Harrison Burton and the No. 21 DEX Imaging team are hoping their second road-course race of the season, this weekend at Sonoma Raceway, turns out as well or better than their one, on March 27 at Circuit of the Americas.
At COTA, Burton earned Stage points in both Stages and finished 17th, earning 26 points on the day.
But each road course is different, so Burton, crew chief Brian Wilson and the rest of the DEX Imaging team have plenty to do as they prepare for racing on Sonoma’s 12-turn, 2.52-mile layout.
“Sonoma has always been a unique challenge in the group of road courses that we go to in the Cup Series,” Wilson said. “Drive off and rear grip fall-off are always a focus, more so than at the other tracks we go to.
“The challenge is that you also need rear platform control for the esses. Compromising those aspects in the setup and needing your driver to manage the rear tire fall-off are always points of discussion when you prepare for Sonoma.”
Wilson said that while COTA is different from Sonoma, lessons learned there will come in handy this time around.
“At our last road course race in COTA we scored as many points as we have at any other track this year,” he said. “We’ll take a similar approach this weekend, with hopes of executing the right strategy.”
Wilson said Burton is putting in extra effort this week as he prepares for Sunday’s 350-kilometer race.
“With Harrison running the truck race this weekend and having just finished our weekly simulator session through Ford, I believe he’ll have as much experience as we can get for a rookie,” Wilson said. “He should have a good idea of the trade-offs and compromises that we’ll have to make this weekend.”
Practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 is set for Saturday at 1:30 p.m. (4:30 Eastern Time) followed immediately by qualifying at 2:25 p.m. (5:25 Eastern).
Sunday’s 110-lap, 218.9-mile race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 1 p.m. (4 p.m. Eastern Time). FOX Sports 1 will carry practice, qualifying and Sunday’s race.
Stage breaks on Sunday are set for Laps 25 and 55.