Sonoma Raceway and the anti-road course ringers


The Sprint Cup Series only visits two road courses over the course of its 36-race season – Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International.

There are still drivers who have either excelled at the venues in their careers or who specialize enough on road courses to be called in for the events. Over the years this has included Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Marcos Ambrose, AJ Allmendinger, Boris Said, Scott Pruett and Ron Fellows.

Then there are the drivers who have no luck when it comes to Watkins Glen or Sonoma, which hosts the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday.

One of those is Matt Kenseth, who can claim Sonoma as his worst track with an average finish of 22.1 and it being the only track on the schedule he’s never led a lap.

Kenseth isn’t the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver who would likely prefer their Sonoma stats struck from the record. When looking at average finishes, Sonoma is also the worst track for Denny Hamlin. Through nine starts at the 12-turn track, Hamlin’s average finish is 23.2.

For Kyle Busch, even with his one win there, Sonoma represents his fourth worst track with an average finish of 20.9. The same goes for Brad Keselowski at 20.0.

Sonoma is also David Ragan’s worst venue with an average finish of 29.5.

Road courses have always been the least favorite form of racing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Even with his career-best finish of third last year at Sonoma, Earnhardt’s average result is 20.3, his thirst worst on the circuit. The two lowest are at Homestead and Watkins Glen.

For points leader Kevin Harvick, his average finish of 15.9 is his fifth worst.