Wednesday Night Drags, and More at the Sonoma Raceway
If you've got a need for speed, Sonoma Raceway is the place to be, especially on Wednesday nights. As most locals know, the world famous racetrack hosts several large scale events throughout their season, attracting visitors from across the globe. If you drive down Arnold Drive on a race weekend, you can see the fields adjacent to the raceway full of super fans, their RV's, and of course the flags sporting their favorite drivers number and colors. Although each different race attracts a new crowd of people, there is never a lack of excitement and energy at Sonoma Raceway regardless of the event or time of year.
These large, NASCAR and IndyCar type races are definitely the largest draw of people to the racetrack, but Sonoma Raceway offers fans access to many smaller scale events as well.
If you have ever passed by Sonoma Raceway on a Wednesday night, you have most likely heard the roar of engines and screech of tires on the asphalt. For nearly 30 years, the raceway has hosted their popular Wednesday Night Drags program to give local drivers a safe, legal, and controlled environment to race their cars. The raceway boasts a quarter-mile drag strip where any adrenaline junkie can show off their car's horsepower, as long as it passes a simple tech inspection. You can sign up at the main gate upon arrival, and bring your friends to watch from the stands. Admission is only $10, and kids 12 and under are admitted free!
Top the Cops Program at Sonoma Raceway
In conjunction with the Wednesday Night Drags program, Sonoma Raceway presents an interesting opportunity to teens in the community. The Top the Cops program was founded 23 years ago by Kevin McKinnie, a retired Santa Rosa police officer. He and retired Fairfield police officer Robert Martin still run the program to this day, and hope to give teens an alternative to illegal street racing. Teens are able to race against real law enforcement officers who are dressed in full uniform and are racing their official vehicles. If you've ever dreamt about being a part of a high speed car chase, this is your chance! It also gives law enforcement officers the opportunity to educate teens about safe driving and the rules of the road in a fun environment. Students have been thrilled at the opportunity to race their cars on the world famous quarter-mile drag strip, and the program has led to at least five Top the Cops high school competitors entering a career in law enforcement.
Sonoma Drift at Sonoma Raceway
Aside from the Wednesday Night Drags and Top the Cops programs, Sonoma Raceway also plays host to the lesser known Sonoma Drift. This event brings white smoke and sideways cars onto the skid pad of the racetrack. Drifting is judged on speed, angle, showmanship, and line taken through a set course, rather than who finishes first. These competitions are held worldwide, but you can experience them right here in Sonoma County at Sonoma Raceway.
Summer Events at Sonoma Raceway
The rest of the summer is packed with family activities and incredible racing at Sonoma Raceway. For the third consecutive year, the Verizoon IndyCar Series champion will be crowned right here in Sonoma. In addition to the high-speed on-track action, fans can attend driver autograph sessions and q & a's, one-of-a-kind pre-race shows, and much more. September 15-17 brings the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma to town, and The 14th Annual Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge comes to Sonoma Raceway September 30- October 1. The CSRG Charity Challenge attracts more than 200 incredible vintage race cars for a full weekend of racing on a 12-turn, 2.52 mile road course. Think vintage Maserati, Lotus, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Porsche, and Corvette- to name a few. All proceeds from this weekend benefit Sonoma County youth groups through Speedway Children's Charities, which has generously contributed more than $830,000 to the community since 2004.
The Sonoma Raceway is a huge part of our community here in wine country. Whether that means providing a safe place for teens to drag race cars, or donating money to local youth groups through their Speedway Children's Charities, Sonoma Raceway is both a great source of entertainment and support to the community of Sonoma. Head to their website to buy tickets to any of their events, or get more involved locally through events at the raceway! It is a great place to spend time with family, friends, and tourists alike.