2014 NHRA Sonoma Nationals Sunday photo gallery
Sunday, July 27, 2014

News and views from the 
NHRA Sonoma Nationals

Last update: 6:30 p.m.
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Five lucky NHRA members got to interact with their favorite drivers during the pre-race ceremony as winners of the National Dragster Backstage Pass. NHRA Members can sign up to try to earn a similar experience at future NHRA Mello Yello events by visiting NationalDragster.net and clicking on the Member Benefits link.

Clay Millican and the Parts Plus team scored an upset win over No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force in the first round of Top Fuel. The Parts Plus driver used his quick reflexes to nab a 3.92 to 3.90 holeshot victory.

Tim Wilkerson stepped up his performance by over a tenth of a second to score a crucial first-round victory over Jack Beckman in Funny Car that decided who would have a top-10 position leaving the event.

Greg Anderson moved a step closer to securing a spot in the Countdown to the Championship with his round-one win over Larry Morgan in Pro Stock. Anderson made one of the best runs of the day with a 6.537.

 Epping winner Angie Smith continued to accumulate round-wins as she looks for her first berth in the Countdown. Smith defeated Michael Ray with a strong 6.865 run on her Kandy Buell in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Richie Crampton reached the Top Fuel semifinals for the third time in his rookie season after he pedaled the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster three times in his second-round win against Spencer Massey.

Alexis DeJoria reached the semifinals from the bottom half of the Funny Car field at this event for the second straight year when her Patron XO Café Toyota Camry went 4.16 to beat Cruz Pedregon in the second round.

Pro Stock's Dave Connolly was nearly unbeatable in the quarterfinals with a .005 light and a 6.545 in his win over Allen Johnson, who shook the tires and shut off.

NHRA Members and site subscribers can get in-depth coverage, notes, and more on NationalDragster.net.

With wins over Shawn Gann and Adam Arana, John Hall reached the semifinals in Pro Stock Motorcycle on his DrinkHard Racing Buell. Hall’s bid for a win ended against Jerry Savoie’s Suzuki.

Shawn Langdon took the Al-Anabi silver team’s brand-new chassis to the Top Fuel final round. He hazed the tires late in his semifinal run against Tony Schumacher, who smoked the tires instantly.

John Force pedaled his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang several times to defeat Alexis DeJoria in the Funny Car semifinals and clinched a position in the Countdown to the Championship in the process. He made it halfway down the return road on his scooter by the time daughter Courtney ran in the next pair, and he raised his hands in the air after her victory to great fanfare.

V. Gaines moved into his third final round of the season when he stopped a tire-shaking Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the Pro Stock semi’s. Gaines was also the runner-up in Pomona and Phoenix.

Low qualifier Jerry Savoie was impressive all weekend on his White Alligator Suzuki. Savoie had low e.t. with a 6.810 and also set top speed at 198.29 mph in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Chad Langdon scored his first win in three decades by taking home the Wally in Super Comp, the third different category that the veteran Lucas Oil racer has won in. A shared winner’s circle with son Shawn was still in play until the Top Fuel final.

Jerry Savoie’s bid for a clean sweep of the Sonoma race ended with a red-light start in the final. Savoie’s foul allowed Eddie Krawiec, far lane, to win for the 24th time in his career and second time this season.

Jason Line, far lane, picked up the 200th win for Chevrolet in Pro Stock after a close 6.548 to 6.564 win over V. Gaines’ Dodge in the final. Line’s Summit Chevy was also equipped with the new DRCE-4 engine this weekend.

Courtney Force, far lane, got the best of father John in an all-John Force Racing Funny Car final, 4.25 to 4.40.

Khalid alBalooshi, far lane, won on his 35th birthday. He defeated Al-Anabi teammate Shawn Langdon in a 3.91 to 4.00 Top Fuel final.

Khalid alBalooshi presented his Wally to NHRA legend Ed “the Ace” McCulloch, right, father of Al-Anabi gold crew chief Jason McCulloch, left. alBalooshi won at both events attended by “the Ace” this season.

NHRA Sonoma Nationals winners Khalid alBalooshi, Courtney Force, Jason Line, and Eddie Krawiec hoisted their Wallys high at the 15th stop in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Fans and racers alike joined in the ice cream social at the end of the event to enjoy dessert and remember late Funny Car driver Eric Medlen, who won this event in 2004.