News

DSR Sonoma Pre-Race Report

NHRA Sonoma Nationals
Event 15 of 24 (Sonoma)
Sonoma Raceway 
Sonoma, Calif. 
July 26-28, 2019

Highlights:

  • Tommy Johnson Jr. enters the event fresh off a win from the previous race (Denver) and is looking to capture his third victory of the season en route to 'sweeping The Swing'
  • Ron Capps returns as the 2018 Sonoma Nationals Funny Car runner-up 
  • Leah Pritchett claimed the 2017 Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier when she powered to the quickest pass in Sonoma Raceway history (3.669-seconds)
  • Johnson captured his first professional No. 1 qualifier at Sonoma in 1994 while competing in Top Fuel
  • Ahead of the race weekend, Jack Beckman will be honored with the second annual Eric Medlen Award during the 13th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night fundraising dinner on Thursday, July 25

DSR-Owned Track Records:
Top Fuel, E.T.: 3.669 seconds, Leah Pritchett (2017)

DSR Driver Information:
 
Top Fuel:

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster

Sonoma Event Highlights: 
  • Four-time event champion (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015) 
  • Three-time runner-up:
    • Top Fuel (2017) 
    • Pro Stock Motorcycle (2004, 2006) 
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2008, 2015) 
2018 Sonoma Recap:
Qualified third; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jim Maroney in E1; defeated by Blake Alexander in E2)

Last Event (Denver):
Qualified sixth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Greg Carrillo in E1; defeated by Jordan Vandergriff in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
17 round wins; Ranked third in points

Career Statistics:
420 races; 66 wins (16 Pro Stock Motorcycle); 49 No. 1 qualifiers (11 PSM)

Quotable:
“Really looking forward to Sonoma. We’ve got something we can worth with. We’ve got a good engine combo that’s going to repeat for us, and we’re looking forward to competing at a high level. We’ve always done well in Sonoma; we’re back to sea level, and this is going to be our time to, hopefully, go out there and shine, and show ‘em what we’re made of. We’re so close to making great things happen, and we’re going to keep pushing hard, and I think Sonoma is definitely going to be that race for us.”

  
LEAH PRITCHETT
Driver of the Okuma Top Fuel Dragster
Sonoma Event Highlights: 
  • 2017 No. 1 qualifier 
2018 Sonoma Recap:
Qualified second; First round exit (defeated by Bill Litton in E1)

Last Event (Denver):
Qualified second; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Terry Totten in E1; defeated by Clay Millican in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
12 round wins; Ranked seventh in points

Career Statistics:
131 races; seven wins; 11 No. 1 qualifiers 

Noteworthy:
  • Claimed the 2017 TF No. 1 qualifier when she powered to the quickest pass in Sonoma Raceway history (3.669-seconds)

Quotable:
“Sonoma is more than the second race on The Swing; it’s the other side of the pendulum. Going from choked out air to the land of horsepower. It’s very exciting for our team as we take our Okuma-enhanced Top Fueler to the track to continue our consistent progress. Although there are 1,200 miles, there are only four days between runs. Our team is prepared to apply last year’s proven quick combo with this year’s improvements to one of the most important races of the year as we fight to raise our Countdown positioning, as well as hunt for our first Wally of the season.” 


Funny Car:

JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Sonoma Event Highlights:
  • 2015 event champion  
  • 2010 runner-up 
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2010, 2015) 
2018 Sonoma Recap:
Qualified second; Quarterfinal finish (defeated J.R. Todd in E1; defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. in E2)

Last Event (Denver):
Qualified 10th; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Matt Hagan in E1; defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
21 round wins; ranked fifth in points 
 
Career Statistics:
314 races; 28 wins; 24 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Ahead of the race weekend, Beckman will be honored with the second annual Eric Medlen Award during the 13th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night fundraising dinner on Thursday, July 25

Quotable:
“I love Sonoma. I have so much history there in my Sportsman car. It’s a place I’ve been going to since 1992. I’ve won there in Sportsman. I’ve won there in a pro car. We’re just having a tough time getting this monkey off our back and getting our first trophy of the year. I can’t think of a better place to do that than in wine country and celebrating with some ice cream at the end of the day as a tribute to Eric Medlen. We’ll go in Thursday for the Eric Medlen Nitro Night, and we’ll end the weekend with the ice cream tribute to him, and somewhere in between there I’d like to be holding a trophy.”
 
On being named the 2019 Speedway Children’s Charities Eric Medlen Award recipient:
“I've been honored to emcee ‘Eric's Night’ for many years, and it's always exciting to reminisce about Eric, spend time with his friends and family, and know that we're raising money to help kids through Speedway Children's Charities, something Eric would have loved. Now, to be recognized with the Eric Medlen Award, well that's just hard to wrap my head around. I'm really humbled by this, and I'm also extremely excited to turn the mic back over to Bob Frey, the man who began emceeing these events, a great friend, and someone I have looked up to for more than 30 years.”

 
RON CAPPS
Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Sonoma Event Highlights: 
  • Four-time event champion (1997, 2010, 2011, 2013) 
  • Four-time runner-up (2002, 2005, 2016, 2018) 
  • 1998 No. 1 qualifier 
2018 Sonoma Recap:
Qualified fifth; Event runner-up (defeated Richard Townsend in E1, Matt Hagan in E2, John Force in E3; defeated by Robert Hight in E4)

Last Event (Denver):
Qualified fourth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Todd Simpson in E1; defeated by Bob Tasca III in E2)

2019 Season Statistics:
20 round wins; ranked fourth in points 

Career Statistics:
545 races; 63 wins (one Top Fuel); 23 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:
  • Raced to a runner-up finish in 2018 
  • Inaugural Eric Medlen Award recipient (2018) 
Quotable:
“For me, Sonoma is all about the friends, the family, Riebe’s NAPA AUTO PARTS and tri-tip dinners, and I just can’t wait to get there. My mom had back surgery, and Momma Capps hasn’t been to a race in a long time. She missed Pomona, and I’m excited for her to get back to the track. My family and all the friends I went to high school with and having my motorhome at the track, it’s a home atmosphere, and it’s treated me so well with so many wins. To be inducted into the Sonoma Hall of Fame a few years ago was a highlight of my life. To be on that wall with the likes of Roger Penske and John Cardinale is just great.”

  
MATT HAGAN
Driver of the MOPAR Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody
Sonoma Event Highlights:
  • 2012 event runner-up 
  • Two-time No. 1 qualifier (2009, 2013) 
2018 Sonoma Recap:
Qualified fourth; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Jim Campbell in E1; defeated by Ron Capps in E2)

Last Event (Denver):
Qualified seventh; First round exit (defeated by Jack Beckman in E1)

2019 Season Statistics:
16 round wins; ranked eighth in points 

Career Statistics:
254 races; 31 wins; 34 No. 1 qualifiers

Quotable:
“Sonoma is always a great race track. We had a great car in Denver, but we had a parts failure so we’d really like to get to Sonoma and start with fresh parts and pieces. We’re going to take the momentum we had from Epping and move on. We’ll be back to sea level, back in the MOPAR car again. I’ve never won Sonoma so hopefully, this will be the year we can pull down a win.”

 
TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat 
Sonoma Event Highlights:
  • 2015 runner-up  
  • 1994 No. 1 qualifier 
2018 Sonoma Recap:
Qualified seventh; Semifinal finish (defeated Cruz Pedregon in E1, Jack Beckman in E2; defeated by Robert Hight in E3)

Last Event (Denver):
Qualified second; Event champion (defeated Jeff Diehl in E1, Jack Beckman in E2, Cruz Pedregon in E3, Bob Tasca III in E4)

2019 Season Statistics:
24 round wins; ranked second in points 
 
Career Statistics:
460 races; 19 wins (two Top Fuel); 18 No. 1 qualifiers (one Top Fuel)

Noteworthy:
  • Enters the event fresh off of a win from the previous race (Denver) and is looking to capture his third victory of the season en route to 'sweeping The Swing'
  • Captured his first professional No. 1 qualifier at Sonoma in 1994 (Top Fuel) 

Quotable:
“Sonoma is a great race on the tour. Everyone always looks forward to going there, not only for the race but to enjoy wine country. Coming off the win in Denver, our team has a lot of momentum, and it’s the first time ever that I’ve had the opportunity to ‘sweep the Swing,’ and we need to keep that going and get a win in Sonoma. I know a lot of the crew chiefs are looking forward to getting out of the thin air in Denver and getting back to sea-level racing and I know we are too. Even though the car ran really well in Denver, I think we have a good car no matter the conditions so I’m looking forward to Sonoma and seeing if we can continue that momentum.”

Our Sponsors

Join Shoe's News

Thank You!

Thank you for signing up to receive Shoe’s News.