Motorsports Recap And Behind The Scenes Access

Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Race Report

Top Fuel
Steve Torrence, driver of the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster, won his sixth event of the 2017 season, at the NHRA Toyota Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma California at Sonoma Raceway. Torrence started race day from the number 6 qualifying position. In round one, Torrence faced off with Troy Coughlin Jr. where Torrence recorded a pass of 3.750 elapsed time to Troy Coughlin Jr.’s losing 4.401 elapsed time. The second round of eliminations Torrence faced Doug Kalitta, Torrance easily took the win with a 3.76 elapsed time at 327.90 MPH Doug Kalitta smoke the tires early in his run recording a 7.03 elapsed time at 106.28 MPH. In the semi-finals Torrence was paired up against Brittany Force, driver of the Monster Energy Drink Top Fuel dragster. Torrence took the win at 3.75 E.T. 329.02 MPH to Brittany Force slowing 3.88 E.T. at 315.27 MPH. In the final round Torrence faced a familiar opponent, defending series champion and previous event winner Antron Brown, driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster. Torrance got the slight edge off the starting line and won the race with a 3.78 E.T. @ 329.42 MPH to Brown 3.97 E.T. @ 281.83 MPH. Torrance extended his points lead to 75 points over Series defending champion, Antron Brown. With six victories this year Torrance is living the dream. “It’s basically been just a dream season,” said Torrence. “At the end of the day it’s just a testament to my guys.”

Funny Car
J.R. Todd, driver to DHL funny car, captured his first win of the season and third overall at Sonoma Raceway at the NHRA Toyota Sonoma Nationals. Todd started the day from the number 10 qualifying position, the first round of eliminations he faced his teammate, Alexis Dejoria. Todd defeated Dejoria on a holeshot recording a 3.953 E.T. @ 326.08 MPH to a quicker 3.950 E.T. @ 309.84 MPH for Dejoria. In the second round of eliminations, Todd lined up against 16-time Mello Yello funny car champion John Force. In a close race Todd beat Force to the finish line with a 3.97 E.T. @ 324.90 MPH to a close 4.03 E.T. @ 323.50 MPH for Force. In the semifinals Todd faced the 2012 Mello Yello Funny Car champion Jack Beckman. At the start of the race Todd smoke the tires instantly, unfortunately Beckman’s car experience problems at half track and shut off. Beckman could only coast and watch as Todd was able to drive past him for the win with a 5.7 4E.T. @ 283.73 MPH to Beckman’s 5.92 E.T. @ 118.43MPH. The final round Todd faced off against Tim Wilkerson. Todd easily defeated Wilkerson in the finals, after Wilkinson smoke the tires shortly after the start of the race, Todd recorded a 4.04 E.T. @ 323.2 7MPH to defeat Wilkerson’s losing 6.28 E.T. @ 100.26 MPH. Despite struggling All Season Todd was optimistic coming into Sonoma. “Our car showed us a lot of Promise in Denver, which gave us hope coming into [Sonoma].” Todd continued, “we’ve been struggling so bad this season I’m just happy to win in a Funny Car.”

Pro Stock
Tanner Gray, driver of the Gray Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, took home the victory in Pro Stock. Gray started his day from the number 5 qualifying position. In round one Gray was matched up against Alan Prusiensky. Gray recorded a 6.55 E.T.  @ 211.99 MPH defeating Prusiensky 6.70 E.T. @ 208.07 MPH. The second round of eliminations Gray face Jason Line, driver of the Summit Chevrolet Camaro. Gray got the starting line advantage and won the race 6.57 E.T. @ 211.76 MPH to Line’s close but losing 6.60 E.T. @ 210.80 MPH. In the semi-finals, Gray squared off against his team-mate Drew Skillman. Skillman had the starting line advantage, but had problems shortly after and Gray took the win running 6.58 E.T. @ 210.21 MPH. Skillman crossed the finish line at 14.73 E.T. @57.18 MPH. In the final round, Gray defeated Bo Butner in one of the closest races of the day. Gray recorded a 6.572 E.T. to a close but losing 6.577 E.T. for Butner. Gray gives credit to his team and their hard work for the success on Sunday, but his ultimate goal is winning the championship. “This is the best I’ve seen them run the car,” said Gray. “We’ve got to go back and keep working though.” Gray continued,”if I can go into the countdown in the top three, then you have a legitimate chance at winning the championship. That’s what my focus is now.”

Pro Stock Motorcycle
LE Tonglet won for the third time in his career at Sonoma Raceway. Tonglet started his day the number 3 qualifying position. Tonglet’s first round opponent was Freddie Camarena. Tonglet defeated Camarena with 6.77 E.T. @ 198.06 MPH. Camarena recorded a losing 6.93E.T. @ 195.68MPH. In the second round of eliminations Tonglet was challenge by Angie Smith, Tonglet was able to overcome Smith’s starting line advantage to take the win 6.78 E.T. @ 198.76 MPH to Smith’s 6.84 E.T @ 196.04 MPH. Tonglet’s next opponent in the semifinals was Hector Arana Jr, riding the Lucas Oil Buell. Tonglet got the starting line advantage and never looked back to take the win recording a 6.79 E.T. @197.65 MPH to a losing 6.80 E.T. 198.20 MPH for Arana. In the final round Tonglet was matched up against Matt Smith. In a very close race it was Tonglet taking the holeshot win, with a 6.783 E.T. @ 197.02 MPH to a quicker but losing 6.790 E.T. @ 196.67 MPH for Smith. Tonglet gives credits his winning of the Mickey Thompson Tires Pro bike battle on Saturday afternoon to his success on Sunday. “It’s a big benefit to win the battle of the bay before, said Tonglet. Which build your confidence going into Sunday.”



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