Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Sonoma Raceway Replaces Carousel With the Chute For 2022 Track Layout

Chute Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma Raceway will replace the carousel with the chute on their 2022 track layout. Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Sonoma Raceway will return to the Chute track layout for their NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race weekend in 2022 after moving back to the racetrack’s original layout in 2019, which featured the carousel.

Sonoma Raceway Track Layout
2022 Sonoma Raceway Track Layout

According to Sonoma Raceway’s EVP and General Manager Jill Gregory, the move was made after listening to fan and driver input about which layout of the track to run.

“We heard from many fans and drivers how much they loved it when we raced the Chute,” said Gregory in a press release. “The Carousel was part of the original course and we reverted back to it for our 50th Anniversary in 2019 and used it again in 2021. But we race to bring excitement and drama to the fans, and an overwhelming majority of them asked us to bring back the Chute.”

The passing opportunities that the Chute provides was the main source of drivers and fans alike wanting the return of the layout that was originally created back in 1998.

“Drivers and fans have missed the passing opportunities and close racing created by the Chute so we’ll be returning to that configuration for the NASCAR Cup Series and the return of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior VP of Competition. “NASCAR has seen drama and incredible action at road course races, and we’re looking forward to even more intensity as the Next Gen race car debuts and the Chute returns at Sonoma.”

With the change, the track length will shrink from 2.520-miles back down to 1.990-miles. With the change in track size, comes an increase in amount of laps for the 2022 edition of the NASCAR Cup Series race.

In 2019 and 2021, the events at Sonoma had moved to 90 laps, but will expand back to a 110 lap race in 2022.

The stage breaks for the NCS Toyota / Save Mart 350 will be at laps 25 and 55.

Meanwhile, the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the track since 1998 will be a 75-lap contest, which will feature Stage breaks at laps 20 and 45.

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Toyota / Save Mart 350 will be run on Sunday, June 12th, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event will take place on Saturday, June 11th.

The ARCA Menards Series West will also contest a race at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, June 11th before the running of the NASCAR Truck Series race.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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