Sonoma, CA – It was as near perfect a weekend as a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racer could hope to have. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Jack Beckman piloted his 2015 Dodge Charger R/T to five three-second runs, was quickest in three of four qualifying sessions, set a Funny Car national record for elapsed time with an extraordinary 3.921-second lap, earned the No.1 qualifier position, and then continued his impressive performance through eliminations to earn his place in winner’s circle at the 28th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
“This is far and above my most dominating Funny Car win ever,” said Beckman of his 20th career Funny Car victory. “Qualifying No.1 is a statistic, but getting that trophy at the end of the day is satisfaction that your team did everything better than anybody else that day. I’ll take qualifying 16th if I can get that trophy. Since we got the trophy and qualified first and set the national record, it’s icing on top of icing on top of the cake. It couldn’t have been any better.”
Coughlin, driving a Chevrolet Camaro for Stockseth Racing and Elite Motorsports, scored a holeshot victory in the second round but came up short against No. 1 qualifier Chris McGaha in the semifinals despite another stellar reaction time.
“I was pretty happy with it,” Coughlin said of his driving Sunday. “I had a little attention-getter first round. Some days you don’t get away with those but today we did. I knew to get up on the wheel and do what I love to do. I came back with a respectable .007 and .010, but obviously we weren’t able to close the door.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in this team. They’ve been a lot of fun to work with through the seven runs that we’ve made, and I look forward to Seattle already.”
SONOMA, CA – A philosophical Hector Arana Jr. shook off a second-round red-light at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway. He left .006-second too soon against Scotty Pollacheck to end his race.
“If you don’t ever go red, it means you’re not trying, not going for the light,” the Lucas Oil Buell rider said. “Unfortunately, today was the day I went red. It wasn’t horribly red, it was .006 on the red side. I definitely saw the light, and it wasn’t a really bad red-light.”
Arana, who maintained second place in the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings, was looking for his third consecutive final round after winning in Chicago and racing to the final in Denver.
Her Elite team was making its first appearance at Sonoma Raceway, and Enders was racing here for the first time since 2012. Still, she qualified No. 9 and advanced to the second round before bowing out to No. 1 qualifier and eventual race winner Chris McGaha.
“We’ve got nothing to be ashamed of,” Enders said. “We’re going to load up and go to the next race. My guys are the most determined bunch I’ve ever met. Right now our day is over, but where are all three of my crew chiefs (Rick and Rickie Jones and Mark Ingersoll) and my team owner (Richard Freeman)? They’re in the lounge, going over notes and trying to figure out how to get better.
Beckman, Brown give DSR its 50th double-up NHRA day at Sonoma on remarkable record-breaking weekend at Sonoma
SONOMA, CA – Dominating, satisfying, rewarding.
It was perhaps the most memorable week in DSR’s history that began in 1997.
The memorable weekend at Sonoma Raceway near San Francisco included the 50th time since 2003 that DSR has left an NHRA Mello Yello event with at least two trophies after Antron Brown won for the fourth time this season with the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster team and Jack Beckman won for the fifth time with the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team.
SONOMA, CA – Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driver Richie Crampton maintained his fifth-place position in the points standings with a quarterfinal finish in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.
Crampton scored an important victory in the first round, beating Don Schumacher Racing driver Spencer Massey, who sits sixth in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings.
“Running a Schumacher car first round — we don’t care who we race, but you definitely pay attention when you’re racing Spencer or any DSR car,” Crampton said. “We’re obviously keeping an eye on the points already, and it’s good to get a round-win against a team like that.
Arana has performed well this season, winning in Atlanta and qualifying in the top half of the field in seven of the eight NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle races in 2015.
He certainly didn’t expect to struggle in Sonoma, even after qualifying No. 7.