Sonoma Raceway Brings Back the Carousel Turn to Celebrate 50 Years of Memorable Racing

Photo – Sal Sigala Jr.

Diana Brennan VP Communications and Marketing at Sonoma Raceway is our guest on Fan4Racing NASCAR & Race Talk Review at 9:30 pm ET on Monday, June 17, 2019. Call 929-477-1790 or tweet @Fan4RacingSite with any questions or comments during our LIVE broadcast.

NASCAR race tracks around the country all have something that makes them special. Whether it’s the food, specially named grandstands, or the track’s location, one thing is for sure, the track is usually the centerpiece of why fans from around the country flock to see a race and what they dub is, “My favorite track.”

So in a few short weeks, history will repeat as the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will once again make their yearly stop at Sonoma Raceway, with the transformation into the historic 12-turn, 2.52-mile permanent road course on June 21-23.

Since the track first opened in 1968, the very popular ‘Carousel’ turn has always been a fan favorite, along with being one of the most famous turns in all of NASCAR from back in the day.

“The Carousel is a corner where history has been made, and as we celebrate the half-century of track history in 2019, we are excited to re-introduce this signature turn on the Sonoma Raceway circuit,” said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager.

Sonoma Raceway featuring the return of the Carousel for 2019 and their 50 year celebration

The sweeping downhill turn which is entered through turn four and methodically makes its way into turns five and six should once again bring the fans to their feet as the course makes its way into the turn seven hairpin. The experience for the fans who never had the chance to see it firsthand will truly be one that is talked about as well as remembered for a lifetime.

The list of memorable moments that were made at this part of the track, will do nothing but add to the anticipation and excitement of both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on Saturday, as well as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday. The drivers have already begun talking about the significance of bringing back this historic turn. 

“Bringing the Carousel back is like going back in time, not only for the race track but for NASCAR in general. In my beginning days running at Sonoma, we ran the Carousel in the Southwest Tour, Winston West, the Trucks, and the Cup cars have had so many great races there”, said Stewart Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick who will be making his 19th start in June.

Harvick added,

“I think this is truly what Sonoma Raceway is, and I think this just adds a great piece of the race track back into the mix, and it will be great for the fans too”.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kurt Busch added,

“Wow, the race track’s going back to the Carousel? This is incredible. I just missed out on running Featherlite Southwest Tour races there on the old circuit. This is perfect. This is an incredible opportunity with it being the 50th anniversary of Sonoma Raceway.”

While the weekend focus will be on the racing, there are many other activities that are part of the fan experience including a huge expo area along with an aerial show on Sunday before the start of the Toyota/Save Mart 350. 

As the excitement builds leading into the race weekend, five-time Sonoma winner Jeff Gordon had this to say,

“The carousel adds a technical aspect to the track that will be a challenge for the drivers. I’m looking forward to the FOX broadcasts of the race weekend and analyzing how the teams deal with this new challenge.”