Saying goodbye to Sonoma

Here we are again, at the end of another IndyCar season. Hard to believe the championship-deciding weekend is already upon us. As I sit here at the same desk I’ve sat at for the past 3 seasons, I can’t help but take in every moment and soak up that California sun shining in thru the window in front of me. After Sunday, there’s no telling when or if the series will return to wine country. This is the last year that the Verizon IndyCar Series is scheduled to race at Sonoma Raceway. The 2.385-mile road course has served as the season finale event since 2015 and has been on the schedule consistently since 2005.

Personally, I will miss this event. I will miss coming here for IndyCar. But the fact is, thanks to this event I have fallen in love with an area of the country that I may not have visited otherwise. I’ve stayed at the same Airbnb cottage just 8 minutes down the road from the track every season, I’ve had a meal at Mary’s Pizza Shack on Sonoma’s town square every trip, and I’ve ventured to Bodega Bay and Occidental via Bohemian Highway the day after the race every year. I intend to continue those traditions annually, but it will be later in the fall each year and without the company of race cars.

Honestly, over the past five seasons of covering IndyCar, that’s one of the coolest unexpected perks – experiencing new areas of the country you normally wouldn’t travel to, finding niche-y little places that stay in your heart forever, and discovering places and people you fall in love with, without really having the intention to do so. That’s all in addition to race cars zooming around tracks that have been indelibly etched into the hills, the streets, and ours minds. Does life get much better than this? I don’t know, but every time I ask that, I tend to end up surprised that yes, it does. Continually. So here’s to another amazing season coming to a conclusion, because that just means a new one is on the horizon…

But before that new season rises, we have to close this one out… let’s start this finale weekend by taking a look back at the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. I’ve recapped all the memories (good and bad) and results in a three-part series that will be released over the next few hours – stay tuned to Live Full Throttle and the social media accounts below to check them all out! I genuinely appreciate the continued support.

Click here to read Looking back at IndyCar 2018, Part I: St. Pete to the Indianapolis 500

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Photo credit: Chris Owens, IndyCar