You've gotta appreciate when something so absurd happens that fate itself seems to satirize the situation. Behold the-Raceway-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. Infineon Technologies' sponsorship of the track expired last week, leaving the venue that used to be called Sears Point temporarily nameless.
An unusual media advisory from the raceway explains they are no longer "Infineon Raceway," and instead suggests using "references to our location in Sonoma (e.g., 'the raceway in Sonoma')." However, the advisory forewarns in capital letters that the-Raceway-That-Must-Not-Be-Named has NOT been renamed "Sonoma Raceway."
"We realize this will be awkward at times, but hope you understand the circumstances," explains the press release.
Oh, we understand the circumstances. The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts helped keep its doors open through the recession by selling its naming rights, abandoning the name of the local botanist who helped stop the Irish potato famine. I can only hope that our tolerance for invasive market solutions has limits: as bad as budget cuts are, woe be unto the indignity of "Target's SRJC" or "Verizon Beach at Goat Rock."
While we wait for the new name, enjoy the stinging irony of NASCAR's Toyota/Save Mart 350 running Friday, June 22, through Sunday, June 24, at the, uh, raceway that's kinda near Sonoma. 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. $25–$130. Full schedule and info at www.racesonoma.com.