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Force Wins Sonoma; Eyes A Sweep Of The Western Swing

| , RacinToday.com Monday, August 1 2016
John Force held Ron Capps to win the Funny Car portion of Sunday's NHRA event in Sonoma, Calif.

John Force held Ron Capps to win the Funny Car portion of Sunday’s NHRA event in Sonoma, Calif.

John Force raced to his second consecutive Funny Car win of the year on Sunday and he did it in front of a sold-out crowd at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

The victory gives Force a shot at sweeping the prestigious three-race Western Swing, which concludes with the coming weekend’s event near Seattle.

J.R. Todd (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were winners of the 15th NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event of the season in Sonoma, Calif.

Force secured his 145th career victory in the category when he defeated Ron Capps in his Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger R/T in a tightly contested race. Force powered his JFR Camaro to a winning pass of 3.948 seconds at 324.59 mph to the losing run of Capps at 3.960 at 320.13.

“We won Denver and that got me motivated,” said Force. “My daughter (Courtney Force) and Robert (Hight, his other teammate) 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.”

In 1994, Force became the only Funny Car in NHRA history to sweep the Western Swing. He said he would love to have a Sunday in Seattle like the one he had in Sonoma.

“I sat out there and looked up at the stands and I wasn’t thinking that I wanted to win here for myself and for Eric Medlen, I was thinking, ‘Wow, look at that house packed’.   It just does something mentally to you that gives you heart,” Force said.

Of The Swing sweep, he added, “I am going to do like last time. I’m not even going to think about it.”

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 Top Fuel dragster to his first win in nearly a year when he defeated Richie Crampton in the final. His winning run of 3.745 at 324.83 to the losing effort of Crampton at 3.806 at 313.07 earned Todd his ninth career Top Fuel victory. This was the first win for Todd since he defeated Shawn Langdon in Seattle last season.

“It has been a long time coming for these SealMaster boys,” said Todd. “We have 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.

In Pro Stock, Anderson continued his dominating season in his Ken Black Racing 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 to the trailing run of 6.622 at 210.70 by Butner.

The win ties Anderson with Bob Glidden as the second winningest Pro Stock racer in history behind Warren Johnson with 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. “This place is special to me and magical. It is everything a Pro Stock racer wants. 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 Motorcycle racer Tonglet won his first race since the Brainerd event in 2011, defeated Andrew Hines in the final. Tonglet, who is the 2010 Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion, had the winning run of 6.813 at 196.73 to the losing run of 6.864 at 194.52. Tonglet faced Katie Sullivan, Hector Arana, Eddie Krawiec and 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 somethings up and started getting round wins and it is just great.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing will resume Aug. 5-7 with the Protect the Harvest NHRA Northwest Nationals, in Seattle.

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SONOMA, Calif. — Final finish order (1-16) at the 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.  The race is the 15th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

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.

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.

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 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.

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Sunday’s final results from the 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway. The race is the 15th of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — J.R. Todd, 3.745 seconds, 324.83 mph  def. Richie Crampton, 3.806 seconds, 313.07 mph.

Funny Car — John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.948, 324.59  def. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.960, 320.13.

Pro Stock — Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.580, 210.54  def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.622, 210.70.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.813, 196.73  def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.864, 194.52.

Super Stock — Justin Lamb, Chevy Cobalt, 8.654, 141.47  def. Jimmy DeFrank, Cobalt, Foul – Red Light.

Stock Eliminator — Jim Durham, Plymouth Duster, 10.710, 122.57  def. Leo Glasbrenner, Pontiac Firebird, 10.605, 122.74.

Super Comp — Val Torres, Dragster, 8.915, 179.66  def. Michael Lane, Dragster, 8.951, 179.59.

Super Gas — Steve Williams, Chevy Corvette, 9.914, 164.15  def. Ron Kelly Jr., Chevy Nova, 9.948, 140.62.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com — Steve Casner, Dragster, 6.997, 192.69  def. Peter Biondo, Dragster, Foul – Red Light.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com — Don Meziere, Chevy Cobalt, 6.943, 192.69  def. Ed Olpin, Chevy Camaro, 6.983, 196.36.

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Final round-by-round results from the 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, the 15th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Tony Schumacher, 3.731, 324.59 def. Leah Pritchett, 3.781, 315.19; J.R. Todd, 3.743, 326.95 def. Clay Millican, 6.972, 82.18; Richie Crampton, 3.745, 327.74 def. Troy Buff, Broke; Steve Torrence, 3.746, 325.92 def. Terry Haddock, 3.921, 306.81; Antron Brown, 3.715, 324.59 def. Terry McMillen, 3.819, 315.34; Doug Kalitta, 4.098, 255.48 def. Bill Litton, 5.214, 122.60; Scott Palmer, 3.947, 308.43 def. Shawn Langdon, 5.176, 144.78; Brittany Force, 3.763, 325.45 def. T.J. Zizzo, 3.792, 322.34;

QUARTERFINALS — Kalitta, 3.782, 326.95 def. Force, 3.743, 325.30; Crampton, 3.799, 324.05 def. Palmer, 9.831, 86.50; Torrence, 4.611, 229.94 def. Schumacher, 5.104, 163.08; Todd, 3.746, 326.48 def. Brown, 4.854, 156.81;

SEMIFINALS — Crampton, 3.790, 320.74 def. Torrence, 3.987, 279.27; Todd, 4.122, 264.96 def. Kalitta, 4.513, 231.52;

FINAL — Todd, 3.745, 324.83 def. Crampton, 3.806, 313.07.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.942, 319.45 def. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.112, 285.05; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.909, 328.70 def. John Hale, Charger, 4.456, 199.35; Del Worsham, Camry, 4.950, 153.86 def. Tim Gibbons, Chevy Impala, Foul – Red Light; Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.915, 322.42 def. Gary Densham, Ford Mustang, 8.045, 108.43; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.909, 326.32 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 10.685, 80.30; John Force, Camaro, 3.936, 326.24 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, Foul – Outer Boundary; Chad Head, Camry, 4.011, 325.14 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.221, 249.90; Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.921, 323.27 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.988, 296.76;

QUARTERFINALS — C. Force, 3.930, 322.42 def. Head, 3.938, 328.22; Capps, 3.961, 322.96 def. Hagan, 5.229, 203.40; J. Force, 3.927, 324.36 def. Hight, 3.939, 317.64; Worsham, 3.958, 322.04 def. Beckman, 7.608, 86.88;

SEMIFINALS — Capps, 3.938, 324.51 def. Worsham, 3.977, 320.97; J. Force, 3.933, 326.56 def. C. Force, 4.073, 314.97;

FINAL — J. Force, 3.948, 324.59 def. Capps, 3.960, 320.13.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.606, 209.46 def. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.593, 210.70; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.571, 210.93 def. Erica Enders, Dodge Dart, Broke; Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.587, 209.72 def. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.633, 208.71; Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.587, 209.88 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.613, 211.03; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.583, 210.08 def. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.611, 208.91; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.567, 211.10 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, Broke; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.556, 211.23 def. Joey Grose, Camaro, 6.740, 205.32; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.593, 209.88 def. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.603, 209.39;

QUARTERFINALS — Hartford, 15.796, 71.72 def. McGaha, Foul – Centerline; Gray, 6.609, 210.44 def. Johnson, 13.925, 88.88; Anderson, 6.571, 210.64 def. Nobile, 6.616, 210.57; Butner, 6.609, 210.64 def. Skillman, 6.610, 210.50;

SEMIFINALS — Butner, 6.625, 210.44 def. Hartford, 6.635, 209.49; Anderson, 6.620, 210.01 def. Gray, 6.651, 210.24;

FINAL — Anderson, 6.580, 210.54 def. Butner, 6.622, 210.70.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.813, 196.39 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.879, 195.53; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.804, 197.48 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.873, 196.67; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.820, 197.42 def. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.802, 198.12; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.795, 197.80 def. Katie Sullivan, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.730, 199.76 def. Angie Smith, 6.953, 191.13; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.787, 198.67 def. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 6.891, 197.02; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.747, 199.17 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.864, 196.10; Matt Smith, 6.817, 197.74 def. Michael Ray, Buell, Broke – No Show;

QUARTERFINALS — Tonglet, 6.793, 197.13 def. Arana, 6.838, 196.76; Hines, 6.801, 196.64 def. M. Smith, 6.837, 196.64; Krawiec, 6.784, 196.04 def. Savoie, Broke; Arana Jr, 6.827, 196.73 def. Sampey, 10.865, 73.78;

SEMIFINALS — Hines, 6.831, 195.45 def. Arana Jr, Foul – Red Light; Tonglet, 6.812, 196.42 def. Krawiec, 6.831, 195.14;

FINAL — Tonglet, 6.813, 196.73 def. Hines, 6.864, 194.52.

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Point standings (top 10) following the 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, the 15th 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.
| , RacinToday.com Monday, August 1 2016
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