2007 Toyota/Save Mart 350
|Race 16 of 36 in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season|
Track as used by NASCAR
|Date||June 24, 2007|
|Official name||Toyota/Save Mart 350|
|Location||Infineon Raceway Sonoma, California|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1.99 mi (3.202 km)
|Distance||110 laps, 218.9 mi (352.285 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures up to 84 °F (29 °C); wind speeds up to 17.1 miles per hour (27.5 km/h)|
|Average speed||74.547 miles per hour (119.972 km/h)|
|Driver||Roush Fenway Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Robby Gordon||Robby Gordon Motorsports|
|No. 42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Bill Weber, Kyle Petty and
Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
The 2007 Toyota/Save Mart 350 was the 16th race of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. It took place on June 24, 2007, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, about 25 miles north of San Francisco.
It was the first of two Cup races on road courses and the first time that the Car of Tomorrow was used on a road course.
Jamie McMurray won the pole with a lap of 92.414 miles per hour (148.726 km/h). In addition to the NEXTEL Cup regulars, five Road course ringers also qualified: Boris Said, Ron Fellows, Marc Goossens, Butch Leitzinger, and P.J. Jones. Two others failed to make the field: Klaus Graf and Brian Simo.
Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson did not participate in qualifying. The cars they were driving failed the first inspection of the weekend due to a violation in the width of their fenders. Both cars were re-done and passed a later inspection. Gordon and Johnson had to start 41st and 42nd, respectively, for the race.
Juan Pablo Montoya won the Toyota/Save Mart 350, his first win in the NEXTEL Cup Series. He had dueled with McMurray throughout the end of the race. Montoya passed McMurray with seven laps to go and held on for the victory. McMurray ran out of gas late in the race and finished 37th.
All three of the Richard Childress Racing cars, all Chevrolet Impalas, were next in the final rundown: Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, and Clint Bowyer in that order. Greg Biffle finished fifth, best for Ford. Jones (12th) had the best finish for a Toyota driver.
Top ten results:
|1.||#42||Juan Pablo Montoya (R)||Dodge||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|2.||#29||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|3.||#31||Jeff Burton||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|4.||#07||Clint Bowyer||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|5.||#16||Greg Biffle||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|6.||#20||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7.||#24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|8.||#5||Kyle Busch||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|9.||#60||Boris Said||Ford||No Fear Racing|
|10.||#11||Denny Hamlin||Chevrolet||Joe Gibbs Racing|
Gordon (7th in the race) left the track with a 271-point lead over Denny Hamlin (10th) for the points lead. However, that lead was reduced to 171 points after the announcement of NASCAR penalties (see below).
- Montoya won the race from the 32nd starting position, the deepest-ever for a race winner at Infineon, the only win for a rookie in the 2007 season.
- Montoya became the second driver to win the Indianapolis 500, a Formula One race, and a race in the top level of NASCAR, the other being Mario Andretti. (Dan Gurney was also a Formula 1 and NASCAR winner, as well as a winner of other major open-wheel events, but Gurney never won the Indy 500.)
- He is also the third winner of a Cup race born outside the United States. The others are Earl Ross, a native of Prince Edward Island, Canada who won at Martinsville Speedway on October 1974, and Andretti, a native of Italy who won the 1967 Daytona 500.
- This was the first win for the Dodge Avenger in Cup racing.
- Kyle Petty became the first Cup driver to ever simultaneously drive in a race and provide color commentary. Petty also works for NASCAR on TNT. After Petty was involved in a crash on lap 1, TNT switched to the audio to what Kyle was saying to his crew. Petty said an obscenity into the microphone. TNT, which does not have a delay system, aired the phrase ("What the fuck was that?!") on the broadcast, for which colleague Bill Weber had to apologize to viewers.
- Legendary American football wide receiver Jerry Rice and a Toyota representative shared in calling the command to start the engines.
On June 26, NASCAR announced that Gordon and Johnson would each lose 100 points in the championship standings. Their respective crew chiefs, Steve Letarte and Chad Knaus, were suspended for six races, fined $100,000 each, and placed on probation through December 31, 2007. In addition, Hendrick Motorsports lost 100 owner points from each team.