors and put into service again as a “Thank you” to Vietnam Veterans by the nonprofit group Vietnam Helicopters of Concord. This Huey helicopter has completed 170 missions, flying over 1,000 passengers including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War Veterans and their family members.