The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series made their tradition 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 count down to the championship nears with just three races left to get into the six race playoff.
In Top Fuel, J.R. Todd and his SealMaster team put together a stellar race day performance to capture his first win of the year and 9th of his career. Todd took down the Great Clips/Parts Plus dragster of Clay Millican with a 3.743 at 326 mph to advance to round two. He then powered past two-time series champion Antron Brown in the Matco tool machine with a great 3.746 at 326 mph. Thus advancing him to the semifinal round to match up with his teammate Doug Kalitta and the Mac tools team. Both the drivers lost traction but Todd was able to the get his car hooked back up and motored to the round win with a 4.122 at 264 mph. In the final Todd took on Richie Crampton and the Lucas Oil team, with Crampton coming into this race perfect in final rounds. Todd ended that streak with a 3.75 at 324 mph to a 3.806 at 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 fractured her pelvis in the incident but was released from the hospital and will start physical therapy as soon as possible to get back out on track.
Force went on to beat teammate Robert Hight in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet SS with a 3.927 at 324 mph. This matched him up against his daughter, Courtney Force, and her Traaxes Chevrolet SS in a rematch from the final round in Denver one week ago. Courtney hoping for a different outcome as she lost to her father last week. She fell short again as her dad put another great run on the board running a 3.933 at 326 mph. Force then squared off against longtime friend and rival Ron Capps and his NAPA Dodge. Force captured the trophy with a solid 3.948 at 324 mph to a 3.960 at 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 their 14th win out of 15 races this season. Greg Anderson picked up his 7th 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, L.E. Tonglet picked up his 10th career victory and first of the year.