2012 Toyota/Save Mart 350

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2012 Toyota/Save Mart 350
Race details[1][2]
Race 16 of 36 in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season


Date June 24, 2012 (2012-June-24)
Location Sonoma Raceway Sonoma, California
Course Permanent racing facility
1.99 mi (3.2 km)
Distance 112 laps, 222.88 mi (358.69 km)
Scheduled Distance 110 laps, 218.9 mi (352.285 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 73.9 °F (23.3 °C); wind speeds up to 17.1 miles per hour (27.5 km/h)[3]
Average speed 83.624 miles per hour (134.580 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports
Time 75.203
Most laps led
Driver Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing
Laps 71
Winner
No. 15
Clint Bowyer
Michael Waltrip Racing
Television in the United States
Network TNT
Announcers Adam Alexander, Wally Dallenbach, Jr. and Kyle Petty

The 2012 Toyota/Save Mart 350 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on June 24, 2012, at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Contested over 110 laps, it was the sixteenth race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and the first of two road course competitions on the schedule. Clint Bowyer of Michael Waltrip Racing took his first win from the pole of the season, while Tony Stewart finished second and Kurt Busch finished third.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Sonoma Raceway, the road course where the race was held.

The course, Sonoma Raceway, is one of two road courses to hold NASCAR races, the other being Watkins Glen International.[4] The standard road course at Infineon Raceway is a 12-turn course that is 2.52 miles (4.06 km) long;[5] the track was modified in 1998, adding the Chute, which bypassed turns 5 and 6, shortening the course to 1.95 miles (3.14 km).[5] The Chute was only used for NASCAR events such as this race, and was criticized by many drivers, who preferred the full layout.[6] In 2001, it was replaced with a 70-degree turn, 4A, bringing the track to its current dimensions of 1.99 miles (3.20 km).[7]

Before the race, Matt Kenseth led the Drivers' Championship with 565 points, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. stood in second with 561. Greg Biffle was third in the Drivers' Championship with 548, sixteen points ahead of Jimmie Johnson and thirty-four ahead of Denny Hamlin in fourth and fifth. Kevin Harvick, with 504, was seven points ahead of Martin Truex, Jr., as Tony Stewart with 491 points, was ten ahead of Clint Bowyer and thirty-three in front of Brad Keselowski.[8] In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet was leading with 105 points, eighteen points ahead of Toyota. Ford, with 77 points, was twenty-eight points ahead of Dodge in the battle for third.[9] Kurt Busch is the defending race winner.[10]

Five teams chose to temporarily replace their regular drivers with road course ringers. One of which was Tommy Baldwin Racing, who replaced regular David Reutimann with Tomy Drissi,[11] while another was FAS Lane Racing who chose Boris Said to replace regular drivers, Reed Sorenson and Ken Schrader.[11] Humphrey Smith Racing also changed drivers, with Mike Bliss, racing at Road America in the Nationwide Series on the weekend, being replaced with Chris Cook,[12] while Phil Parsons Racing replaced Michael McDowell with David Mayhew and Inception Motorsports co-owner David Stremme stepped aside in favor of Brian Simo.[11] Robby Gordon also qualified for his first race since Auto Club Speedway.[11][13]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

Marcos Ambrose, from Richard Petty Motorsports, won the pole position

Three practice sessions were scheduled to be held before the Sunday race—one on June 22, 2012, and two on June 23, 2012. The first session lasted 90 minutes. The second session was 45 minutes, while the final session finished after 75 minutes.[14] Jeff Gordon was quickest with a time of 75.653 seconds in the first session, less than two-tenths of a second faster than Truex, Jr.[15] Bowyer was just off Truex, Jr.'s pace, followed by Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Newman. Marcos Ambrose was seventh, still within a second of Gordon's time.[15]

"I was hiding under the truck. Jeff is such a talented road racer. He's one of the world's best road racers. I knew he had a great car from the lap he put down in practice. I was very nervous to watch him go."

Marcos Ambrose, following the qualifying session.[16]

Forty-four cars were entered for qualifying, but only forty-three could qualify for the race because of NASCAR's qualifying procedure.[17] Ambrose clinched the second pole position of his career, with a record setting time of 75.203 seconds.[18][19] He was joined on the front row of the grid by Gordon.[18] Johnson qualified third, Biffle took fourth, and Truex, Jr. started fifth.[18] Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Kenseth and Newman rounded out the top ten. The driver that failed to qualify for the race was Brian Simo.[18] Following the qualifying session, Ambrose stated, "I beat myself up here in 2010.It was nothing to do with the car or the track. It was me. I know what not to do on the last restart."[16] Afterward, third-placed Johnson commented, "It was on edge the whole lap. I don't want to drive 110 laps the way it drove today."[16]

In the second practice session, Gordon remained quickest with a time of 75.961 seconds.[20] Ambrose, with a time of 76.718, was second quickest, ahead of Allmendinger, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Keselowski.[20] Kyle Busch, Johnson, Truex, Jr., Bowyer, and McMurray completed the first ten positions.[20] Gordon continued to be quickest through the third practice session with a time of 76.846, 0.885 slower than his fastest lap during the second session.[21] Biffle was second quickest in the session, while Montoya was scored third.[21] Johnson followed in the fourth position ahead of Allmendinger, Hamlin and Edwards.[21] Truex, Jr., Kahne and Kyle Busch rounded out the first ten positions in eighth, ninth and tenth, respectively.[21]

Race[edit]

The race, the fifteenth in the season, began at 3:21 p.m. EDT and was televised live in the United States on TNT.[1] The conditions on the grid were dry before the race with the air temperature around 74 °F (23 °C).[2] Track minister Tim Boeve began pre-race ceremonies, by giving the invocation.[22] Next, University of California Straw Hat Band performed the national anthem, while Tony LaRussa and Toby Appleton, a Toyota Military Hero, gave the command for drivers to start their engines.[22] During the pace laps, David Gilliland had to start last on the grid after missing the mandatory drivers meeting.[23] After leading 13 laps, Gordon would reach the 23,000 career laps led mark, the most of any current Sprint Cup driver.[24]

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed Grid
9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 75.203 95.262 1
24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 75.357 95.607 2
48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 75.574 94.975 3
16 Greg Biffle Roush-Fenway Racing Ford 75.632 94.722 4
56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 75.661 94.686 5
15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 75.666 94.679 6
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 75.704 94.632 7
51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 75.764 94.557 8
17 Matt Kenseth Roush-Fenway Racing Ford 75.790 94.524 9
39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 75.802 94.509 10
99 Carl Edwards Roush-Fenway Racing Ford 75.807 94.503 11
42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 75.955 94.319 12
2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 75.995 94.269 13
20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 76.044 94.209 14
5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 76.046 94.206 15
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 76.052 94.199 16
22 A. J. Allmendinger Penske Racing Dodge 76.064 94.184 17
47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 76.129 94.103 18
88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 76.192 94.026 19
13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford 76.220 93.991 20
55 Brian Vickers Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 76.254 93.949 21
95 Scott Speed Leavine Family Racing Ford 76.283 93.913 22
27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 76.343 93.840 23
14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 76.356 93.824 24
1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 76.431 93.732 25
29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 76.434 93.728 26
38 David Gilliland1 Front Row Motorsports Ford 76,601 93.524 27
32 Boris Said FAS Lane Racing Ford 76.811 93.268 28
34 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 76.895 93.166 29
43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 76.906 93.153 30
78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 76.979 93.064 31
36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 77.062 92.964 32
98 David Mayhew Phil Parsons Racing Ford 77.171 92.833 33
7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 77.396 92.563 34
31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 77.483 92.459 35
87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 77.751 92.140 36
19 Chris Cook Humphrey Smith Racing Toyota 77.805 92.076 37
49 J. J. Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Racing Toyota 77.931 91.927 38
93 Travis Kvapil BK Racing Toyota 78.009 91.836 39
26 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 78.100 91.729 40
10 Tomy Drissi Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 79.091 90.579 41
83 Landon Cassill BK Racing Toyota 80.187 89.341 42
33 Stephen Leicht2 Circle Sport Racing Chevrolet 78.136 91.686 43
Failed to Qualify
30 Brian Simo Inception Motorsports Toyota 78.658 91.078
Sources:[18][25][26]
Notes
^1  — David Gilliland started last on the grid because of missing the mandatory drivers meeting.[23]
^2  — Stephen Leicht also had to start in the rear of the grid after his team changed engines.[23]

Race results[edit]

Pos. Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 6 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 112 47
2 24 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 112 42
3 8 51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 112 42
4 21 55 Brian Vickers Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 112 40
5 3 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 112 39
6 2 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 112 39
7 4 16 Greg Biffle Roush-Fenway Racing Ford 112 37
8 1 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 112 37
9 17 22 A. J. Allmendinger Penske Racing Dodge 112 35
10 14 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 112 34
11 35 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 112 33
12 13 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 112 32
13 9 17 Matt Kenseth Roush-Fenway Racing Ford 112 31
14 15 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 112 30
15 20 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford 112 29
16 26 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 112 28
17 7 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 112 27
18 10 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 112 26
19 25 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 112 25
20 23 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 112 24
21 11 99 Carl Edwards Roush-Fenway Racing Ford 112 23
22 5 56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 112 23
23 19 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 112 21
24 18 47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 111 20
25 22 95 Scott Speed Leavine Family Racing Ford 111 19
26 27 38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 111 18
27 29 34 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 111 17
28 30 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 110 16
29 28 32 Boris Said FAS Lane Racing Ford 110 0
30 40 26 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 110 14
31 42 83 Landon Cassill BK Racing Toyota 110 13
32 31 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 109 12
33 38 49 J. J. Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Racing Toyota 107 11
34 12 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 107 10
35 16 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 98 9
36 39 93 Travis Kvapil BK Racing Toyota 92 8
37 32 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 84 7
38 41 10 Tomy Drissi Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 78 6
39 34 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 73 5
40 33 98 David Mayhew Phil Parsons Racing Ford 25 0
41 43 33 Stephen Leicht Circle Sport Racing Chevrolet 22 3
42 37 19 Chris Cook Humphrey Smith Racing Toyota 13 2
43 36 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 1 0
Source:[27]

Standings after the race[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sprint Cup Series Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Brown, Brian (June 19, 2012). "The Toyota/SaveMart 350(k)". Rotoworld.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Weather information for the 2012 Toyota/Save Mart 350". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ White, Rea (18 June 2010). "Road course races challenge the specialsts". Fox Sports. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Sears Point". gt-racing.co.uk. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Passing is tough in Chute". The Augusta Chronicle. 28 June 1998. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Sears Point Breaks Ground On Modified Chute". SPR Media Relations. RacingWest. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ "2012 Official Driver Standings: Quicken Loans 400". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Manufactures' Championship Classification". Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  10. ^ "2011 Toyota/Save Mart 350". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Said, Drissi to drive at Sonoma". NASCAR. Turner Sports. June 19, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ "NASCAR team tabs local to qualify its car at Sonoma". Motorsport Magazine. June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ "NASCAR At Sonoma: Sprint Cup Series Hits The Road". SB Nation. NASCAR Wire Service. June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  14. ^ "THE RACE: Toyota / Save Mart 350(k)". Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "Practice One Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c Hembree, Mike (June 22, 2012). "CUP: Ambrose Wins Sonoma Pole". SPEED TV. Fox Sports. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Qualifying Entry List". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d e "Race Official Lineup". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  19. ^ NASCAR Wire Service (June 22, 2012). "Ambrose edges Gordon for pole at Sonoma". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c "Practice Two Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Practice Three Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "Lap-by-Lap: Sonoma". NASCAR. Turner Sports. June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  23. ^ a b c "Racetrax: Toyota/Save Mart 350". Fox Sports. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  24. ^ Arrington, Debbie (June 24, 2012). "Jeff Gordon reaches lap milestone". Sonoma, California. Columbus Ledger Enquirer. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  25. ^ "2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma Grid". ESPN. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Lineup for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma". USA Today. June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  27. ^ "2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma Results". ESPN. June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 


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