Arana, who qualified No. 7 for Sunday’s eliminations, is sitting on 199 round-wins in his long career. If he beats Jim Underdahl in the first round, he will top the 200-win mark.
“I hope we can get that one and then three more,” Arana said. “I didn’t know I had 199 round-wins until earlier this week, but that doesn’t change how hard we work and how we race on Sunday. Of course I’d like to have 200 round-wins, and I’d love to get it out of the way tomorrow.”
Vanetti failed to qualify for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, getting bumped out of the top 16 in the final qualifying session. He’ll have to wait until the race in Charlotte to make his official race debut.
“I’m definitely learning more with each lap,” Vanetti said. “I’m getting more comfortable with the bike, although it didn’t show in Q4. We’ve just got to move on to the next one, stay positive, and learn from it. I’ve got to forget about what happened because I don’t want to dwell on that, for sure.”
Arana is coming off two consecutive final-round appearances, including a victory in Chicago, but after a nearly flawless race in Denver last Sunday, his bike is not getting off the starting line like he’d like it in Sonoma.
“We’ve got the power,” Arana said. “The motor’s running strong. Right now, we’re just having some issues leaving the starting line and some inconsistencies. It’s really a bummer, especially when we leave a racetrack where we didn’t have to touch the bike once and it was super consistent.”
Morgan beat Allen Johnson in the final round of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals last Sunday at Bandimere Speedway after a long staging duel that ignited NHRA fans. Morgan’s confidence is high enough that he believes he can win back-to-back races.
“I feel good about Sunday,” Morgan said. “If I drive well, there’s a good chance we’re going to win again.”
SONOMA, CA – With her Elite Motorsports team making its first appearance at Sonoma Raceway, It would be easy to blame a relatively poor qualifying performance for Erica Enders at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals this weekend on their lack of notes for the track, but Enders and her team — the defending NHRA Pro Stock World Champions — won’t make any excuses.
“We certainly don’t have data from out here,” said Enders, who qualified for her 100th consecutive race. “But we can always take weather and track conditions and compare them to other places we’ve raced at. I guess we’re behind the other teams in that aspect, but at the same time, that is no excuse.
SONOMA, CA – Five-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. had no problem getting back behind the wheel, qualifying the Stockseth Racing/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet No. 4 for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals this weekend at Sonoma Raceway.
The JEGS.com driver is making his season debut in Pro Stock, racing as a teammate to defending series champion Erica Enders.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Coughlin said. “We’ve come a long way in just four runs. The last time I let the clutch out on a Pro Stock car was last November in Pomona, and this is with a completely different team and a completely different combination. It’s really been refreshing.”
SONOMA, CA – Richie Crampton and the Lucas Oil Top Fuel team left the mountain in Denver not knowing they would face a mountain of trouble this weekend during the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
Crampton did snare the No. 8 qualifying spot with a scintillating run in the first qualifying session, but subsequent passes came up just a bit short.
“A 3.77 in Q1 was a good start to the weekend,” Crampton said, “and then we’ve had a few stumbling blocks along the way after that.”
Crampton’s pass of 3.777 at 324.20 mph in Q1 was among the quickest in the Top Fuel class for the session. In the other three sessions, his Lucas Oil dragster was making good runs until the top end.