Statistical Advance: Analyzing The Pick-n-Pull Racing To Stop Hunger 200 At Sonoma

[media-credit name=”hometracks.nascar.com” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West visits the road course in Sonoma, Calif., on Saturday, June 23.

Sonoma Race Setup
• Dylan Kwasniewski leads the championship standings over his Gene Price Motorsports teammate Greg Pursley, as the series hits the midway point of the 2012 season. Kwasniewski, a 17-year-old from Las Vegas, is in his sophomore season after having a record-setting season as a rookie.
• Drivers entered at Sonoma range in age from 15-year-old series rookie Cameron Hayley to 84-year-old Hershel McGriff, who won the series championship in 1986.
• This race is the third of four road course events on the series schedule this year. Drivers consider Sonoma, with more than 160 feet of elevation change, the “most technical” of the four road courses visited.

Sonoma Data
Race: #8 of 15 (6/23/12)
Track Layout: 1.99-mile road course
Race Length: 64 laps (127.36 miles)

Records
1-lap Qualifying: David Gilliland, 77.887 seconds, 91.979 mph, June 23, 2007
64-lap Race: Andrew Ranger, 1 hour 50 min 30 seconds, 67.595 mph, June 19, 2010

Series Race Winners at Sonoma
Jim Insolo, 3
Hershel McGriff, 3
Bill Schmitt, 3
Jason Bowles, 2
Butch Gilliland, 2
(9 different drivers), 1
Jim Bown, Doug George, David Gilliland, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Andrew Ranger, Jim Robinson, Roy Smith, Brian Vickers.

Series Pole Winners at Sonoma
Hershel McGriff, 3
Jim Bown, 2
Butch Gilliland, 2
Roy Smith, 2
Tim Williamson, 2
(11 different drivers), 1
Bob Bondurant, Jason Bowles, Brandon Davis, Scott Gaylord, David Gilliland, Eric Holmes, Ron Hornaday Jr., Patrick Long, Bill Sedgwick, Glen Steurer, Brian Vickers

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST AT SONOMA
• Sonoma has hosted 22 series races since 1978. In addition, the series participated in nine combination events with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Northern California road course between 1989 and 1997.
• The Sonoma track, located in Northern California near the intersection of Highways 37 & 121, opened as Sears Point Raceway in 1968, with its inaugural event on Dec. 1, 1968. The road course was initially a 2.52-mile layout, but reconfigurations in 1998 and 2001 resulted in the current 1.99-mile design.
• The road course features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest to lowest points. The highest point at Turn 3a reaches 174 feet, while the lowest point at Turn 10 is just 14 feet.
• The berms on the turns of the road course are painted blue and gold in honor of raceway President and General Manager Steve Page, who attended nearby University of California, Berkeley. The University of California Marching Band (CalBand) will perform the national anthem before this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday.
• Fourteen different drivers have visited Victory Lane in series action at Sonoma. Three drivers – Hershel McGriff (1983, 1985, 1987), Jim Insolo (1978, 1979, 1980) and Bill Schmitt (1981, 1988, 1989) – lead the list of winners, with three wins each.
• Other multiple winners at Sonoma include Butch Gilliland, who scored back-to-back wins on the historic road course in 1996 and 1997, and Jason Bowles, who had consecutive wins in 2008 and 2009.
• Sixteen drivers have qualified on the pole. While McGriff leads with three poles at Sonoma – Butch Gilliland, Jim Bown, Roy Smith and Tim Williamson each had won two poles there.
• Bill Schmitt also leads in terms of top-five finishes, with eight, and top-10 finishes, with nine.
• Hershel McGriff has led the most laps, meanwhile, running out front for 142 laps.
• McGriff and Jack Sellers have the most series starts at Sonoma, with 13 each. In addition, Sellers also competed in six combination events.
• The age gap between the youngest and oldest drivers attempting to qualify for this year’s race is 69 years. Hershel McGriff is 84 years old, while Cameron Hayley is just 15.
• The event in 2008 was the only series race at Sonoma that was extended for a green-white-checkered finish since the format was introduced.
• Five of the 22 series races were won from the pole position. Seven were won by the driver who started second on the grid. Jim Insolo came from the furthest back, charging from 19th to win in 1978.
• 255 different drivers have raced in series competition at the Sonoma track.

Below is a statistical look at the performance of selected drivers:

Johnny Borneman (No. 61 Red Line Oil Chevrolet)
• One top five, two top 10s in five starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of fifth in 2009
• Has led five laps at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 15.6
• Only previous series start this season was at Phoenix
• Three career series wins
• One career series pole
• 100 career series starts

David Gilliland (No. 25 Pick-N-Pull Chevrolet)
• One win, two top fives in four Sonoma starts
• Victory was in 2007
• One Coors Light Pole Award at Sonoma, 2007
• Led 92 laps at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 15.75
• Only previous series start this season was at Phoenix
• Three career series wins
• Four career series poles
• 47 career series starts

Jonathon Gomez (No. 22 Century Boatland Chevrolet)
• Finished 11th in only previous start at Sonoma, 2011
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 15th at MMP, seventh at Brainerd
• Best career series finish of second
• 34 career series starts

Daryl Harr (No. 71 iWorld Connect Chevrolet)
• Best finish of 18th in six starts at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 27.0
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 21st at MMP, 11th at Brainerd
• Best career series finish of fifth on four occasions
• 98 career series starts

Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Toyota)
• Five top fives in six starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of second in 2008
• One Coors Light Pole at Sonoma, 2008
• Has led 11 laps at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 6.83
• In two previous road course events this season; finished second at MMP, sixth at Brainerd
• 16 career series wins
• 13 career series poles
• 82 career series starts

Jim Inglebright (No. 1 ESEF Apparel Chevrolet)
• One top five and three top 10s in seven starts at Sonoma
• Best finish of third in 2008
• Led one lap at Sonoma
• Average finish of 15.86
• First series start this year
• Three career series wins
• One career series pole
• 66 career series starts

Scott Ivie (No. 74 MSI Development Ford)
• Four starts at Sonoma, with best finish of 12th in 2010
• Average finish at Sonoma of 19.75
• In only previous road course event this season; finished a career-best sixth at MMP
• 11 career series starts

Dylan Kwasniewski (No. 03 Royal Purple/Rockstat Ford)
• Finished 26th in only previous start at Sonoma, 2011
• In two previous road course events this season; finished fourth at MMP, second at Brainerd
• Four career series wins, two this year
• Four career series poles, two this year
• 20 career series starts

David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Services Chevrolet)
• One top five in four starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of second was in 2009
• Average finish at Sonoma of 20.25
• In two previous road course events this season; finished ninth at MMP, fifth at Brainerd
• Four career series wins, one this year
• Eight career series poles, two this year
• 60 career series starts

Hershel McGriff (No. 04 Park Corporation Chevrolet)
• Three wins and six top 10s in 13 starts at Sonoma
• Wins were in 1983, 1985 and 1987
• Led 142 laps at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 12.23
• First series start this year
• 35 career series wins
• 37 career series poles

Ryan Philpott (No. 52 Philpott Race Cars Ford)
• Best finish of 19th (2011) in two starts at Sonoma
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 16th at MMP, 14th at Brainerd
• Best career series finish of seventh
• 24 career series starts

Greg Pursley (No. 26 GPM/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford)
• One top five in four starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of fourth in 2011
• Average finish at Sonoma of 22.0
• In two previous road course events this season; won at MMP and finished third at Brainerd
• 11 career series wins, two this year
• 12 career series poles, one this year
• 62 career series starts

Michael Self (No. 21 Rockwell/Golden Gate Meat/RCR Chevrolet)
• One top five in two starts at Sonoma
• Best finish at Sonoma of fifth in 2010
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 18th at MMP and scored his first career series win at Brainerd
• 35 career series starts

Jack Sellers (No. 15 Bay Bio Diesel Chevrolet)
• 13 starts at Sonoma, with a best finish of 11th in 1989
• Average finish at Sonoma of 21.85
• Also competed in six combination events at Sonoma with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 24th at MMP, 16th at Brainerd
• Best career series finish of seventh, on four occasions
• 259 career series starts

Stan Silva Jr. (No. 65 A&S Metals/Stan Silva Jr Trucking Chevrolet)
• Three top 10s in six starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of eighth on two occasions
• Led one lap at Sonoma (2006)
• Average finish of 14.5
• First series start this year
• Best career series finish of seventh on two occasions
• 29 career series starts

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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