B. Force and Tasca III Win at Sonoma Raceway

Originally known as Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma Raceway is located in the southern Sonoma Mountains about thirty minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The popular motorsports facility contains a separate quarter mile dragstrip inside a full-length 12-turn road racing course with 160-feet of elevation change. The history of this track dates back to 1968 but there were many ownership changes in the early years as the track struggled to find its way.

Drag racing has been a crucial piece of Sonoma Raceway’s history since its inaugural season in 1969. While the cars, speeds and names may change, the thrilling excitement of Sonoma Raceway’s quarter-mile drag strip has remained central to the wine country facility’s success and enduring legacy. In 2000, big changes began to take place at the track. A $100 million plan was put into place to bring the raceway up to modern standards.

The raceway staged the first NHRA-sanctioned drag race in 1988 and the winners were Joe Amato (Top Fuel), Mark Oswald (Funny Car) and Harry Scribner (Pro Stock). Over the weekend, the raceway once again hosted 11,000-horsepower nitro drag racing machines featuring the top teams and drag racers competing for championship points in the NHRA Camping World Drag Series. The 2023 race season marks 53rd year of racing action in California’s Sonoma Valley.

Brittany Force Regains Points Lead at Sonoma

Brittany Force raced to her fourth win of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing season with a 3.709 ET at 335.48 mph to defeat Mike Salinas who posted a respectful 3.741 elapsed time at 320.05 mph. It was the fifteenth career Top Fuel Wally for the Flav-R-Pac dragster driver and her first victory at Sonoma Raceway. Force already owned nine of the top 10 fastest speeds of all time at Sonoma, and she still does with four new entries of 337.75, 336.49, 336.07, and 335.48 mph over the weekend.

Salinas advanced to his 14th career final round and his fifth of the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series with elimination wins over Justin Ashley and Doug Kalitta. However, Force was simply the quickest (3.662-second elapsed time), fastest (337.75 mph), and had the best reaction time (.033-seconds) off the tree. The driver of the Scrapper’s Racing 11,000-horsepower nitro-powered Top Fuel dragster was also on his game and made a fast pass in his losing effort. Salinas now trails Force by six points as the Western Swing continues next weekend at Pacific Raceway next.

Third Time is a Charm for Bob Tasca III in Funny Car

Bob Tasca III has been the most consistent driver in nitro Funny Car as the NHRA enters round two of its historic Western Swing. And, just like the saying goes, the third time was the charm. Tasca claimed victories against Jason Rupert, Blake Alexander, and points leader Robert Hight. John Force reached his 263rd final round with wins against defending world champion Ron Capps, JR Todd, and Alexis Dejoria. Slim margins of victory made for great Funny Car racing on both sides of the ladder.

John Force missed the chance to share the nitro podium with his daughter, as Brittany claimed her fourth win of the 2022 season on Sunday. Papa Force has the most career Funny Car wins at Sonoma Raceway with eight but Tasca III posted a .048 reaction time with a 3.911 ET at 325.61 mph to keep Force from adding to his impressive share of wine country victories. Hight maintains 144-points lead over TSR driver Matt Hagan.

Photo courtesy of Sonoma Raceway


Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series continues the West Coast Swing next weekend when teams return to action on July 29-31 with the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA.


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