The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series made its traditional trip to wine country in Sonoma for the 29th annual Toyota Sonoma Nationals. This is the second of three races of the NHRA’s Western swing, and all the teams are feeling the pressure as the countdown to the championship nears with just three races left to get into the six race playoff.
In Top Fuel, JR Todd and his SealMaster team put together a stellar race day performance to capture his first win of the year and ninth of his career. Todd took down the Great Clips/Parts Plus dragster of Clay Millican with a 3.743 @ 326 mph to advance to round two. He would then power past two-time series champion Antron Brown in the Matco Tools machine with a great 3.746 @ 326 mph, thus advancing him to the semifinal round to match up with his teammate Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team. Both drivers lost traction but Todd was able to get his car hooked back up and motored to the round win with a 4.122 @ 264 mph. In the final, Todd would take on Richie Crampton and the Lucas Oil team, Crampton coming into this race was perfect in final rounds. Todd ended that streak with a 3.75 @ 324 mph to a 3.806 @ 313 mph.
In the Funny Car round one John Force squared off against Alexis Dejoria and the Tequila Patron Toyota. Force picked up the win but all eyes were on Dejoria as her Toyota lost traction and turned sideways, slamming hard into the retaining wall. Dejoria climbed from her wounded race car but was later taken by ambulance to a local hospital and treated for back pain. Dejoria suffered a fractured pelvis in the incident but was released from the hospital and will start physical therapy as soon as possible to get back out on the track.
Force went on to beat teammate Robert Hight in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet SS with a 3.927 @ 324 mph. This would then match him up against his daughter Courtney Force and her Traaxas Chevrolet SS in a rematch from the final round in Denver one week ago. Courtney was hoping for a different outcome as she lost to her father last week. She would fall short as her dad put another great run on the board running a 3.933 @ 326 mph. Force would then square off against longtime friend and rival Ron Capps and his NAPA Dodge. Force would capture the trophy with a solid 3.948 @ 324 mph to a 3.960 @ 320 mph. This is his 145th career victory and seventh here at Sonoma. The win comes on the 10th anniversary since Force’s teammate the late Eric Medlen won this race.
In Pro Stock, KB Racing captured its 14th win out of 15 races this season. Greg Anderson picked up his seventh win of the year and 85th of his career tying him with Hall Of Fame Pro Stock racer and 10-time series champion Bob Glidden.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, LE Tonglet picked up his 10th career victory and first of the year.