Drag racing comes to Sears Point

NHRA Drag Racing "Festival of Fire" Lights Up the Night SONOMA, Calif. - If you're looking to put some bang into your Fourth of July weekend, then look no further than Sears Point Raceway's NHRA Festival of Fire, June 29-July 1. Sears Point ...

NHRA Drag Racing "Festival of Fire" Lights Up the Night

SONOMA, Calif. - If you're looking to put some bang into your Fourth of July weekend, then look no further than Sears Point Raceway's NHRA Festival of Fire, June 29-July 1.

Sears Point Raceway will combine the power and excitement of the NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series with the largest and most spectacular fireworks show in the North Bay. That explosive combination will surely make the Fourth of July weekend one to remember.

On the world-famous quarter-mile drag strip, more than 450 sportsmen drivers will treat fans to the hottest Fourth of July drag racing show on the West Coast, courtesy of the NHRA Division 7 Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series.

These 3,000-horsepower hot rods will blaze down the drag strip in excess of 250 mph in less than six seconds. The jewel waiting at the end of the strip is a piece of the purse, more than $142,000. The entire 44-race, $6.7 million NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series will run nationwide in 2001.

Local driver Rick Santos has ruled the Festival of Fire in recent years, piloting his Oakwood Homes Federal-Mogul dragster. The Brentwood resident enters as the three-time defending champion in the event, having edged Steve Faria in the finals last year with a run of 252.49 mph. Faria was right behind at better than 248 mph.

"That was the toughest run of the day," said Santos of the final round. "We had a lot of tire shake and we smoked the tires a little. It wasn't pretty but we got the job done. We knew we had our hands full with Faria."

Santos also captured his fourth consecutive Federal-Mogul national championship and is quickly establishing himself as one of the top dragsters in sportsmen history. Apple Valley's Bernie Harrington returns to Sears Point Raceway as the defending champion in Federal-Mogul Funny Car.

Once the drag racing is complete on Saturday, June 30, fans can walk up to Turn 2 and feast on an old-fashioned country barbecue featuring all the tasty fixings. There will even be live music. Turn 2 also will be a great spot to watch the fireworks extravaganza that will be choreographed to music. The fireworks show will be presented by Korbel.

But it's not over yet. The sizzling night will also feature jet-car races down the drag strip. These 6,000-horsepowered jet cars are fueled by the same jet engines that power modern-day fighter jets. Flames burst from the rear of these high-powered machines as they blast down the drag strip.

The drag racing qualifying takes place on Saturday, June 30, with final eliminations set for Sunday, July 1, when the field of more than 450 competitors is narrowed down to eight Festival of Fire champions. Gates open at 7:30 a.m. both days.

-SP-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rick Santos , Bernie Harrington