Fans gear up for NASCAR at Sonoma Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. (KGO) -- Fans are gearing up for the NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 race at the Sonoma Raceway, the tracks biggest event of the year.

We have entered a realm of speed, heat, and noise. If this was anyplace other than Sonoma Raceway, people might complain. Here, there is no point because when NASCAR comes to town, nobody can hear the next person unless he's wearing headphones, listening in on the drivers' channels. That's hot, too.

"It's not G-rated," John Castellano told ABC7 News from his seat in the shade.

Wayne asked: "You're saying they swear on the radio?" "I pick my priority channels for who curses the best," he confessed.

That's standard stuff on this weekend every year. Sonoma will see racing on Saturday and Sunday on a 10-turn road course that doesn't fit your typical NASCAR mold.

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People embrace the heat and noise, here, for the elemental ritual of it all. "This is like human ingenuity at its best, right here," Arthur Arvizu said as he watched action in the pits. "It's a skill sport, maybe like poker."

Or, a hot poker as drivers circle the track at more than 100 miles per hour in cars with no air conditioning. But they aren't the only ones bracing the heat. Fans will endure 95 degrees on Saturday. Inside their cars, dressed in suits, the drivers may deal with temperatures of 140 degrees. "This is a skill sport," Arvizu said.

On the hills above the course, a temporary city of RV's has moved in. Sonoma Raceway employees say they will fill 2,000 spaces.

Residents say they'll be beating the heat the all-American holiday weekend kind of way. "Vodka, Jack Daniels," said one person named Jagermeister.

Click here for tickets if they are still available and more information about the race at Sonoma Raceway.

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