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2014 NHRA Sonoma Nationals preview

The NHRA Western Swing heads to Sonoma, California
The NHRA Western Swing heads to Sonoma, California
NHRA Media

The second race in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ Western Swing takes place Friday through Sunday, July 25th through 27th at Sonoma Raceway in California. All four NHRA pro categories – Top Fuel Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – will be competing at Sonoma, as the “regular season” winds down and the teams prepare for the 2014 Countdown to the Championship.

Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the defending race winners at Sonoma. Located just north of San Francisco, Sonoma Raceway also hosts NASCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series on its road course. John Force is the all-time leading winner at Sonoma with seven Funny Car wins; Doug Kalitta has five wins in Top Fuel.

On Thursday, July 24th, the eighth annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night Charity Dinner takes place at Stone Tree Golf Club in nearby Novato. Numerous Funny Car and Top Fuel drivers will be in attendance to remember the late John Force Racing driver, who died from injuries suffered in a crash in March 2007. Find out more about the event here.

There will be plenty of fun for the entire family at Sonoma, as kids 12 and under are admitted to the track for free on Saturday, July 26th. There will also be a kids-only Q&A session with NHRA drivers and sisters Courtney and Brittany Force. The Q&A takes place Saturday at 12:30 p.m. PT at the Raceway Café Patio.

Another popular event is the Sunday morning Starting Line Party, taking place before the race on Sunday, July 27th. The special package, which is a $20 ticket upgrade, includes access to driver introductions and to the Q&A and Track Walk featuring Langdon, Capps, Nobile and Arana Jr.

On Sunday, July 27th after the final rounds are complete, fans are invited down to the race surface for a free scoop of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream in honor of Medlen. Donations made will benefit Speedway Children’s Charities.

Qualifying for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals begins on Friday with two sessions at 4:15 and 6:15 p.m. PT, and concludes on Saturday with sessions at 12:55 and 3:20 p.m. PT. Also on Saturday, the Miramonte Records Pro Bike Battle for PSM takes place at 12:45, 3:15 and 4:40 p.m. PT. Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday.

Tickets are still available for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals – find out more at

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