The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series made the 1,230-mile trip from Bandimere Speedway just outside of Denver, Colorado to beautiful wine country and Sonoma Raceway. The four professional classes on hand put on a good show over the course of the three-day weekend, July 26 through 28. Sonoma Raceway is celebrating 50 years of racing this year.
In Top Fuel, Billy Torrence took his CAPCO Contractors dragster to the Winner’s Circle. He qualified in the number three position. In the opening round he took down Steve Faria. In round two he muscled his way past Austin Prock with a solid 3.838 @ 307 mph. In the semifinal round, he squared off against reigning series champion, his son Steve Torrence. Both father and son left together off the starting line but Billy had a little bit better car running a 3.779 et @ 324 mph to a 3.822 et @ 311 mph. This would send him to the final round against Clay Millican and the Parts Plus team. Millican got off the line first but once again Billy had just a bit better hot rod running a 3.804 et @ 320 mph to a 3.842 @ 321 mph. This was his third career win in Top Fuel and first in Sonoma.
Robert Hight conquered all in Funny Car, scoring his 50th career victory. Hight had a solo run in the opening round. In round two Blake Alexander, who won this race one year ago in Top Fuel, gave Hight all he could handle. Hight put a 4.007 @ 323 mph to a 4.055 et @ 303 mph on the scoreboard to advance to the semifinals. There, he would take on the Make A Wish Dodge and Tommy Johnson, who was fresh off his victory one week ago in Denver. Hight laid down another solid 4.011 @ 323 mph to a 4.046 @ 318 mph to move on to final round. Hight would take on two time series champion Matt Hagan. Hight got off the starting line first and never looked back running a 3.973 @ 325 mph to Hagan’s 4.030 @ 316 mph.
Pro stock driver Greg Anderson added to his trophy case, scoring his 93rd career win over Alex Laughlin. This was his sixth win at Sonoma Raceway and second of the season. He now has a chance to go for the elusive sweep of the three race Western Swing.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Andrew Hines doubled up over the weekend by winning the Mickey Thompson Pro Stock battle bonus race on Saturday and the main race on Sunday. Hines scored his seventh win of the year and 55th of his career. He took down reigning series champion Matt Smith in the final round.
The NHRA Series will next roll up to Seattle for the third and final stop of the three race Western Swing.