Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sonoma NHRA Nationals rumble this weekend

SONOMA - The hills of Sonoma Valley will rumble  as the 10,000-horsepower machines of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series return for the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals this weekend, July 27-29.

As 300-mph runs hit the track, there will also be plenty for fans to enjoy off the drag strip. For the fourth year in a row, a collection of nostalgia dragsters will light up the night, as they fire up their engines for a can’t-miss Cacklefest on Friday night in front of the Main Grandstand. These dragsters and many more will also be on display in the 9th annual Nostalgia Get-Together throughout race weekend. 

As always, fans are encouraged to enjoy the open pits, get autographs from their favorite drivers and enjoy all the activities in store. Below is a glimpse at what fans can enjoy during race weekend:

The Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals begin Friday at Sonoma Raceway.
A collection of nostalgic dragsters will be lined up in front of the
Main Grandstand Friday and Saturday.





Friday
Raceway Girls Autograph Session, 1:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m.
Get an autograph from the Sonoma Raceway girls in Sunoco Victory Lane.

Track Talk, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Head to Sunoco Victory Lane on Friday at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. for Q&A sessions with NHRA drag racers Leah Pritchett and NHRA legend Jeb Allen (2 p.m.), as well as Antron Brown, Ron Capps and Matt Hagan (3 p.m.).

Pro Stock Motorcycle Autograph Session, 2:15 p.m.
Grab an autograph from Pro Stock Motorcycle riders in the NHRA Midway.

Toyota Autograph Session, 2:30 p.m.
Get an autograph from your favorite Toyota driver in the Toyota display.

Legends Autograph Session, 3:45 p.m.
Join NHRA drag racing legends Ed “The Ace” McCulloch, Jeb Allen, Jim Dunn and Jack Clark in the Nostalgia Get Together garage.

First Round Follow Up 
Meet NHRA announcer Brian Lohnes in the pits to get the scoop on the hottest story from the first round of qualifying.

Top the Cops™
Watch high school students drag race against local law enforcement officers, who compete in full uniform in their official vehicles, during Top the Cops. The Top the Cops program gives teens the rare chance to drag race area law enforcement officers on the Sonoma Raceway drag strip as part of the raceway’s weekly Wednesday Night Drags.

Nostalgia Cacklefest
For the fourth consecutive year, a collection of nostalgia dragsters will light up the night on Friday evening, as they fire up their engines in front of the Main Grandstand for a can’t-miss demonstration. 

Jet Car
Witness the fire-breathing machine of Juan Cantu’s El Arabe Racing reach speeds of more than 300 mph as it launches down the drag strip in an illuminating display for the last pass of the day on Friday night!

Saturday
Kids-Only Autograph Session, 10:30 a.m.
Kids 12 and under can get autographs from the 2017 Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals winners J.R. Todd, Steve Torrence, Tanner Gray and LE Tonglet in Sunoco Victory Lane. 

Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle Autograph Session, 10:45 a.m.
At the Mickey Thompson display.

Nitro School, 11 a.m.
Join Alan Reinhart and Del Worsham at the NHRA Midway Display and keep your nitro knowledge up to speed.

Mello Yello Autograph Session, 11:30 a.m.
Head over to the Mello Yello display to get an autograph from your favorite NHRA Mello Yello drag racers.

Toyota Autograph Session, 11:45 a.m.
Head to the Toyota Display in the main paddock to get autographs from Toyota drivers, including Antron Brown, Richie Crampton, Doug Kalitta, Shawn Langdon, J.R. Todd and Cruz Pedregon.  

Legends Autograph Session, 1:15 p.m.
Join NHRA drag racing legends Ed “The Ace” McCulloch, Jeb Allen, Jim Dunn and Jack Clark at the Nostalgia Get Together garage.

NHRA Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle
The NHRA Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle returns as a race-within-a-race on Saturday. The riders who have accumulated the most qualifying points since last year’s Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals have earned a berth in the Pro Bike Battle.  

Raceway Girls Autograph Session, 4 p.m.
Get an autograph from the Sonoma Raceway Girls in Sunoco Victory Lane

Sunday
Starting Line Party and Sealmaster Track Walk, 9:30 a.m.
Join NHRA legends Ed “The Ace” McCulloch, Jeb Allen, Kenny Youngblood and Jack Clark at a special pre-race Starting Line Party. Sonoma Raceway joins the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ “NHRA Legends Tour” program with this special event to bring fans close to these racing veterans. Be part of the celebration and add Sonoma Raceway’s Starting Line Party to your ticket for just $20. Upgrades to your race-day ticket are available at the entrance to the track next to Sunoco Victory Lane.

Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Pre-Race Ceremonies and Race Day Review, 9:45 a.m.
Mello Yello Main Stage (Starting Line Party pass required).

Raceway Girl Autograph Session, noon
Get an autograph from the Sonoma Raceway girls in Sunoco Victory Lane

Top the Cops™
Watch high school students drag race against local law enforcement officers, who compete in full uniform in their official vehicles.

Sunoco Victory Lane
Stick around after racing is complete as we crown the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals champions.

12th annual Eric Medlen Ice Cream Social
Join us as we honor late Funny Car racer Eric Medlen after final round eliminations on Sunday. Fans are invited trackside for a free scoop of ice cream donated by Clover Sonoma; donations to Speedway Children’s Charities are encouraged.

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS
9th Annual Nostalgia Get Together
Step back in time with an incredible collection of vintage dragsters, hot rods and more at the Nostalgia Get Together in the main paddock garages. 

8th Annual Blast on the Grass
Show off your hot rod, muscle car, rat rod or exotic in front of admiring crowds or just enjoy a great car show on the Piccinini Plaza lawn behind the staging lines.

Toyota Fan Zone
Fans can enjoy breathtaking views of the raceway and the surrounding hills of Sonoma on Toyota’s Ferris wheel and interact with the latest Toyota vehicles.

Jet Car
Following Friday night and Saturday qualifying, stay in your seat as a jet car barrels down the drag strip. 

Sonoma Raceway Girls
Say hello to the popular Raceway Girls this weekend, and don’t miss your chance to have your picture taken with them! 

Sonoma Raceway Kids Zone
Stop by the Sonoma Raceway Kids Zone to pick up your official Kids Club badge and Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals souvenir poster, plus say hi to Burnin’ Bovine, have your picture taken with real race cars, and more! Located in the main paddock, free all weekend.

Kids Invited to Build a Race Car
Step into the Kids Club “garage” where real racing machines are made! Located in the Sonoma Raceway Kids Zone, kids can build and race their own gravity-powered car while learning about STEM. Free all weekend.

Ticket Pit Stop
Stop by the newly-renovated Ticket Pit Stop (TPS) featuring a Real. Strong. Humboldt Redwood arbor behind the Main Grandstand. Renew your tickets for the 2019 race season and receive a BBQ grill set with three stainless tools, including a spatula, barbeque fork and tongs, all with black wooden handles. You can also get answers to your questions, news about upcoming events, and get a free photo in our photo booth.

Speedway Children’s Charities Raffle
The TPS is also the site of the Speedway Children’s Charities booth where you can purchase $5 raffle tickets for the opportunity to win the “Let’s Go Karting” charity raffle, a full karting day for you and up to 20 family and friends. 

Nitro Alley
Visit Nitro Alley to visit interactive displays, merchandise haulers and to check out cars on display.

Nitro Mall
Get all the latest NHRA merchandise at the Nitro Mall, which features gear from your favorite racers.

CHP Designate a Sober Driver Booth
Visit the California Highway Patrol Designate a Sober Driver Booth in the main paddock to pledge to be the designated sober driver for your group. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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