Quantcast

Dragsters take over Sonoma Raceway this weekend

A FUNNY CAR driver stands beside his car waiting for his race at last year’s event. David Bolling/Index-Tribune

A FUNNY CAR driver stands beside his car waiting for his race at last year’s event. David Bolling/Index-Tribune

By

It’s going to be a hot weekend in the Valley, not only weather-wise, but with plenty of motorsports action on Sonoma Raceway’s world-class quarter-mile drag strip.

The National Hot Rod Association’s 27th annual Sonoma Nationals begins today at the Valley raceway, where four race categories of competition, including Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, will run through tomorrow, Saturday, July 26, and conclude Sunday, July 27.

Adding to this year’s drag-racing thrills will be more intra-family battles and a talented woman driver rapidly rising up the ranks in Funny Cars.

Along with popular names such as Force and Pedregon going head-to- head on the drag strip, some of the new families making 2014 history in Pro Stock Motorcycle are the husband-and-wife duo Matt and Angie Smith and the Arana family.

For the first time in NHRA history, a husband and wife recently met in the final round, with Angie Smith posting her first NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle win over her husband, Matt, the defending PSM Champion.

Shortly after the Smith family duel, another significant milestone occurred with the first father-son final in Pro Stock Motorcycle history.

Father Hector Arana Sr. met son Hector Arana Jr. in a final round showdown, with the son beating his father to the finish line.

Both Arana Jr. and Matt Smith have earned wins in Sonoma, and with 11 different Pro Stock Motorcycle winners in 12 Sonoma events, there should be plenty of drama and excitement on tap.

Rising to the upper echelon of the Funny Car contingent with her hot start to 2014, Alexis DeJoria has driven her Patron XO Cafe Toyota Camry to a pair of wins this year in Phoenix and Las Vegas, and she also posted her first career No. 1 qualifying position in Atlanta.

DeJoria, who is the wife of noted television personality Jesse James and the daughter of famed entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria, is currently fifth in the standings, and she is seeking her first Sonoma win.

The race weekend will also feature the all-new MiraMonte Records NHRA Pro Bike Battle, which will be hosted as a race-within-a-race on Saturday, and feature a total purse of $68,000, with television coverage provided by ESPN2.

Off the track, the weekend will also feature the fifth annual Nostalgia Get-Together, with a collection of more than 70 vintage dragsters, hot rods and more, as well as the fourth annual Blast on the Grass car show.

For more NHRA Sonoma Nationals information, including the weekend schedule, ticket prices, times and special offers, check out today’s I-T sports section.