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Sonoma Raceway says fans can return to the stands starting with June NASCAR event

For the first time in more than a year drivers at Sonoma Raceway will hear the roar of fans the first weekend in June.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the venue June 6, with the ARCA Menards Series West General Tire 200 50-lap race on June 5.

Track officials announced the change Thursday. Because Sonoma County is in the orange tier this allows for 33% of the facility to be occupied by fans.

“We are thrilled to be able to open our gates and welcome fans back to the raceway for our annual NASCAR race weekend in June,” Sonoma Raceway Executive Vice President and General Manager Jill Gregory stated in the announcement. “We are fortunate to have a beautiful, outdoor facility that is perfect for social distancing and will provide a safe and memorable race-day experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming the greatest fans and drivers in motorsports back to Northern California.”

Spectators will discover several things have changed because of the pandemic. All tickets will be digital and all transactions will be cashless. Food must be ordered via an app. It will be delivered to a person’s seat or can be picked up at a window in a contactless manner.

Everyone must wear a mask even with the race being outside. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed in each pod, with no more than three households per group.

“If we went into the yellow tier from orange, there is a possibility we could allow more spectators, but would still have to allow for guidelines of 6 feet of social distancing,” Jennifer Imbimbo, spokeswoman for the raceway, told the North Bay Business Journal.

The NASCAR weekend in wine country will feature the 90-lap Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday as well as the ARCA Menards Series West General Tire 200 50-lap race on Saturday. The 2020 version of the event

Imbimbo did not release the number of tickets that would be available for the 90-lap Toyota/Save Mart 350 in June, but cautioned same-day tickets might not be available with capacity cut by two-thirds. Also that weekend will be the ARCA Menards Series West General Tire 200 50-lap race on June 5.

“We are thrilled to host spectators and open our gates after our NASCAR event was transferred to another facility last year,” Imbimbo said.

In October, the raceway announced the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series will return to the Sonoma County facility July 23-25.

Today’s announcement comes as Governor Gavin Newsom announced many of the COVID inspired restrictions in place for more than a year would be lifted June 15 as more and more people in the state receive vaccinations. Newsom said he expects 30 million doses to be administered by the end of April, putting them on track to inoculate many of the estimated 32 million people eligible for the vaccine.

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