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Force Sisters, Line and Hall No. 1 on Friday at Sonoma

Courtney Force raced to the current No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car during Friday qualifying at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals. Brittany Force (Top Fuel, above), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and John Hall (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in Northern California.

Courtney Force

Courtney Force

Courtney Force ran a 4.045-second pass at 319.22 mph in her Traxxas Ford Mustang to claim the top spot after the first day of qualifying. Force, who claimed the 100th win by a female driver in NHRA history at Topeka, is looking for her third top starting spot of the season.

“It’s always a good day for me if I’m paired up to next to my dad and I can turn on a win light,” said Force, who has five career No. 1 qualifiers. “I don’t care if it’s Q1 or the final round. It just makes my day right there.”

Two-time Funny Car world champ Cruz Pedregon ran his Snap-On Tools Toyota Camry to a 4.051 at 311.92 to claim the provisional No. 2 spot. Reigning champion John Force raced against daughter Courtney in the second session and sits third with a 4.070 at 313.73 in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang. Denver winner and Series points leader Robert Hight sits sixth in his Auto Club Ford Mustang.

Richie Crampton (left) and Brittany Force

Richie Crampton (left) and Brittany Force

In Top Fuel, Brittany Force tied her sister’s provisional No. 1 feat with a 3.762 at 325.53 in her Castrol EDGE dragster to take the qualifying lead.  Force is going for her third No. 1 starting spot of the season with two sessions remaining. Brittany and Courtney previously qualified No. 1 together in Topeka, the first time two sisters have qualified No. 1 at an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

“It’s really exciting to go number one especially with Courtney next to me again,” Force said. “I love coming out to Sonoma. It’s one of my favorite tracks to race on.”

Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta sits second with a 3.791 at 324.20 in his Mac Tools dragster. Seven-time Top Fuel world champ Tony Schumacher’s U.S. Army dragster is currently third with a 3.793 at 323.43. Denver winner J.R. Todd is currently qualified eighth in his Optima Batteries dragster.

Line is going for his second No. 1 starting spot in a row in Pro Stock following his 6.550 at 210.93 in his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro. Line rode the Denver No. 1 qualifier en route to a semifinal appearance and will be looking to lock up another high starting spot for the second stop on the Western Swing.

“The track was very good,” said Line, a two-time winner at Sonoma Raceway. “It’s always good here. It’s a great place to race. We’ve [KB Racing] probably been as successful at this race track as any other one.”

Shane Gray ran his Gray Manufacturing Chevy Camaro to the second spot with a 6.552 at 211.03. Denver event winner Allen Johnson continued his performance with a 6.558 at 210.97 in his Magneti-Marelli Dodge Dart, good for third on the first day of qualifying.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hall ran a 6.951 at 191.54 on his Matt Smith Racing Buell to pace the field. He is looking for his first No. 1 qualifying position.

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“I’ve been running so bad lately,” said Hall. “Any kind of win light in qualifying excites me. Obviously this excites me to be No. 1. Hopefully we can hang on to it tomorrow.”

Jerry Savoie sits second with a 6.953 at 194.38 while Steve Johnson is currently qualified third with a 6.956 at 191.16. Denver winner and points leader Andrew Hines is 12th with two sessions remaining.

Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 12:55 and 3:20 p.m. The MiraMonte Records Pro Bike Battle, a specialty bonus event, pits eight of the best Pro Stock Motorcycle riders on the planet will begin at 12:45 p.m.

(Photos courtesy NHRA/National Dragster; JFR/Nastase/Lester; Click to enlarge)


SONOMA, Calif. — Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, 15th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel

1. Brittany Force, 3.762 seconds, 325.53 mph; 2. Doug Kalitta, 3.791, 324.20; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.793, 323.43; 4. Antron Brown, 3.796, 319.60; 5. Richie Crampton, 3.799, 324.05; 6. Bob Vandergriff, 3.806, 319.60; 7. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.828, 316.52; 8. J.R. Todd, 3.836, 316.82; 9. Billy Torrence, 3.886, 314.31; 10. Shawn Langdon, 3.890, 313.37; 11. Steve Torrence, 3.898, 314.24; 12. Mike Salinas, 3.905, 290.44. Not Qualified: 13. Troy Buff, 3.929, 304.80; 14. Spencer Massey, 3.934, 306.19; 15. Clay Millican, 3.971, 301.94; 16. Terry McMillen, 4.201, 219.29; 17. Steven Chrisman, 4.292, 255.87.

Funny Car

1. Courtney Force, Ford Mustang, 4.045, 319.22; 2. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.051, 311.92; 3. John Force, Mustang, 4.070, 313.73; 4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.075, 314.83; 5. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.075, 307.30; 6. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.088, 310.48; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.093, 314.61; 8. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.098, 312.57; 9. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.125, 309.98; 10. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.129, 307.37; 11. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.185, 298.01; 12. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.214, 270.48. Not Qualified: 13. Jeff Diehl, 4.254, 290.38; 14. John Hale, 4.409, 269.29; 15. Tim Wilkerson, 4.444, 209.07; 16. Gary Densham, 4.480, 271.73; 17. Paul Lee, 5.157, 149.36.

Pro Stock

1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.550, 210.93; 2. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.552, 211.03; 3.Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.558, 210.97; 4. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.562, 210.93; 5. Dave Connolly, Camaro, 6.564, 209.85; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.574, 210.64; 7. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.593, 210.54; 8. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.602, 209.98; 9. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.612, 209.95; 10. Deric Kramer, Dodge Avenger, 6.613, 209.56; 11. Matt Hartford, Avenger, 6.621, 209.49; 12. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.643, 209.10. Not Qualified: 13. Tommy Lee, 6.677, 206.99; 14. Larry Morgan, 6.742, 207.46; 15. Joey Grose, 6.932, 198.23.

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Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. John Hall, Buell, 6.951, 192.11; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.953, 194.38; 3. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.956, 191.16; 4. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.964, 191.81; 5. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.984, 192.55; 6. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.987, 191.13; 7. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.991, 190.48; 8. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.992, 191.48; 9. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.995, 190.59; 10.Adam Arana, Buell, 6.997, 190.86; 11. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 7.004, 189.52; 12. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.022, 189.60. Not Qualified: 13. Katie Sullivan, 7.066, 189.31; 14. Shawn Gann, 7.094, 188.46; 15. Freddie Camarena, 7.099, 189.92; 16. Chaz Kennedy, 7.146, 185.28.


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