John Force scored his second consecutive Funny Car victory as J.R. Todd (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in front of a sell-out crowd at Sonoma.
Force secured his 145th career victory in the category when he defeated Ron Capps in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T in a tightly contested race. Force powered his Realtree Peak Antifreeze Camaro to a winning pass of 3.948 seconds at 324.59 mph to Capps’s 3.960 at 320.13.
“We won Denver and that got me motivated,” said Force. “My daughter (Courtney Force) and Robert (Hight) were outrunning me in Denver but we got the win. We knew it was going to be a different animal here. We got down here and I was amazed.”
Capps who raced to his third runner-up finish on the season, along with his category leading four wins, retains his points lead in Funny Car. Capps, along with Courtney Force of John Force Racing who is second in the points, become the first two Funny Car competitors to earn berths in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
Todd piloted his SealMaster Top Fuel dragster to his first win in nearly a year when his 3.745sec run at 324.83mph defeated Richie Crampton’s 3.806 at 313.07. It earned Todd his ninth career Top Fuel victory and his first since Seattle last year.
He said: “It has been a long time coming for these SealMaster boys. We’ve been to a few finals and haven’t been able to close the deal. I had all the faith and confidence in Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn and they made the right calls all day.”
Steve Torrence, the No. 1 qualifier who raced to a semifinal appearance and Brittany Force who has two wins on the season also gained entry in the Countdown to the Championship on Sunday.
Anderson continued his dominance in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro when he defeated his KB Racing teammate Bo Butner for his seventh win of the season. Anderson, who notched his 85th win, raced to victory with a pass of 6.580 at 210.54.
The win ties Anderson with Bob Glidden as the second-most successful Pro Stock racer in history behind Warren Johnson who has 97 victories. This is the fifth career win at Sonoma for Anderson and he is the Pro Stock points leader.
“This track has been magical to KB Racing, not just to me but Jason Line too,” said Anderson. “It is a great racetrack, great weather conditions, and full grandstands. You don’t get any better than that. It cranks us up and gives us a lot of energy.”
Butner retains his third place position in the points and joins Anderson and Jason Line as the first three racers in Pro Stock to lock in a position in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYLE
Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Tonglet scored his first win since 2011, defeating Andrew Hines in the final. Tonglet, who was 2010 Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion, had the winning run of 6.813 at 196.73, and had to beat Katie Sullivan, Hector Arana, Eddie Krawiec as well as Hines to secure the win.
“It has been five years since we have won and to bring home the Wally after beating Andrew and Eddie back to back is just huge for our team,” said Tonglet. “We just come out here to have fun and it wasn’t getting fun. We had to change some things up, and it is just great.”
Final finish order at the 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
TOP FUEL: 1. J.R. Todd; 2. Richie Crampton; 3. Steve Torrence; 4. Doug Kalitta; 5. Brittany Force; 6. Antron Brown; 7. Tony Schumacher; 8. Scott Palmer; 9. Leah Pritchett; 10. T.J. Zizzo; 11. Terry McMillen; 12. Terry Haddock; 13. Shawn Langdon; 14. Bill Litton; 15. Clay Millican; 16. Troy Buff.
Final: J.R. Todd, 3.745 seconds, 324.83 mph def. Richie Crampton, 3.806 seconds, 313.07 mph.
FUNNY CAR: 1. John Force; 2. Ron Capps; 3. Del Worsham; 4. Courtney Force; 5. Chad Head; 6. Robert Hight; 7. Matt Hagan; 8. Jack Beckman; 9. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 10. Cruz Pedregon; 11. Tim Wilkerson; 12. John Hale; 13. Tim Gibbons; 14. Gary Densham; 15. Jeff Diehl; 16. Alexis DeJoria.
Funny Car -- John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.948, 324.59 def. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.960, 320.13.
PRO STOCK: 1. Greg Anderson; 2. Bo Butner; 3. Matt Hartford; 4. Shane Gray; 5. Drew Skillman; 6. Vincent Nobile; 7. Allen Johnson; 8. Chris McGaha; 9. Jason Line; 10. Jeg Coughlin; 11. Deric Kramer; 12. Alex Laughlin; 13. Aaron Strong; 14. Joey Grose; 15. Erica Enders; 16. Alan Prusiensky.
Pro Stock -- Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.580, 210.54 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.622, 210.70.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. LE Tonglet; 2. Andrew Hines; 3. Eddie Krawiec; 4. Hector Arana Jr; 5. Matt Smith; 6. Hector Arana; 7. Angelle Sampey; 8. Jerry Savoie; 9. Chip Ellis; 10. Jim Underdahl; 11. Steve Johnson; 12. Karen Stoffer; 13. Freddie Camarena; 14. Angie Smith; 15. Katie Sullivan; 16. Michael Ray.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.813, 196.73 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.864, 194.52.
Point standings after 15 of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -
Top Fuel: 1. Antron Brown, 1,204; 2. Doug Kalitta, 1,167; 3. Steve Torrence, 1,072; 4. Brittany Force, 1,008; 5. Tony Schumacher, 971; 6. J.R. Todd, 897; 7. Shawn Langdon, 836; 8. Richie Crampton, 754; 9. Clay Millican, 715; 10. Leah Pritchett, 586.
Funny Car: 1. Ron Capps, 1,214; 2. Courtney Force, 1,084; 3. Jack Beckman, 1,031; 4. Del Worsham, 960; 5. John Force, 937; 6. (tie) Matt Hagan, 936; Robert Hight, 936; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., 888; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 827; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 765.
Pro Stock: 1. Greg Anderson, 1,587; 2. Jason Line, 1,583; 3. Bo Butner, 1,065; 4. Allen Johnson, 939; 5. Vincent Nobile, 811; 6. Drew Skillman, 805; 7. Shane Gray, 737; 8. Chris McGaha, 718; 9. Jeg Coughlin, 644; 10. Alex Laughlin, 627.
Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1. Eddie Krawiec, 824; 2. Andrew Hines, 735; 3. Angelle Sampey, 595; 4. Jerry Savoie, 556; 5. LE Tonglet, 484; 6. Hector Arana, 427; 7. Chip Ellis, 422; 8. Matt Smith, 344; 9. Hector Arana Jr, 305; 10. Steve Johnson, 300.
Torrence, Worsham, Butner and Krawiec race to qualifying leads at Sonoma Nationals
Force aims to extend his own record in the West