Sonoma: Division 7 preview

Division 7 drag races take over quarter-mile strip this weekend. SONOMA, Calif. -- It will be a drag-racing festival the weekend of June 28-30 as more than 450 competitors converge on Infineon Raceway for the NHRA Bank of the West/InReach...

Division 7 drag races take over quarter-mile strip this weekend.

SONOMA, Calif. -- It will be a drag-racing festival the weekend of June 28-30 as more than 450 competitors converge on Infineon Raceway for the NHRA Bank of the West/InReach Internet Division 7 Drag Races. The event is presented by KFTY News Channel 50/Live 105.

There will be competition in eight divisions, highlighted by Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car. These dragsters feature 3,000-horsepower and can rocket down the quarter-mile strip at 250 mph in less than six seconds.

Infineon Raceway will be the fourth of six stops on the Division 7 Lucas Oils Drag Racing Series circuit this season. The series is made up of seven divisions - coast-to-coast - and 43 events. The total purse of the series is $6.7 million, with $142,000 slated for the Bank of the West/InReach Internet event at Infineon Raceway.

Brandon Bernstein, son of legendary NHRA competitor Kenny Bernstein, will not return to defend the Top Alcohol Dragster title he won at Infineon Raceway last season, which opens the door for a number of competitors. Mark Niver stands at the top of the list, after losing to Bernstein in the finals last year. Duane Shields, who won the season-opener this season in Phoenix with a run of 264.60 mph in the finals, will also be a top contender.

Steve Gasparrelli is the defending Top Alcohol Funny Car champion at Infineon Raceway, and he will be tough to beat in 2002. Gasparrelli defeated Pat Austin in last year's finals at Infineon Raceway with a pass of 5.971 seconds (247.90 mph). It was a carbon copy at the 2002 season opener in Phoenix as Gasparrelli again defeated Austin.

The event at Infineon Raceway will feature a recognizable name in Funny Car with Jon Capps, younger brother of Ron Capps, who races the Skoal Funny Car in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. In addition to Dragster and Funny Car, action will be featured in: Super Comp, Super Gas, Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Super Street and Sportsman Motorcycle.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Ron Capps , Brandon Bernstein , Duane Shields , Jon Capps