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RCR Takes on the West Coast One Last Time Before Off-Weekend

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA (June 9, 2023) – The NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series are heading back to the west coast this weekend to take on Sonoma Raceway in the golden state. The Cup Series has raced on the 1.99-mile road course in years past, but this will be a first for the Xfinity Series.  After bringing home a checkered flag and two pole wins from last weekend’s strong finishes in both series, RCR is ready to take on the next road course race out of the six they visit during the 2023 season.

Sonoma Raceway marks the second road course track on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule for the 2023 season, and the third for the Xfinity Series. While this isn’t one of the oldest tracks on the circuit, it is one full of history as rich as its wine. What is now a paved track, was once a working farm in the early 1900s. Since 1989, Sonoma Raceway has hosted the Cup Series each year, except for 2020, due to Covid-19.

Driver of the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet, Sheldon Creed, and driver of the No. 21 Bennett Chevrolet, Austin Hill, are looking forward to Saturday’s 250-mile Xfinity Series race after a strong top-ten and top-five finish (respectively) at Portland International Raceway. Creed won the pole and clinched the first stage win in Oregon, finishing seventh overall. The No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet led over half of the total laps in the 147-mile race. After scoring valuable playoff points, Creed is ready to take on the 12-turn road course alongside teammate Austin Hill, who finished fifth last weekend in Portland.

“I love going to new racetracks. Sonoma Raceway is very difficult and requires a lot of technique to get around. It’s very tricky. It should be a fun learning weekend though. I raced there in a lower series a handful of years ago and have done a bunch of sim and iRacing in preparation for the race. Our No. 2 team will learn as much as we can during our practice session on Friday and hopefully our Whelen Chevrolet has speed once again,” said Creed.

Kyle Busch is looking to keep his momentum going, too, after winning the race and clinching the pole last weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway in the No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet. Gateway marked Busch’s third Cup Series win at RCR this season, and crew chief Randall Burnett(a Missouri native) got to celebrate a win at his home track.

“To come home and win here, it means a lot. It’s a pretty big deal for me,” said Burnett.Following the No. 8 team’s victory at Gateway, Burnett became the winningest active crew chief in the Cup Series garage. The team is on a streak and continues to learn from each race.

“We’ve had some really fast cars and taken ourselves out of races with some mistakes and things like that, me and Kyle, and our whole group have talked about it, and we know we’ve all got to clean it up on our end, especially if we’re going to compete for the championship,” said Burnett.

Earlier this season, Busch finished second at COTA, the first road course of the season. Driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet, Austin Dillon, has made improvements the past two years at Sonoma Raceway and is looking forward to getting back on another road course after working alongside crew chief, Keith Rodden, to improve their strategy.

“I’ve really put a lot of effort into this one and can’t wait to get out there. I really do like the track. It’s a fun road course and it’s slick. I’ve got a lot of high hopes for this and hope to break through and have our best finish in road courses. We’re getting better and better at road races over the last couple of years,” said Dillon.

In 2021 and 2022, Austin Dillon and his No. 3 Chevrolet finished 13th and improved two spots to an 11th place finish the following season.

Catch all the action this weekend starting with Xfinity Series practice on Friday, June 9. Saturday’s Xfinity Series race begins at 8:00 p.m. on FS1, followed by Sunday’s Cup Series race at 3:30 p.m. on FOX.