Sonoma Raceway on Track for Overhaul

Cherishing a bright orange 1965 Mustang GT and a constant love of fast cars, Bay Cities Paving & Grading Vice President of Estimating, Robert Rosas, is gearing up for his dream job.

He’s preparing to reconstruct and repave Sonoma Raceway.

The track, like the 10 other Speedway Motor Sports facilities across the nation, begins to wear out after about two decades. It was last resurfaced in 2001, so “it was time,” according to Steve Swift, senior vice president of operations and development, Speedway Motorsports.

When the Concord excavation company finishes replacing about 10,000 tons of a paving material mix by February, the raceway will host a ceremony to commemorate the smooth-as-skin, $1 million-plus surface.

“I’m super excited to be a part of this. When we announced that we got the job, everybody’s eyes lit up,” Rosas said of his 75 fellow employees. “They all said, ‘Robert’s in heaven.’”

As a boy, the walls of his room were littered with posters of Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches.

“Then, I bought a Porsche 911, during a midlife crisis,” he joked about his continuous passion entering adulthood.

The ads will say: “love is a Subaru.” But to true racing enthusiasts, it’s just about anything that competitively peels rubber around the standard 2.5-mile racecourse.

Rosas and company are creating a special mix of asphalt and a rubberized polymer material, which essentially consists of plastics that will withstand the raceway rigors of heavy traffic and high temperatures.

The mix is expected to be delivered by Jan. 5.

“When we show up, it will be like the Army,” he said.

The Raceway’s final event, Winter Jam, is scheduled for Dec. 16 and 17. Then, the “milling” — which involves grinding up the old track — begins. When the job is done — including the track, pit area and runoff zone — the track will be ready for the renowned Toyota / Save Mart 350 NASCAR race weekend scheduled for June 7-9.

“Our racing surface is in use more than 300 days per year,” said Brian Flynn, Sonoma Raceway’s executive vice president and general manager.

Sonoma Raceway’s 12-turn road course and quarter-mile drag strip located at Sears Point was built in 1968. It completed the upgrade to its hospitality center overlooking Turn 11 in June of 2022.