Beckman, Brown, Mcgaha and Krawiec race to Sonoma Nationals victories
It is the first time in NHRA history where all four No. 1 qualifiers went on to win the race.
Sonoma, Calif. – Jack Beckman finished off a dominating weekend at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals on Sunday by racing to the Funny Car victory.
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Sonoma Raceway. It is the first time in NHRA history where all four No. 1 qualifiers went on to win the race.
Beckman kept alive his hopes of becoming the eighth driver to sweep the Western Swing and only the second in Funny Car to accomplish the feat when he sped past Tommy Johnson Jr. to claim his fifth victory of the season and 20th of his career. The NHRA Western Swing, an NHRA summertime tradition since 1989, begins in Denver, moves on through Sonoma and finishes in Seattle in a three-week stretch.
Beckman took his first Sonoma win with a final-round performance of 4.037 seconds at 310.63 mph in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger to pull away from Johnson near mid-track, whose Make-A-Wish Charger trailed with a 4.073 at 308.99.
In Top Fuel, Brown claimed his fourth win of the season and 51st of his career by outrunning first-time finalist Dave Connolly. Brown took his fourth Sonoma win by powering to a final round effort of 3.787 at 320.74 in his Matco Tools dragster and crossing the finish line just in front of former Pro Stock racer Connolly, whose C&J Energy Services dragster clocked a 3.808 at 319.14.
The win was former Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Brown's 35th in Top Fuel, a mark that ties him with the legendary "Big Daddy" Don Garlits.
Semifinalist Schumacher remained in the series points lead in his U.S. Army dragster, 37 in front of Brown.
Texas native McGaha earned his first career Pro Stock victory by racing past defending winner Jason Line in the final round. McGaha powered his Harlow Sammons Racing Chevy Camaro to a 6.531 at 212.13 to hold off Line’s Summit Racing Camaro, which trailed with a 6.560 at 211.03.
McGaha, who was a runner-up in his two previous finals, defeated V. Gaines, Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the first three rounds.
Greg Anderson maintained the series points lead, 47 in front of Erica Enders. McGaha remained in fourth, but cut his deficit to the leader to 210 points.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Krawiec, who also won the NHRA Pro Bike Battle on Saturday, earned his second consecutive Pro Stock Motorcycle win of the season and 29th of his career by riding past Jerry Savoie at the finish. Krawiec rode his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to his second consecutive victory and third overall at this event with a performance of 6.881 at 191.00 to hold off Savoie’s Alligator Farm Suzuki, which finished in 6.891 at 194.13.
Krawiec said even though the bikes don't race in Seattle, and aren't a part of the official Western Swing, he decided to celebrate his own unique trifecta anyway.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues next weekend, Aug. 7-9, with the final stop of the Western Swing at the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways near Seattle.
Sunday's final results
The 28th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway
The race is the 15th of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel — Antron Brown, 3.787 seconds, 320.74 mph def. Dave Connolly, 3.808 seconds, 319.14 mph.
Funny Car — Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.037, 310.63 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.073, 308.99.
Pro Stock — Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.531, 212.13 def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.560, 211.03.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.881, 191.00 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.891, 194.13.
Some Pro-Stock teams ignore new NHRA mandate
Jack Beckman: The quickest driver in Funny Car history