Located in California's wine country, Sonoma Raceway is the first of only two road courses on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule. When compared to the other, Watkins Glen International, Sonoma is the more technical of the two. The track features several blind turns that are created by the changes in elevation over the hilly landscape of Sears Point. Pit strategy is huge, as there are a limited number of pit stops required to run the entire race.
The Cup Series takes a break from the traditional ovals this weekend to pay a visit to Sonoma Raceway. The 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course combines elevation changes, snaking corners and hard left- and right-hand turns that test a driver's ability to hit their marks, braking points and shifting points properly.
The Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway this weekend, and while the 2.0-mile, D-shaped oval and its wide surface are known for producing high speeds and side-by-side racing, the main storylines so far this week have been happening off the track.
Owners willing to sacrifice a little bit of consistency for a chance at a win may want to consider Kasey Kahne. After ranking sixth on the charts in the first practice, he jumped to second in Happy Hour. He also posted the best 10-lap average speed in both sessions.