The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series made the short trip south from Sonoma to Pomona, California. The trek was made for the running of the Winternationals in August, with the original event postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hot temperatures for the weekend made for some tricky conditions for the race teams.
In Top Fuel, Leah Pruett scored the victory running on a tough bumpy racetrack. The weather played a huge factor as the temperature was 95-plus degrees and that made the racing surface temperature over 140 degrees. In round one she took on part time racer Steve Chrisman. Pruett made short work of Chrisman running a 3.906 @ 311 mph to a tire smoking 4.312 @ 210 mph. The win over Chrisman gave her a solo run into the semifinal round where she would square off against Mike Salinas. Falling victim to the hot temperature and losing traction, all Salinas could do was watch as Pruett posted a 3.927@ 311 mph on the scoreboard. In the final round Pruett was set to take on rookie standout Justin Ashley. As both teams prepared to start their 10,000 horsepower engines, Ashley was helped from his dragster and was attended to by on track medial staff as he was suffering from severe dehydration. Ashley was unable to make the run but was making good progress as the medical staff took him back to his pit area. Pruett made the solo pass to earn the victory. Much like her fiancé, Tony Stewart, all her concerns were for the young rookie to make sure he was doing okay.
In Funny Car, it was the Napa Dodge driven by the 2016 Champion Ron Capps who was able to master the tricky track. In the opening round he took down rookie Bobby Bode with a solid 4.02 @ 309 mph. Round two he took on current points leader Bob Tasca. As Tasca’s Mustang began to lose traction he was on and off and back on the throttle again but Capps was not having trouble slithering down the track with a 4.151 @ 296 mph. In the semifinal round Capps took down the 16-time champion John Force. Much like Tasca earlier, Force started to lose traction shortly after half track. Capps was able to put another 4.158 @ 300 mph on the scoreboard. In the final round Capps took on the 2018 champ JR Todd. It was a similar story, as Todd fell victim to the same loss of traction that plagued Capps’ previous two opponents and could only watch as Capps put another 4.151 @ 297 mph on the scoreboard to capture the event win.
In Pro Stock Aaron Stanfield picked up the event trophy, while putting some of the sports’ best on the trailer. Round one he put Kenny Delco, 30 year plus veteran, on the trailer with a 6.637 @ 205 mph. In round two Matt Hartford fell to Stanfield’s 6.673 @ 205 mph run. His semifinal round opponent was three-time champion Erica Enders. She ran a solid 6.686 @ 206 mph but that was not enough as Stanfield ran a 6.684 @ 204 mph to advance to the final round. In the finals, he would take on another champion; this time it was Greg Anderson. Again, though solid, Anderson’s 6.60 @ 207 mph was not enough to catch Stanfield’s 6.652 @ 207 mph.
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s final round saw a battle of three-time champions in Matt Smith and Angelle Sampy. Picking up the win, Smith posted a 6.82 @ 199mph to Sampy’s 6.911 @ 173 mph.
Next stop for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series is Topeka, Kansas from Aug. 13 through 15.