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2014 NHRA Sonoma Nationals: Courtney Force picks up second Wally of 2014

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NHRA Funny Car driver Courtney Force won her second event of the season and fifth of her career Sunday at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway in California. Force beat her father, Funny Car legend John Force in the finals, and overtook her sister Ashley Force-Hood in all-time female Funny Car wins, becoming the winningest female driver in the class.

Khalid alBalooshi (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also picked up Wallys at Sonoma Raceway.

Courtney Force, the No. 1 qualifier at Sonoma, took round wins over Peter Russo, Bob Tasca III and Matt Hagan to reach the finals against her father.

“It’s cool to reach number five,” said the youngest Force daughter . “I’m very proud of my team. Obviously I wouldn’t be here without them and the hard work that they put in. I’m only as good as my team.”

Top Fuel featured an all-Al-Anabi Racing final, as alBalooshi defeated teammate Shawn Langdon in the final round for his second win of the season. alBalooshi earned early-round wins over Billy Torrence, Clay Millican and Richie Crampton; alBalooshi celebrated his 35th birthday on Sunday.

“The trophy is exactly what I wanted,” said alBalooshi. “This is a very special birthday for me. This trophy is the best gift of my life, and (crew chief) Jason McCulloch gave it to me with all my crew guys.”

In Pro Stock, Line picked up his second win of the season defeating V Gaines in the final. Line earned round wins over Joey Grose, Jonathan Gray and Dave Connolly, and locked up a spot in the Countdown to the Championship.

“Overall, I felt like my car was as good or better than any other one out here but I struggled this week,” said Line, whose win was No. 200 for Chevrolet in the Pro Stock category. “I did things that I’d normally never do. I botched a burnout, couldn’t stage, couldn’t cut a light, and couldn’t find the finish line. Other than that, everything was perfect.”

Krawiec defeated No. 1 qualifier Jerry Savoie in the final round in PSM for his second win of 2014. Krawiec defeated Freddie Camarena, Angie Smith and teammate Andrew Hines in early rounds to advance to the finals.

“I almost forgot how to get back here (to the winner’s circle),” said Krawiec. “Going into the final I was 100-percent concerned about Jerry. We build his horsepower and he’s doing an awesome job but that’s why we drag race.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Western Swing concludes next weekend, Friday through Sunday, August 1st through 3rd with the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.

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