Expect Heavy Traffic During NASCAR Weekend

CHP suggest drivers avoid Highways 37 and 121 unless they're heading to the race track in Sonoma.

Getting around the road course in Sonoma is going to be tough for NASCAR's stars Sunday. Just getting to the track could be even tougher for race fans.

Drivers can expect heavy congestion around Highways 37 and 121 all weekend, especially Sunday for the Toyota/Save Mart 350. The green flag drops at noon for the race.

The annual race draws 100,000 fans to the former Infineon Raceway, now referred to as the raceway at Sonoma.

The California Highway Patrol said the worst traffic in that area is expected between 7 a.m. and noon and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The CHP is advising motorists who aren't heading to the track to find alternate routes or to just stay home.

"The advice I can give is for motorists to anticipate congestion. Additionally, individuals may want to seek alternate routes through the North Bay (such as I-580 to I-80 from US-101) to avoid the SR-37/SR-121 interchange," CHP Officer Eric Hohmeister said. "The time frames that we typically see the heaviest traffic congestion is when crowds are heading to the raceway in the morning, and leaving in the evening. Traffic may still be heavy during the day, but the anticipation should be for very heavy traffic during those aforementioned times. People who are traveling should plan accordingly, leave early/leave late and anticipate delays if you choose to travel on SR-37."

CHP Officer Jake Ramos with the CHP in Napa County said there will be 10-12 CHP patrol vehicles in the area on Saturday and 15-20 on Sunday.

The CHP in Santa Rosa also will be assisting at the raceway, Officer Jon Sloat said.

They will direct traffic and be on the alert for reckless and drunk drivers.

Racing fans also have been known to "spin donuts" in the parking lot, Ramos said.

Those who are attending the race are advised to enter the raceway's Gate 9 on Lakeville Highway, Ramos said.

In addition to the traffic from race attendees, big-rigs transporting race cars and equipment from the race will add to the congestion.

Motorists can take the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to Highway 80.

Motorists heading to Interstate Highway 80 and points east can also avoid the traffic by taking state Highway 12 through Santa Rosa and Sonoma and taking state Highway 12/121 to state Highway 29 south, back onto Highway 12 through Jameson Canyon onto Highway 80. The route is north of the raceway.

Another alternate route is Lakeville Highway to state Highway 116 to state Highway 121 to Napa.

— Bay City News contributed to this report

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