SONOMA, Calif. – Ron Capps impressed under the lights on Friday at Sonoma Raceway, powering to the provisional No. 1 spot in Funny Car at the 33rd annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the ninth race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the second of the famed three-race NHRA Western Swing.

Capps went 3.897-seconds at 328.78 mph in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat during the lone qualifying session, making the best run of the night in the class. If it holds for the California native, Capps would pick up his third No. 1 qualifier in 2021 and 28th in his career. The veteran and former world champ is also trying to earn his first win of the season and Sonoma would mark the perfect location for Capps to do it.

“This race, for me, it’s a home race,” Capps said. “I grew up not far from here and there’s a lot of family and friends here. This race is always cool for me, and the fans here are waiting for you and they make you feel so good. This is what it’s all about. I came here as a kid as a crew member and to be in a racecar and make a run on this track with the sun going down, it’s epic. It’s so cool to look up at the grandstands and see a packed house.”

Alexis DeJoria claimed the second spot on Friday for the second straight race after going 3.898 at 325.61 and Matt Hagan, who won last weekend in Denver, took third after the first qualifying session with a run of 3.909 at 328.94

In Top Fuel, Force was the first driver to reach the 3.60s, going 3.694 at 329.42 in her 11,000-horsepower Flav-R-Pac dragster to claim the No. 1 spot on Friday. A week after setting the track record in Denver, Force is trying for another No. 1 qualifier to claim the top spot for the fourth time this season and 24th time in her career. Force is also attempting to win for the first time this season. Antron Brown is currently second after going 3.724 at 326.71, while his teammate, Leah Pruett, is directly behind thanks to her pass of 3.749 at 323.97.

Hartford is on track to accomplish a major first in his standout Pro Stock career, going 6.533 at 209.92 in his Total Seal Chevrolet Camaro. That gave him the provisional No. 1 position on Friday and should it hold, Hartford, who has one win this season, would grab his first career No. 1 qualifier in the class. Hartford will have his work cut out for him as ideal conditions are slated for Saturday’s final two rounds of qualifying, but the veteran is off to a strong start. His KB Racing teammate Kyle Koretsky is currently second thanks to his run of 6.538 at 209.65 and Aaron Stanfield is a spot behind after going 6.548 at 209.69.

Hines made a major move to open the weekend in Pro Stock Motorcycle, jumping to the top spot after his run of 6.761 at 201.67 on his Vance & Hines Buell. If it holds, Hines would qualify No. 1 for the first time this season and 45th time in his career. The 2019 race winner has a history of success at Sonoma Raceway and will be looking for his fourth win at the facility and first victory of the 2021 campaign. Points leader and defending world champ Matt Smith is right behind, going 6.769 and setting the track speed record with a blistering pass of 203.28. His wife, Angie, is third after she went 6.773 at 200.50.

Qualifying continues at 12:00 p.m. PT on Saturday at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

SONOMA, Calif. — Friday’s results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 33rd annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, ninth of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Brittany Force, 3.694 seconds, 329.42 mph; 2. Antron Brown, 3.724, 326.71; 3. Leah Pruett, 3.749, 323.97; 4. Justin Ashley, 3.761, 325.37; 5. Doug Kalitta, 4.166, 202.85; 6. Steve Torrence, 4.191, 194.44; 7. Shawn Langdon, 4.269, 193.85; 8. Buddy Hull, 4.316, 239.95; 9. Ron August, 4.930, 150.92; 10. Clay Millican, 9.046, 77.83; 11. Mike Salinas, 10.712, 47.38.

Funny Car — 1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.897, 328.78; 2. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.898, 325.61; 3. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.909, 328.94; 4. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.948, 324.59; 5. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.042, 316.08; 6. Steven Densham, Ford Mustang, 4.099, 245.81; 7. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.106, 305.56; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.139, 229.35; 9. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.172, 227.00; 10. J.R. Todd, Camry, 5.701, 120.89; 11. Paul Lee, Charger, 6.300, 109.40; 12. Alex Miladinovich, Camry, 6.483, 108.93; 13. Chris Morel, Charger, 6.540, 103.23; 14. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 6.610, 96.22; 15. John Force, Camaro, 7.688, 86.93; 16. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 8.125, 68.76. Not Qualified: 17. Jason Rupert, 8.382, 77.91; 18. Terry Haddock, 11.342, 71.14; 19. Tony Jurado, broke.

Pro Stock — 1. Matt Hartford, Chevy Camaro, 6.533, 209.92; 2. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.538, 209.65; 3. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.548, 209.69; 4. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.551, 210.14; 5. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.552, 210.37; 6. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.557, 209.65; 7. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.562, 210.11; 8. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.567, 209.56; 9. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.570, 208.91; 10. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.574, 210.08; 11. Aaron Strong, Camaro, 6.604, 208.81; 12. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.660, 206.70; 13. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.670, 208.55; 14. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.704, 207.56; 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.713, 205.10; 16. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 7.940, 111.84.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Andrew Hines, Buell, 6.761, 201.67; 2. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.769, 203.28; 3. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.773, 200.50; 4. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.808, 197.22; 5. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.825, 196.64; 6. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.835, 196.64; 7. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.838, 200.38; 8. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 6.965, 190.59; 9. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.016, 193.38; 10. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 7.032, 199.02; 11. Cory Reed, Suzuki, 7.140, 197.42; 12. Scott Bottorff, Buell, 7.211, 187.76; 13. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.211, 148.44; 14. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, broke; 15. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, broke.

33rd NHRA Sonoma Nationals
WHEN: July 23-25
CIRCUIT: Drag strip
2019 WINNERS: Billy Torrence (Top Fuel); Robert Hight (Funny Car); Greg Anderson (Pro Stock); and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle)
INFORMATION: 800-870-RACE (7223),, @RaceSonoma

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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