Great Tracks: Infineon Raceway

Great Tracks: Infineon RacewayThis weekend NASCAR fans will be descending on Sonoma, CA for the Sprint Cup Toyota/SaveMart 350. While everyone crowds into the Infineon Raceway, it’s perhaps worthwhile to know a bit more about it.

The Infineon Raceway is a 2.52 mile long road course and drag strip. The course designers essentially decided ovals are boring. Ovals are, in fact, SO boring, they slapped on a total of 12 turns. The raceway’s slogan, in fact, is “Think outside the oval.” 

The track first opened in 1968 and was sold a year later to FIlmways Corp. In 1981 the track was renamed to Sears Point International Raceway and it was repaved. In 1994, the raceway saw a $1 million beautification project and the 62-foot high four-sided electronic lap leader board in the center of the course. It currently seats 47,000

This weekend, they will be using the official NASCAR track that is 1.99 miles and only uses 10 turns. It’s known as The Chute and was designed specifically for increased speeds and stock car competition. The Chute was first introduced in 1998, but many drivers weren’t big fans of the new design and much preferred the 12 turn layout. The track record during the Sprint Cup is currently held by Ricky Rudd from 2002, which stands at 81.007.