Saturday’s qualifying for Sunday’s Toyota/SaveMart 350 Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway should be v-e-r-y interesting.
Not only are there the usual ringers like Boris Said running on the 1.99-mile road course, four young drivers will be hoping to make their Sprint Cup Series debut.
Of course, that’s going to be easier said than done, as they all have to go through qualifying — and a new-style qualifying at that, with so-called group qualifying instead of single-car qualification attempts.
The four NASCAR newbies are the pictured Alex Kennedy (No. 19), Victor Gonzalez Jr. (No. 36), Paulie Harraka (No. 52) and last-minute entry Justin Marks, who will be driving the No. 7 for Tommy Baldwin Racing.
The last time a NASCAR race had three or more drivers making their Sprint Cup debut was at Martinsville Speedway in October 2004, when Travis Kvapil, Chad Chaffin and Mario Gosselin all qualifying and taking the green flag on race day.
For the record, Kvapil was the highest finisher in that race, winding up 21st. Chaffin didn’t fare as well, finishing 39th, and Gosselin wound up 41st.
Photo gallery: IndyCar iRacing at Barber Motorsports Park
VIRTUAL LEEDS, Ala. — The second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge was held on a picturesque Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park, which looked as pristine in a simulation as in real life.
Scott McLaughlin won over Will Power by 0.4241 seconds, leading a 1-2 sweep by Team Penske in a wild 45-lap race. Sage Karam started on pole and led the first 24 laps in pursuit of his second consecutive victory, but he was out by Lap 29 after multiple on-track incidents.
Even though the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is keeping cars off the track in the real world, there still some beauty to be found in iRacing.
Courtesy of Getty Images’ Chris Graythen, here are a collection of screenshots from around the rolling hills and sweeping vistas of the 17-turn, 2.38-mile road course that features some interesting sculptures: