Ford Performance – Sonoma Raceway Advance

The NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series will share the stage to battle on the tricky twists and turns of Sonoma Raceway this weekend. While the Cup Series returns to road course racing for the first time since Circuit of The Americas, the Xfinity Series will make a short trek from Oregon having competed at Portland International Raceway last Saturday.

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Kevin Harvick: “It’s definitely my favorite road course. For me, I raced there for the first time in 1995. So, it’ll be fun to go there and run the Cup car one last time. I have a lot of family and friends in that area that will be there that particular weekend. To be able to go out and race in California one last time will, for me, be a lot of fun and an honor. It’ll bring back a lot of good memories of where it all started out there.”

Todd Gilliland: “In general, road courses had been strong for me and the team last year. This one is a little bit different with Rick Ware Racing, but I still feel like I can get the job done on a road course. Confidence is half the battle going into some of these places. Sonoma may not be my best racetrack overall, but I’m still really excited. I have a lot of family coming out there – kind of where I’m from with it being in California. It’s always really exciting to go back there. Road courses are a lot about track position. Nowadays, it’s tougher to pass and pit strategy is super important, so all that stuff comes into play. These are long races and you kind of just have to grind it out. Sonoma is a place that’s really worn out and it’s tough on tires, so you’ll be slipping and sliding around at some point during the race. That’s what makes it fun, but also very challenging.”

Austin Cindric: “I had a top-five at Sonoma last year. It’s a good weekend for us to get things on-track, rolling and get some momentum. Sonoma is one of those ones where there’s guys who have raced there a lot more than I have – especially in the Cup Series. I feel like with that layout as well, the first time I really ran the NASCAR layout at that place it was pretty different. It’s fun nonetheless. I do have some demons at that racetrack I’d like to overcome at some point – back racing Johnny O’Connell in the SCCA stuff. It’d really be cool to get a win there.”

Ryan Preece: “I never got to drive the old racetrack, and I always did in the video games when I was a little kid. So, I get to check that box off my bucket list. From a road course standpoint, I certainly didn’t grow up doing it, but it’s something I enjoy doing because I enjoy the challenge. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most.”


NASCAR has competed on 16 different road courses during its history and Ford has had 21 drivers win 33 times overall.  Dan Gurney leads the way with five, including four straight at Riverside International Raceway from 1963-66 while driving for the Wood Brothers.  Mark Martin, on the strength of three straight wins at Watkins Glen International from 1993-95, is second.


5 – Dan Gurney

4 – Mark Martin

2 – Fireball Roberts, Marvin Panch, Parnelli Jones, Ricky Rudd, Marcos Ambrose

1 – Chuck Stevenson, Eddie Gray, Richard Petty, A.J. Foyt, Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott, Davey Allison, Geoffrey Bodine, Ernie Irvan, Rusty Wallace, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney.



Ford has won eight times at Sonoma and the one thing all of those winners have in common is that their owners are members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  Robert Yates (Class of 2018) won this event three times (Davey Allison, 1991; Ernie Irvan, 1994; and Ricky Rudd, 2002), while Jack Roush (Class of 2019) has two victories (Mark Martin, 1997 and Carl Edwards, 2014).  Bud Moore (Class of 2011) won with Geoffrey Bodine in 1993 while Roger Penske (Class of 2019) won with Rusty Wallace in 1996 and Tony Stewart (Class of 2020) with Kevin Harvick in 2017.



Kevin Harvick stretched his fuel over the final 40 laps to bring home his first win with Ford and first win at Sonoma when he captured this event six years ago. Harvick bested teammate Clint Bowyer and fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski in a 1-2-3 showing for the Blue Oval. The win marked the second triumph for Stewart-Haas Racing since moving to Ford prior to the start of the 2017 season. In all, five Fusions wound up in the top-10 with Kurt Busch finishing seventh and Ryan Blaney ninth as Harvick led 24-of-110 laps and cruised to a win of over eight seconds.



When Ford took the checkered flag at Sonoma Raceway for the first time it came in controversial fashion.  That’s because Davey Allison, the man credited with winning the Banquet Frozen Foods 300 in 1991, was sent spinning by Ricky Rudd as they were approaching the white flag.  Even though Rudd ended up crossing the finish line first, he received the black flag from NASCAR for rough driving and awarded Allison with the trophy.  The win was Allison’s first and only one on a road course and snapped an eight-race streak that had seen either Rudd or Rusty Wallace end up in Victory Lane at Watkins Glen International or Sonoma Raceway.


Little did anyone know that when Geoffrey Bodine won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway in 1993 it would represent the final win for car owner Bud Moore.  Bodine, driving the No. 15 Motorcraft Ford, had just purchased the assets of Alan Kulwicki’s No. 7 team earlier in the week and after taking the checkered flag proceeded to honor the late driver by doing an abbreviated Polish Victory Lap.  He was able to do that after surviving a fierce three-car battle on the final lap with Ricky Rudd and Ernie Irvan in which contact between all three cars took place.  Moore, a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee in 2011, won 63 series races during his career by 10 different drivers.





Carl Edwards snapped an 11-race winless streak for Ford when he captured the NASCAR Cup Series race in 2014 for car owner Jack Roush.  Edwards held off Jeff Gordon on the final lap to post the first road win of his NCS career.  He did it thanks to a two-stop strategy and a timely caution.  Edwards had just pitted on lap 70 when NASCAR threw a caution for debris one lap later.  While most of the field decided to pit for new tires, Edwards and fellow Ford driver Marcos Ambrose stayed out and gained the necessary track position that put both in position to win.  Ambrose took the lead from Clint Bowyer on lap 81 and brought Edwards with him, but another restart with 25 to go saw Ambrose and Edwards sharing the front row.  Edwards got the jump and took the lead, which he never surrendered, although a hard-charging Gordon made it interesting on the final lap.



This is the first time the NASCAR XFINITY Series will compete at Sonoma Raceway, marking the last of the top three national touring series to run on the popular road course. The NASCAR Cup Series has been racing at Sonoma since 1989 while the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has five all-time starts. Ford has 11 combined wins (8 Cup and 3 Truck) with Kevin Harvick posting Ford’s last victory at the facility in 2017.


Cole Custer registered his first win of the 2023 season on Saturday at Portland International Raceway, which continued a hot streak that has seen him finish fifth or better in six of the last seven races. He has an average finish of 3.7 during that time and has moved up from 10th to 4th in the overall point standings. The victory was also Custer’s 11th career NXS triumph, which ties him for ninth on Ford’s all-time series win list with Chase Briscoe. Up next on the list with 12 wins apiece are Austin Cindric and Joey Logano.

Ford Performance PR