It’s Saturday morning at Sonoma Raceway for the NASCAR Toyota/SaveMart 350 weekend, and the activities are off to an early start.
In the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage, tech and scrutineering are in full swing, so much so that the cars are coming out of one of the checkpoints faster than the follow-up scrutineers can check additional items. This resulted in a minor clog on the driveway out to the track, right in front of the Media Center.
Out in Pit Lane, all 32 of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Series cars lined up for their qualifying session. Those mini Cup cars go out in four groups of eight for eight minutes, and the grid is set on their aggregate times. The clock stops if the session is stopped for any reason.
Sprint Cup has road course format qualifying at 10:40am PT.
With five Sprint Cup drivers running in both events, the Rookie Meetings – which are separate from the regular Drivers Meetings – were carefully scheduled to accommodate their schedules. In the case of the K&N Drivers Meeting, those five Cup drivers running Cup Qualifying were given a special Drivers Meeting ahead of time.
One of the Cup Rookies, Austin Dillon No.3 Dow Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, has a driver coach mentoring him. Veteran racer from all venues, Max Papis, works with RCR as a consultant which includes working with the grandson of team owner, Richard Childress.
The weather forecast is for 82 degrees F as a high, with 70 degrees slated for Cup Qualifying. The wind is only slight … so far.