NASCAR & Auto Racing

Why several 18-wheelers will be in Sacramento and where to see (or drive around) them

NASCAR parade rolls through Sacramento

Nearly 40 NASCAR stock cars were hauled down Capitol Mall to celebrate Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Sacramento Police closed N, 16th and L streets and escorted the procession, and Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama) presented an off
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Nearly 40 NASCAR stock cars were hauled down Capitol Mall to celebrate Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Sacramento Police closed N, 16th and L streets and escorted the procession, and Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama) presented an off

If you see a large line of big trucks slowly making their way around downtown Sacramento this week, don't be alarmed. They're just carrying much faster vehicles to their weekend destination.

The area around the Capitol on Thursday will once again host the NASCAR Hauler Parade, which features 18-wheelers transporting race cars to Sonoma Raceway for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350, an annual race on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Among the drivers expected to compete are Kyle Larson, the Elk Grove native who was last year's pole sitter; Kevin Harvick, the 2017 race winner; Martin Truex Jr., the defending Cup Series champion; and Kyle Busch, who leads the circuit this season.

This year's event, the eighth annual, takes place at noon and is highlighted by a route is similar to last year. Led by Grand Marshal Michael Rooker — known for roles in "Days of Thunder" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" among his 119 acting credits — the parade begins as trucks cross the Tower Bridge and head east on Capitol Mall before turning right on Third Street, followed by consecutive lefts on N, 16th and L streets before making their way to Interstate 80 en route to Sonoma.

While the trucks can be seen anywhere along the route, the "heart of the action" is at 11th and L streets, according to a release. Fans can view a display, be eligible for giveaways and meet the Raceway Girls. Also, State Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, will present an official State Senate Proclamation to name Thursday “NASCAR Day" in Sacramento.

Before the parade, fans can meet Rooker, the Raceway Girls and more at 49er Travel Plaza, on El Centro Road near West El Camino Avenue and I-80, from 7-8 a.m.

For more information on the race and more, visit Sonoma Raceway's website.

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