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CATEGORIES (articles) > American Motorsport > Race Circuits > Infineon Raceway Motor racing track

Infineon Raceway Motor racing track


Infineon Raceway
Sears Point
Facility statistics
Location 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, California, 95476
Broke ground 1967
Opened 1968
Owner Speedway Motorsports, Inc.
Operator Speedway Motorsports, Inc.
Construction cost $? million USD
Architect
Former names
Sears Point Raceway
Major events
AMA Superbike
Supercuts Superbike Challenge

Indy Racing League
Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix

NASCAR Nextel Cup
Dodge/Save Mart 350

NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
FRAM Autolite Nationals

Seating capacity
102,000
Current dimensions
Track shape Road course
Track length 2.52 miles (1.95 miles for the NASCAR course)
Track banking none

Infineon Raceway, formerly Sears Point Raceway, is a road course and drag strip in the hills of northern California, near Sonoma, north of San Francisco. The course is a complex series of twists and turns that go up and down the hills. It is host to one of the only two NASCAR races each year that are run on road courses. It is also host to several other auto races and motorcycle races such as the American Federation of Motorcyclists series.

With the closure of Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California after the 1988 season, NASCAR, wanting a west coast road course event to replace it, chose the Sears Point facility. Riverside International was razed for a shopping center development.

In 2002, Sears Point Raceway was renamed after a corporation, Infineon. However, as with many renamings of sports complexes, many people still call it by its original name.

The standard road course at Infineon Raceway is a 2.52 mile (4.05 km), 12 turn course, however the track was modified in 1998, adding the Chute, which bypasses turns 5 and 6, shortening course to 1.95 miles (3.14 km). The Chute is only used for NASCAR events such as the Dodge/Save Mart 350, and is criticised by many drivers, who prefer the full layout; most races, including the Grand American Road Racing Association's Grand Prix of Sonoma, use the full course, while American Motorcyclist Association and Indy Racing League events use a modified 2.22 mile (3.57 km), 12 turn course. This layout, opened in 2003, skips much of the Esses and run from Turn 10 to Turn 11 (the hairpin) for additional safety for motorcyclists, including runoff available in the motorcycle Turn 11 (the main Turn 11 has no runoff, and is a very slow turn, similar to the Mirabeau hairpin at Monaco). The raceway also has a quarter mile (400 m) drag strip used for NHRA drag racing events.

See Also: List of NASCAR race tracks


Records

  • Fastest Lap: Marco Werner, 110.641 mph, Audi R8, July 17 2004
  • NASCAR Qualifying: Jeff Gordon, 94.325 mph , June 24 2005.
  • NASCAR Race: Ricky Rudd, 81.007 mph, June 23, 2002.
  • IRL Qualifying: Ryan Briscoe, 108.248 mph , August 27, 2005
  • IRL Race: Tony Kanaan, 91.040 mph , August 28, 2005.
  • Highest speed, Funny Car: John Force, 322.42 mph, 2004.
  • Most Wins (Nextel Cup): Jeff Gordon, 5 ('98,'99,'00,'04,'06)

Major Events

  • Dodge/Save Mart 350
  • Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma
  • FRAM Autolite Nationals
  • Indy Racing League
  • Jaguar Wine Country Classic

Current Races

  • May 15, 2005 - AMA Superbike Supercuts Superbike Challenge
  • June 26, 2005 - NASCAR Nextel Cup Dodge/Save Mart 350
  • July 17, 2005 - American Le Mans Series Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma
  • July 29 - 31, 2005 - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series FRAM Autolite Nationals
  • August 28, 2005 - Indy Racing League



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