The sweet taste of wine from Sonoma is known throughout the country. With so many vineyards to choose from, there’s an endless array of selections to go with. Fruity wines that are sweet and light, to the bold body of reds that would pair nicely with a prime roast, there’s a type for every wine drinker to keep them satisfied.
In Sonoma, when NASCAR comes to town, the tradition at the very end in victory lane is to use the trophy that is handed over to sip some of the county’s finest.
That is after taking the reigns of handling the 12-turn, high and low course that is the Sonoma Raceway. Of the road courses on the schedule, this is the one that has been the one that means finesse, patience, and strong parts all could lead to that great sip of wine at the end of the afternoon.
Who would have thought the one who was happiest to taste the wine, was also just called “Happy.”
Despite damage on the nose, tire marks on the side panels, Kevin Harvick finally got his Stewart-Haas team in victory lane once again, the first time he did so behind the wheel of a Ford. Call him a closer, or Mr. “Where’d He Come From,” but in the end it was victory for the No. 4 team, and a sweet sip of Sonoma County wine. Of course that came after a shower of Busch Beer.
That win also paid dividends to one participant, who outright has said she is a Harvick fan. Finally, she accomplished her goal, and secured her first win of 2017. Others, they faired well, while a few hit a wall. The lead itself is shrinking, and with Playoff points a deciding factor, it is becoming a tight battle.
Look at where they all stand after Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350:
Rob Tiongson (558) A.J. Allmendinger finished 35th –  7
Ashley Hobbs (541) Clint Bowyer finished 2nd –  13
Misan Akuya (537) Jamie McMurray finished 10th –  15
Penny Whitecotton (519) Kevin Harvick WON –  6
Ashley Hull (515) Kyle Busch finished 5th –  12
Billy Fellin (509) Kyle Busch finished 5th –  9
Patti Rodisch (498) Clint Bowyer finished 2nd –  14
Rob Blount (495) Clint Bowyer finished 2nd –  3
Sal Sigala Jr. (476) Kyle Busch finished 5th –  9
Dalton Hastings (454) NO PICK SENT –  3
Ashley McCubbin (449) Denny Hamlin finished 4th –  4
Klarissa Mitchell (449) Jamie McMurray finished 10th –  0
Dustin Parks (448) A.J. Allmendinger finished 35th –  8
Next Race: The summer stretch of the season is when there’s both change, and repeats. Next weekend, both of those happen all at once. Sunday’s action in Sonoma closed the book on the 2017 season for NASCAR on FOX, meaning folks like Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon being in the booth is over until the beginning of next year. The changing of the guard now goes to NBC Sports, who will take the coverage right through the finale of the Playoffs.
The repeat is for the first time on the season, NASCAR heads to a track they have already seen once this year.
In a mere six days, it’s another trip to Daytona Beach. This time, it’s for the annual July tradition of fireworks, hot action, and a hot night under the lights. Night racing at Daytona has been going on for 20 years, with 19 of them happening in summer.
Writers, it’s not the official halfway point of the season, but it definitely feels as such. Lock in those victory picks by Thursday, June 29, at 10 p.m. ET for the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola.