Sonoma: Finals summary

Downing takes Pro Title at Infineon Raceway, moves into first place in Pro Division. SONOMA, Calif. (IMMEDIATE RELEASE) - Grant Downing hit the daily-double on Sunday at Infineon Raceway during the Tuned by Matrix GR Motorsports NHRA Sport...

Downing takes Pro Title at Infineon Raceway, moves into first place in Pro Division.

SONOMA, Calif. (IMMEDIATE RELEASE) - Grant Downing hit the daily-double on Sunday at Infineon Raceway during the Tuned by Matrix GR Motorsports NHRA Sport Compact Nationals. The event was presented by Wallstreet.com.

Downing, a native of Auckland, New Zealand, captured the championship in the Pro division and also took over the lead in the division with just two events left on the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series schedule. Downing defeated Manny Cruz in the finals on Sunday in his Venom Toyota Tundra with a run of 7.246 seconds (191.97 mph).

It was Downing's second victory of the season as he took over first place in the Pro division over John Lingenfelter (600-523). Lingenfelter was eliminated from the event in the first-round on Sunday after a spectacular crash in which his Summit Chevrolet Cavalier flipped over and slid down a portion of the quarter-mile drag strip before coming to a halt. Lingenfelter escaped the crash unscathed.

"This was an awesome weekend for the Venom team," Downing said. "We not only won the race but we took over first place from John. It doesn't get any better than that. The main thing now is that we have to keep the lead and win the championship. That's our focus the rest of the way."

Matt Scranton continued his winning ways in the Pro V8 division with his eighth consecutive victory of the season, this time turning back John Milhovetz. Scranton, piloting his Turbonetics Toyota Celica, had hoped to become the first driver in Sport Compact history to eclipse the six-second barrier but was unable to accomplish the feat at Infineon Raceway. He turned a 7.221 (197.59 mph) in the finals. His best time of the weekend was a 7.048. Scranton did break 200 mph for the third time this season with a run of 201.07 in the semifinals.

"We really wanted to get in the 6s here at Infineon but it wasn't in the cards," Scranton said. "The track was unbelievably fast and I've got to say it's the best circuit in the series."

Other winners on Sunday included: Matt Hartford in Modified (8.031, 165.23 mph); Bruce Mortensen in Hot Rod (9.116, 153.74 mph); Paul Coggeshall in Street Tire (12.847, 94.17 mph); and Jesus Padilla in All Motor (10.289, 128.30 mph). It was Padilla's sixth win of the season.

The series next travels to Englishtown, N.J., for the Fall NHRA Sport Compact Nationals, presented by Toyo Tires, Oct. 5-6.

-nhra-

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Series Drag
Drivers John Lingenfelter , Grant Downing , Matt Scranton , Matt Hartford