NASCAR returning to Sonoma Raceway

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SONOMA, Calif. (KTXL) — The green flag is about to waive on NASCAR racing at the Sonoma Road Course.

The first Sunday in June will mark two full years since NASCAR has been there.

“It was really important to have NASCAR racing back in California. There are a ton of race fans in Northern California, we’ve been away from them too long,” Sonoma Raceway Vice President Jill Gregory said. “We didn’t race in Southern California this year, so I think that was sort of the number one goal, to be able to host the race here, and it’s really an added bonus that we can bring fans back.”

As of now the raceway can host up to 33% of its normal capacity for the Toyota Savemart 350 next month.

“I think the great thing for us is, we’ve got 1,600 acres for these fans to go. We’re putting tents up on some of the different ridges so we can create some hospitality areas. Camping, there is a ton of interest in camping. I think people just want to be outside and enjoy the outdoors and some racing along with it,” gregory said.

Gregory is in her first year as vice president and general manager of the road course

That alone is challenging, but add to it that NASCAR is still running it’s modified schedule on race weekends, meaning there is no practice on Friday and no happy hour and qualifying on Saturday.

“We had to adjust our plans a little bit for a typical race day so, ordinarily you’d have a lot of fans in the garage and have some access that won’t happen this year, but when t those cars fire up, and they’re ready to go, it’s going to be the Sonoma that everybody loves,” Gregory said.

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