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Sonoma Viewer's Guide
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|Speed Mail Steve|
Pit PerspectiveHaving a bad pit stop is almost like driving off of the racetrack. If you get off track, you lose so much track position, and it's tough to make your way back to the front. Robby Gordon is an accomplished road racer, but a couple of years ago, the team dropped a tire on the air hose, and their day unraveled. Sonoma is the kind of racetrack where you don't have to be spectacular, you just have to be good. If you're battling to make the Chase for the Nextel Cup, you've got to keep the car on the track, you've got to have solid not spectacular pit stops so you don't lose track position. A good day can go down the drain quickly by having either a mistake on the racetrack or a mistake on pit road.
Finish LineIf you're road-race specialists Ron Fellows, Marc Goossens, Butch Leitzinger, P.J. Jones, Boris Said or one of the road-race specialists, you can gamble. Terry Labonte almost won on fuel strategy last year in the No. 96 car, coasting to a 3rd-place finish. It was great gamble. The road ringers are racing for wins, not points, and it could change the complexion of the race. If you're Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards, and you want to stay in the Chase, your day is different. Your day is let's not beat ourselves and lets not have a disaster. From that standpoint, you could see something really different.
NASCAR on FOX and SPEED host and reporter Steve Byrnes has covered racing for more than 20 years.