Sears Point is located in the middle of freakin' nowhere. The roads leading to the racetrack are seldom traveled, 2-lane blacktops cutting through farmland and swamp. On most days you'll be sharing the road with tractors and bigrigs, but on racedays the roads will be choked with traffic coming from all directions.
Even if you make it to the track in reasonable time, the battle is only half over. Once inside the complex the 2 lane roads narrow to one, and you must snake your way through the hills, to find the parking lots. If you get there late you may have to park up to a mile away - and that's a mile up and down hills. That's to get to turn 7. If you're sitting in the main grandstand then you'll have to walk another half mile.
This wouldn't be so bad if Infineon's shuttle service was reliable. It isn't. Some years they are really on top of it, and some years it's like they just plum forgot.
ARRIVING - figure out how far away you are staying from the track. Multiply the mileage times 60, and then add an hour and a half to park and get to your seats. Add an additional half hour if you're getting there within an hour of the start.
DEPARTING - Infineon wised up in '03 and added the American Grand Prix race immediately after the NASCAR race in an effort to keep some people back and prevent a monumental traffic jam. It's been only partially successful. Again, it's success depends on the shuttle service, which, as I said, is totally unreliable. Plan to hang out for a LONG time after the race - bring food and drink and maybe a game or something. Seriously... don't make any plans for the evening, 'cuz it could take you all evening to get back to the city!
UPDATE!!!! The above was written right after the last 2004 NASCAR race, which was the last one I went to before this year (2008). I am happy to say that Infineon Raceway has gotten the message, and things are MUCH better than they used to be. The shuttle service is vastly improved, and getting to the track seems to be a lot smoother. Now, LEAVING the track is still a pain, but again, not as bad as it used to be. They no longer have the AGP race after the NASCAR race, but they do have a track-walk, where they let everyone walk around on the track and look for colored lug nuts that can be traded for prizes.
Of the 1,600 acres owned byb Infineon, 900 acres are used on race day. Much of this is in parking areas, spread across the grounds, some as far as 2 miles from the track. Even once you are at track side, some food stands, trailers, and restrooms are located quite a ways from your seats. During our day at the track, we probably walked five miles, not too bad until you consider we were carrying coolers and the sun was beating down on us all day.
Though parking is plentiful at Infineon, traffic can be a nightmare. Plan to arrive early and you'll have no problems... we showed up around 10:00am for the 1:00pm start and it only took 30 minutes to check our tickets and get us into a parking lot. Our lot was about a mile from the track and shuttles run fairly often... just remember your lot number AND the color of shuttle you rode so you can find your lot after the race.
Leaving the track is much harder than getting there. After the race ended we knew traffic would be bad, so we stuck around the pits and even did the track walk to waste time. After waiting in line 30 minutes to take the shuttle we finally arrived at our car probably 1.5 hours after the end of the race... it took ANOTHER 2 HOURS to leave the track. For some reason, they kept closing each exit as we approached and rerouting cars to other exits. We ended up circling the entire track once before finally leaving on the opposite side of the track from which we entered. Traffic outside the track was just crazy, especially on Hwy 37 heading east. Consider an alternate route.
Parking is free at Infineon with the purchase of your race tickets!