NASCAR at Sonoma Toyota/Save Mart 350 Schedule: Sprint Cup Drivers Head To NorCal

NASCAR comes to Northern California as the Toyota/Save Mart 350 kicks off this weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. We'll be here all weekend to provide news updates and results. For more NASCAR coverage, check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving as well as SB Nation's NASCAR hub.

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NASCAR At Sonoma's Infineon Raceway Results: Kurt Busch Wins, Jeff Gordon Sneaks In At Second

The 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma's Infineon Raceway went down Sunday afternoon and after multiple wrecks that left most of the drivers just a little bit steamed, Kurt Busch emerged with his first win of the 2011 season. The victory also marked his first ever win on a road course. Busch started the race 11th but quickly climbed to the front of the pack and dominated from there. He raced so well he was able to lead for 76 of the 110 laps and secure the five bonus points for most laps led, along with 48 points for the victory.

Vallejo-native Jeff Gordon was the top racer with Bay Area ties as he came out of nowhere to finish in second place. Although Gordon left Vallejo at a young age and now resides in North Carolina, he still takes his daughter to Infineon Raceway for her birthday and has friends in the region. Gordon began the race in 13th but seemed like he was going to end the race in the middle of the pack.

However, Tony Stewart's wreck on lap 87 put Gordon in a position to leap into the top three. Gordon's patience allowed him to emerge with a second place showing and make a big jump in the Sprint Cup Series standings. Gordon climbed from 12th place to 9th place with the second place showing. He only gained a point on Carl Edwards since Edwards finished third, but getting back into the Sprint Cup Chase standings was a strong step for Gordon.

The other Bay Area driver was A.J. Allmendinger who finished the race in 13th place. He started the race in seventh and seemed to settle into the top ten. Unfortunately he struggled late and before long found himself pushing further back in the pack. The finish equaled his 2010 showing in Sonoma.

Check out our news updates and results from the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350. For more NASCAR coverage, check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving as well as SB Nation's NASCAR hub.

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NASCAR Infineon Raceway TV Schedule: TNT Provides Extensive TV, Online Coverage

The 2011 Sprint Cup Series arrives in Sonoma, California on Sunday at Infineon Raceway with the Toyota/Save Mart 350 live on TNT. The race will kick off at noon pacific and TNT will be blowing out the doors with its coverage both on television and via a variety of live online streams on their RaceBuddy Webcast.

TNT's coverage is led by veteran NASCAR broadcaster Adam Alexander who is joined by analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach. TNT will have three pit reporters available throughout the race in the form of Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum. Pre-race coverage will be provided on TNT's Countdown to Green at 11am pacific, hosted by Lindsay Czarniak and joined by Larry McReynolds and Kyle Petty.

For those with a computer near by, or those who will not be at a television during the race, TNT will continue its use of the RaceBuddy Webcast. RaceBuddy coverage begins an hour before the race and will provide ten different live race views. RaceBuddy will provide DVR options and race highlights, a live 360 degree video option, a live chat, and of course a live leaderboard. Jim Noble will provide analysis as the RaceBuddy-only pit reporter.

We'll be here all weekend providing news updates and results on the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350. For more NASCAR coverage, check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving as well as SB Nation's NASCAR hub.

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AJ Allemdinger Looks To Secure First Win Of Season At Sonoma's Infineon Raceway

NASCAR returns to California on Sunday as the Toyota/Save Mart 350 kicks off at Sonoma's Infineon Raceway. One driver who welcomes the return to Northern California is Los Gatos native AJ Allmendinger who will start in the seventh position. While Jeff Gordon might be the slightly more famous Northern California native, Allmendinger has a stronger claim to the region. Gordon was born in Vallejo, just down the road from Infineon, but left when was still young and was raised in Indiana. Allmendinger on the other hand was born in Los Gatos and stayed in Northern California as he learned the art of driving.

Allmendinger has much more limited experience than Gordon when it comes to racing in general and road courses in particular. Allmendinger has six road courses under his belt, three of which came at Infineon. He has finished 7th, 13th, and 37th in Sonoma and also claimed a top five finish and a top ten finish in other road courses.

Allmendinger will be looking to build on what has been arguably his most successful season to date. He is currently 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings and is 53 points back of the top ten who earn a bid in the Chase For The Sprint Cup. A solid finish at Sonoma would get Allmendinger a little bit closer to securing a spot in the Chase as he continues his quest for his first career victory.

We'll be here all weekend providing news updates and results on the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350. For more NASCAR coverage, check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving as well as SB Nation's NASCAR hub.

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Jeff Gordon Looks For Sixth Victory At Sonoma's Infineon Raceway

Vallejo native Jeff Gordon returns to Infineon Raceway on Sunday looking for his sixth victory on the road course. Gordon has had a lot of success in Sonoma as he has 14 top ten finishes in 18 career starts at the track. He ran into a mess of trouble in 2010 as he cost numerous drivers a shot at strong finishes. However, he is otherwise on a bit of a hot streak at Infineon as he finshed in the top ten five straight races.

Infineon is basically Gordon's home track as he grew up less than 15 miles from the Sonoma raceway. In fact, Gordon holds his daughter's birthday at Infineon each year and the return gives him a chance to catch up with a variety of old friends.

Gordon is currently 12th in the Sprint Cup Series standings 94 points back of first place Carl Edwards. More importantly, Gordon is 17 points back of Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin for the cut-off in the "Chase For The Sprint Cup." There is still time for him to climb into the top ten and he's been performing well lately. He finished 17th in the recent Helluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400, but before that he won the 5-Hour Energy 500 and finished fourth in the STP 400. A strong finish on Sunday could vault him back into the top ten in the standings.

We'll be here all weekend providing news updates and results on the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350. For more NASCAR coverage, check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving as well as SB Nation's NASCAR hub.

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NASCAR Infineon Raceway Starting Lineup: AJ Allmendinger, Jeff Gordon Starting No. 7 and No. 13

NASCAR drivers completed their qualifying runs at Infineon Raceway Friday night and the starting lineup for the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350 is officially set. Joey Logano claimed his first pole of the 2011 race season as he looks to secure his second career NASCAR win. In his two previous starts in Sonoma, Logano finished 33rd (2010) and 19th (2009). In those respective races he started 20th and 12th.

Los Gatos native AJ Allmendinger secured the highest spot among Bay Area drivers as he will be starting in the seventh position. In three previous races at Infineon he had never started higher than 15th. He'll look to surpass his 2009 finish of seventh place. He's found a little bit of success on road courses in general with a pair of top-ten finishes to his credit.

Vallejo native Jeff Gordon will start the race 13th. In 18 career races at Infineon Raceway, Gordon has five victories to his credit. It's interesting to note that of his five victories, only one came with a start outside the top five. He started 11th in 2006 but emerged victorious in the end. Overall he holds nine victories on road courses with 23 top-ten finishes.

Here is the entire starting lineup for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350:

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Jamie McMurray
  3. Paul Menard
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Ryan Newman
  6. Kasey Kahne
  7. AJ Allmendinger
  8. Marcos Ambrose
  9. Clint Bowyer
  10. Brian Vickers
  11. Kurt Busch
  12. Jimmie Johnson
  13. Jeff Gordon
  14. Martin Truex Jr.
  15. Brad Keselowski
  16. Mark Martin
  17. Juan Pablo Montoya
  18. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  19. Kyle Busch
  20. Tony Stewart
  21. Bobby Labonte
  22. Greg Biffle
  23. Carl Edwards
  24. Regan Smith
  25. Jeff Burton
  26. Kevin Harvick
  27. Casey Mears
  28. Robby Gordon
  29. Boris Said
  30. David Gilliland
  31. Joe Nemechek
  32. David Reutimann
  33. Matt Kenseth
  34. David Ragan
  35. P.J. Jones
  36. Dave Blaney
  37. Mike Skinner
  38. David Mayhew
  39. Terry Labonte
  40. Brian Simo
  41. Andy Lally
  42. Chris Cook
  43. Andy Pilgrim

We'll be here all weekend providing news updates and results on the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350. For more NASCAR coverage, check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving as well as SB Nation's NASCAR hub.

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NASCAR At Infineon Raceway, Race Odds: Jeff Gordon Among Favorites In Sonoma

NASCAR pulls into Sonoma for one of the annual road course races at Infineon Raceway and a Bay Area native will be among the favorites. As the drivers prepare for the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350, Vallejo native Jeff Gordon is among the race favorites heading into Sunday's 110 lap race. Doc Sports put out some basic odds for the race and they have Gordon at +700 to win the race and +200 to finish in the top three.

For comparison's sake, Doc Sports has Marcos Ambrose installed as the race favorite at +375. After Ambrose, Tony Stewart is +600 and Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kyle Busch all equal Gordon at +700. Johnson won last year's race while Marcos Ambrose blew a late opportunity to secure a victory.

Jeff Gordon currently sits in 12th place in the Sprint Cup Series, 94 points behind first place Carl Edwards. Gordon will be looking to secure his sixth victory at Infineon Raceway.

Los Gatos native AJ Allmendinger comes in at +5000, which makes him a bit of a long shot in the race. Allmendinger is making his fourth start at Infineon. He finished 13th in 2010, 7th in 2009, and 37th in his rookie season of 2008.

Here's a full rundown of Doc Sports' odds to win the race:

AJ Allmendinger         +5000  
Andy Lally                  +6000  
Boris Said                   +2000  
Brad Keselowski         +10000  
Brian Vickers              +10000  
Carl Edwards              +2000  
Clint Bowyer              +5000  
Dale Earnhardt Jr        +4500  
David Ragan               +10000  
Denny Hamlin             +3000  
Greg Biffle                  +5000  
Jamie McMurray         +3500  
Jeff Burton                  +10000  
Jeff Gordon                 +700  
Jimmie Johnson           +700  
Joey Logano                +10000  
Juan Pablo Montoya    +700  
Kasey Kahne               +3500  
Kevin Harvick             +1200  
Kurt Busch                  +1500  
Kyle Busch                 +700  
Marcos Ambrose         +375  
Mark Martin                +10000  
Martin Truex Jr           +10000  
Matt Kenseth              +10000  
Paul Menard                +5000  
Robby Gordon            +2000  
Ryan Newman            +3500  
Tony Stewart              +600  
Field                            +3000

We'll be here all weekend providing news updates and results on the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350. For more NASCAR coverage, check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving as well as SB Nation's NASCAR hub.

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NASCAR at Sonoma Toyota/Save Mart 350 Schedule: Sprint Cup Drivers Head To NorCal

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series arrives in Northern California as drivers get to deal with a rare mix of right turns at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. The race kicks off at noon pacific on TNT and features a mix of NASCAR favorites and the proverbial "road course ringers." Road courses are not the norm in NASCAR and so certain drivers have a tactical advantage they don't normally hold in the traditional left turn only races.

As would be expected, former open-wheel stalwart Juan Pablo Montoya is a favorite in the race having won it in his Sonoma debut and following that with consistent Top 10 finishes. Marcos Ambrose will be a more subtle favorite after a near victory in 2010. And, of course, other recent winners will be right in the thick of things. That means you can expect to see Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, and Jimmie Johnson near the front of the pack on Sunday.

As the Sprint Cup Series heads into race sixteen here in the middle of the summer, the Bay Area will have its usual representatives in the form of Vallejo-native Jeff Gordon and Los Gatos-native A.J. Allmendinger. Gordon will be a favorite in Sonoma while Allmendinger will be more of a long shot to end up in Victory Lane.

This week's schedule of events will include qualifying on Friday, practice on Saturday, and then the 110-lap race itself at noon on Sunday. We'll be here to provide results and news updates along the way.

We'll be here all weekend providing news updates and results on the 2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350. For more NASCAR coverage, check out NASCAR Ranting and Raving as well as SB Nation's NASCAR hub.

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