The Bay Area may be diverse, but it has nothing on the cornucopia of characters who attend a day at the raceway. Everyone from the Porsche club president to Jethro’s cousin Cletus can find a place to call home when NASCAR comes to town.

Kidding aside, having the world’s best drivers showcase their stuff at Infineon Raceway up in Sonoma for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday should be a treat for gearheads. Not only will big names be driving fast, they’ll also have to do more than drop a left turn signal. The curves and undulations at Infineon make the track one of the more tricky to navigate, and oftentimes results in the best driver taking the checkered flag, rather than the guy with the swiftest pep boys.

Jimmie Johnson won last year’s event—not much of a surprise since he’s handed a trophy pretty much every time he fills the tank—but he’ll have stiff competition in five-time winner Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and a number of other billboards masquerading as race cars.

Saturday will feature the Thunder Valley Casino Resort 200 NASCAR K & N Pro Series West (try saying that three times fast), while the entire weekend is being dedicated to race legend Bobby Allison. On top of being famous for winning more races than only a couple of other guys, Allison’s celebrated rsum also includes a horrific crash at Talladega in 1987 that people still talk about—his car flew like an arrow at 200 mph and took out more than 100 feet of guard rail fence&—as well as the first nationally televised brawl in 1979 with Cale Yarborough in the Daytona 500 infield.

Kings of the Single-A Sandlot
There isn’t a better example to show how dominant the San Jose Giants have been this season then to look at recent results for the second-place Stockton Ports.

The Ports are on an eight-game winning streak entering a four-game series with the Giants that begins at 7pm Thursday. Despite going undefeated since the beginning of June, the Ports are still 12 1/2 games back of Los Gigantes (50-19), who recently had five players named to Tuesday’s All-Star game in Modesto.

(Not to keep beating up on the Central Valley, but is it really a reward to go play an All-Star game where its 105 degrees and the best-looking women in town work at Applebees?) To keep fans cool, each game of the series, which wraps up Sunday, will have first pitch being thrown out in the early evening.