The heart of Northern California’s wine country will come to life with 10,000-horsepower nitro-burning machines at the 30th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 28-30, at Sonoma Raceway.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series boasts dragsters that cover the drag strip in less than four seconds at over 320 mph; the Sonoma race weekend will feature competition in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. The 15th of 24 events for the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season is also the second stop of the famed NHRA Western Swing, a three-race jaunt in the Western United States.
The track hosted historic victories in 2016, including John Force’s 145th Funny Car career win and eighth win in wine country, J.R. Todd’s first Top Fuel win in Sonoma since 2006 and Greg Anderson’s 85th Pro Stock victory. LE Tonglet won his second Pro Stock Motorcycle event in Sonoma. In addition, four track records were set in 2015, including Matt Hagan’s 330.15 mph Funny Car pass.
Top Fuel driver Steve Torrence currently leads the point standings with four victories so far this season. He’s had the best season of his career to date and will look to keep that going against a field of top-notch competitors, including four-time Sonoma winner Antron Brown, who has won back-to-back world championships, Doug Kalitta, whose five Sonoma wins leads Top Fuel, eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher and three-time 2017 winner Leah Pritchett.
Funny Car points leader Ron Capps captured his first NHRA world title in 2016 and has continued that dominance with five victories so far in 2017. Capps, a four-time Sonoma winner, will hope to build on that lead against the likes of Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman, who has two wins in the past three races, Courtney Force and Todd, the defending Top Fuel event winner who moved to Funny Car this season.
The Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle will take center stage on Saturday, as eight of the top riders in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class face off in an exciting race-within-a-race. Andrew Hines is defending Pro Bike Battle winner and also won the inaugural battle in 2014.
The Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals will feature two rounds of qualifying at 4:15 and 7 p.m. on Friday, July 28, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, July 29, at 1:10 and 4:20 p.m. Fans will also enjoy the return of the spectacular Muy Caliente Racing jet dragsters following nitro qualifying on Friday and Saturday. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 30.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 800-870-7223 or visit sonomaraceway.com. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA, visit NHRA.com.