27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 25-27 PIT NOTES
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Sonoma Raceway will host the 27th NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 25-27. Below are some notes of interest from past NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events in Sonoma:
- Doug Kalitta is one of two NHRA drivers to three-peat in Sonoma. Kalitta did it from 1998-2000 in Top Fuel, and John Force from 1990-1992 in Funny Car. Kalitta has five total victories, most recently in 2005.
- John Force holds the record for most NHRA career victories in Sonoma, with seven in the Funny Car class (1990-92, 1994, 2000, 2002 and 2007).
- Five track records were set in 2013. Speed and elapsed time records were both reset in Funny Car by Matt Hagan (320.51 mph, 3.986 seconds), while Mike Edwards broke the speed record in Pro Stock (212.56), and Hector Arana Sr. set the speed record for Pro Stock Motorcycle (198.44).
- Erica Enders-Stevens is the only female to boast a current track record, which she holds for low ET in the Pro Stock class (6.512).
- Greg Anderson became the all-time winningest Pro Stock racer in Sonoma with his fourth-career victory in 2011, breaking a deadlock with Darrell Alderman, Jim Yates and Warren Johnson
- Joe Amato won the first-ever NHRA Top Fuel final at then-Sears Point Raceway in 1988. Other winners in the first year were Mark Oswald (Funny Car) and Harry Scribner (Pro Stock).
- Don Prudhomme is the only driver to win in Sonoma in two different professional divisions - Funny Car in 1989 and Top Fuel in 1992.
- Andrew Hines holds the record for most wins in Pro Stock Motorcycle with two (2005, '08). There have been 11 different winners in 12 years of Pro Stock Motorcycle competition in Sonoma.
- Antron Brown has reached the finals in both Top Fuel (2008, '11, '12) and Pro Stock Motorcycle (2004, '06) in Sonoma. The only other racers to reach finals in two categories are Don Prudhomme (Top Fuel, Funny Car) and Gary Scelzi (Top Fuel, Funny Car).
- For the second year in a row, the 2013 NHRA Sonoma Nationals boasted three first-time winners in Sonoma: Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
- From a standing start, NHRA Top Fuel dragsters accelerate quicker than a jumbo jet, a fighter jet and a Formula One race car
- Top Fuel dragster leaves the starting line with a force nearly five times that of gravity, the same force of the space shuttle when it leaves the launch pad at Cape Canaveral