Motorsports: Four first-time winners at NHRA Sonoma Nationals | Sports

Lyle Ellerbee

SONOMA — Brittany was the un-stoppable Power at the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals on Sunday.

The youngest daughter of racing legend John Force broke four monitor information in three elimination rounds ahead of claiming her very first vocation Sonoma Raceway victory, beating San Jose driver Mike Salinas in the Major Fuel remaining.

It was an afternoon of firsts, with all four winners of the NHRA Professional types profitable at Sonoma for the to start with time. Other winners involved Bob Tasca III in Funny Car, four-time NHRA champion Erica Enders in Professional Stock and Joey Gladstone in Professional Motorbike.

Drive set the file for the fastest operate down the Sonoma Raceway dragstrip with an elapsed time of 3.662 seconds and a pace record of 336.07 mph in the 1st round of eliminations. As the monitor bought hotter, Pressure went even speedier in subsequent elimination rounds and by the semifinals, finally location the report at 337.75 mph.

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The daughter of NHRA legend John Force now has 4 wins on the year to equivalent the acquire complete for San Jose’s Mike Salinas, who misplaced to her in the remaining round.

“Winning at Sonoma has often been on my bucket list. I grew up seeing my father race listed here,” she said.

Power, who is from Yorba Linda, Calif., was remarkably dependable all working day. All 4 of her runs down the dragstrip were within a person-tenth of a next of each other.

“It reveals how sturdy our crew is and how difficult they press in just about every spherical,” she stated.

John Pressure clawed his way to his 263rd career ultimate spherical in Humorous Car or truck, surviving a few elimination runs following qualifying 15th in a 16-vehicle area, but was denied what would have been his 157th job acquire by Bob Tasca III.

Tasca, from Hope, R.I., claimed extensive tests has now put his crew in a position to operate for the title.

“We didn’t have a car able of successful a championship most of this calendar year,” he said. “We sacrificed a good deal to get to this level.”

Tasca confronted Robert Hight in the remaining spherical, the 3rd consecutive time the duo has confronted off from every single other this 12 months.

“Hight is the gold typical in this course,” Tasca stated about the winner of Sonoma’s previous three NHRA Nationals. “At Denver and Norwalk, he had the higher hand. But in this article at Sonoma, we experienced the upper hand and I feel he understood it.”

In Pro Inventory, four-time NHRA champion Enders conquer six-time winner Gregg Anderson off the line by .31 2nd right before nursing a wounded race motor vehicle the past 150 toes and keeping off the really hard-charging Anderson at the finish line for her sixth win of the year.

“The motor just laid down in excess of the previous 150 ft and all I could think of was ‘Please, you should really do not operate out of authentic estate,” reported Enders, who is from Houston. “Fortunately, I was very good enough on the start out to make up for the engine.”

She went home with one of the exclusive wine chalice trophies that go to Sonoma Raceway winners.

“I set Sonoma on my list to gain each 12 months and it has evaded me for 18 decades,” she explained. “We’ve been chatting about the wine goblet all weekend.”

Gladstone, of Ashland, Va., claimed the acquire of a life time by beating 49-time race winner Eddie Krawiec in Professional Motorbike by a margin of .017 2nd.

“I put in my entire everyday living seeking to get right here,” reported an psychological Gladstone in write-up-race interviews about profitable his quite first NHRA Nationwide event. “I grew up all-around drag racing with my dad and began racing when I was 16 with this goal in head. I have invested 15 many years of my lifestyle focused to this.”

Women dominate Saturday qualifying

When all the tire smoke cleared from Saturday qualifying for the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals, three of the fastest four were being females, having best honors in Major Fuel, Pro Stock and Pro Inventory Bikes. Only Hight, looking to get at Sonoma for the fourth consecutive calendar year in Amusing Motor vehicle, performed the spoiler.

In Best Gasoline, Leah Pruett backed up her acquire in Denver the week ahead of with a operate down the Sonoma drag strip in 6.518 seconds and a pace of 327.59 mph, to declare her first major qualifier location of the year.

For both equally driver and crew, turning into major qualifier was a payoff for a brand-new team that has invested the 12 months exploring for a winning mix.

“When my workforce signed up at the commencing of the calendar year, they knew they would have to go through small instances, but that would make us recognize the excellent occasions even much more,” mentioned Pruett.

She was eradicated in the first spherical on Sunday.

Angelle Sampey, established a new Sonoma Raceway speed record in Professional Bike, with a operate of 6.70 seconds and 200.95 mph, the 3rd quickest motorcycle operate in NHRA history. Sampey, a 46-race winner from Mathew, La., stated a wind gust that cooled off the group almost blew her off the bicycle at the setting up line.

To compensate for the crosswind, “I moved my butt totally off the bicycle,” stated Sampey. “It works as lengthy as you really do not lean the bike more than or get way too far out of the windscreen.”

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