Infineon Raceway in Sonoma memorable moments

Many Memorable Moments as Infineon Raceway Celebrates 20 Years of NASCAR Cup Racing SONOMA, Calif. (June 9, 2008) -- There have been a number of memorable moments as Infineon Raceway celebrates 20 years of NASCAR Cup racing in the Sonoma...

Many Memorable Moments as Infineon Raceway Celebrates 20 Years of NASCAR Cup Racing

SONOMA, Calif. (June 9, 2008) -- There have been a number of memorable moments as Infineon Raceway celebrates 20 years of NASCAR Cup racing in the Sonoma Valley at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend, June 20-22.

For starters, there have been 11 different race winners, led by Vallejo native Jeff Gordon's track-record five victories. Moreover, Michael Waltrip has completed the most laps of any driver since the series first visited Infineon Raceway -- 1,658 laps through 18 events. Finally, Larry McReynolds has been the crew chief for three different race winners (Davey Allison 1991, Ernie Irvan 1994 and Dale Earnhardt 1995).

Below are other points of interest over the past 19 years of NASCAR Cup racing in Sonoma:

1989: Ricky Rudd wins the inaugural NASCAR Cup race at then-Sears Point Raceway, holding off Rusty Wallace by .05 seconds, the closest margin of victory for a NASCAR Cup race in Sonoma.

1990: Marks the race with the most cautions -- nine for 24 (of 74) laps. Wallace nabs his first win in Sonoma.

1991: Rudd crosses the finish line first, but Davey Allison is declared the winner after Rudd was assessed a penalty 2 ½ hours after the race. Rudd had bumped Allison on lap 73 of the 74-lap race and was shown the black flag.

1993: In a one-lap shootout, Geoffrey Bodine beats Ernie Irvan by 0.63 seconds to the checkers. The race came down to a final-lap restart after the fifth caution of the day.

1994: Irvan becomes the first two-time winner of a NASCAR Cup event in Sonoma, winning by a track-record 9.56 seconds.

1995: Earnhardt wins the only NASCAR road-course race of his career.

1996: The raceway is purchased by Speedway Motorsports Inc., and eventually $70 million is poured into the facility, transforming it into one of the premier motor sports venues in the country. Wallace posts his second Cup win in Sonoma.

1997: After finishing second in 1990, 1995 and 1996, Mark Martin earns his first Sonoma victory and becomes the second driver to start on the pole and win the race.

1998: Marks the first race with the modified course using The Chute instead of the Carousel -- the new portion of track connects Turns 4 and 7. The modification cuts the 2.52-mile configuration to 1.949 miles. To compensate, the number of laps is increased from 74 to 112. Jeff Gordon wins his first Cup race in Sonoma.

1999: The Chute is modified in an attempt to create a passing zone at Turn 7, lengthening the circuit to its current 1.99-mile configuration.

2000: Gordon makes it three in a row in Sonoma, beating Sterling Marlin by 4.101 seconds.

2002: After winning the inaugural race in 1989, Rudd wins again in 2002, the same weekend the new name for the track is unveiled, Infineon Raceway.

2006: Gordon captures his fifth NASCAR Cup win at Infineon Raceway, a track record. At the post-race press conference, he announces his engagement to Ingrid Vandebosch.

2007: Juan Pablo Montoya becomes the first rookie to win a NASCAR Cup race at Infineon Raceway and the third foreign-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup race. Montoya's win earned Dodge its first-ever NASCAR victory at Infineon Raceway. Montoya started the race 32nd, the deepest starting position ever for a Cup race winner in Sonoma.

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Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

WHAT: Big O Tires Racing Season Presents: Toyota/Save Mart 350

WHEN: June 20-22

2007 POLE WINNER: Jamie McMurray

2007 WINNER: Juan Pablo Montoya

NOTABLE: The weekend will also feature competition in the Bennett Lane Winery 200, presented by Supercuts, NASCAR Camping World Series West event on Saturday.

START TIMES (Pacific): Friday, June 20: Sonoma County Vintners NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pole Day, 4:05 p.m.

Saturday, June 21: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, 10:50 a.m.; Bennett Lane Winery 200, presented by Supercuts, 12:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 22: Toyota/Save Mart 350, 2 p.m.

TICKETS: $25-$130 single day/$99-$180 weekend; parking is FREE

INFORMATION: 800-870-RACE, www.infineonraceway.com or www.ticketmaster.com

-credit: ir

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Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown, presented by Supercuts

May 16-18

Wine Country Classic vintage car races

May 31-June 1

Toyota/Save Mart 350

NASCAR Weekend

June 20-22

FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals

July 25-27

NHRA Division 7 drag races, presented by Korbel

Aug. 1-3

Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County

Aug. 22-24

PINKS All Out drag racing

Sept. 5-6

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[IMAGE]John Cardinale

VP, Communications & Marketing

Infineon Raceway

Hwys 37 and 121

Sonoma, CA 95476

707-933-3907

707-334-9805 (cell)

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya