Sonoma announces 2013 schedule

The 25th annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend highlights a diverse schedule at Sonoma Raceway for the 2013 motor-racing season.

In addition to NASCAR, the Big O Tires Racing Season will also include the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, IZOD IndyCar Series, FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival.

NASCAR headlines the schedule as the series marks its 25th annual visit to Sonoma. The race has become one of the most exciting and unpredictable on the circuit as tempers flare on the road course’s tight turns. Race fans will also be treated to the NASCAR Pro Series West race on Saturday, as well as the premier air show on the NASCAR circuit during pre-race ceremonies on Sunday, June 23.

Drag racing fans will be treated to back-to-back weekends of action, highlighted by the 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 26-28. All eight track records were broken in 2012, including a 327.43-mph blast by Spencer Massey in Top Fuel. The NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel, will kick-off festivities the weekend prior, July 19-21.

The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma marks the IZOD IndyCar Series’ 9th annual visit to Sonoma Raceway, Aug. 23-25, and its only stop in Northern California. Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe took the checkers in 2012, becoming the seventh different winner over eight years of IndyCar racing in Sonoma. Drivers also encountered a modified road-course layout that resulted in more on-track passing and plenty of excitement.

The FIA WTCC will bring its international flair to Sonoma for the second consecutive year, Sept. 7-8. The inaugural touring-car event was well received by Northern California race fans, and the drivers were delighted with their first visit to the challenging circuit. The weekend will again feature an action-packed schedule on Sunday with two 13-lap main events.

Historic car racing will take center stage during two unique weekends, including the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival (May 18-19), which will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Corvette, and the Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge (Oct. 5-6).

The raceway will not host an AMA Pro Road Racing event in 2013. AMA Pro Road Racing has been featured on the raceway calendar since 1993, however, track management indicated that current conditions within the motorcycle industry and the economy at large did not provide the necessary confidence to promote a financially viable event in 2013.

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