Drag racers, funny cars and ear plugs

Posted on July 22, 2014 by Sonoma Valley Sun

996459Would you pay $60 for a gallon of fuel – and use four gallons in a four-second sprint — if your ride could go 320 miles an hour? The top drag racers in the world bring their nitro-guzzling rockets to Sonoma Valley for the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 25-27.

The weekend at Sonoma Raceway features professional drag racing in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle divisions.

NHRA dragsters will compete on the world-famous drag strip that features a 660-foot concrete launch pad, one of the quickest and fastest in the country. Five track records were set last year, including a low Top Fuel time of 3.743 seconds – to cover 1,000 feet from a dead stop — by event champ Shawn Langdon.

Off track, the weekend will also feature the fifth annual Nostalgia Get-Together, with a collection of more than 70 vintage dragsters, hot rods and more, as well as the Blast on the Grass car show.

Day tickets range from $55-$70, with weekend passes starting at $140. Discounts for juniors.

DRAG FACT: Wrecked by the internal forces of a four-second, 8,000 horsepower blast, the engine of a top fuel dragster must be rebuilt after every run, a job that takes the expert crew about 40 minutes.

Sonoma Nationals schedule

Friday, July 25: Sportsman qualifying, begins at 8:15 a.m.; Professional qualifying sessions at 4:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 26: Sportsman eliminations begin at 8:15 a.m.; Professional qualifying sessions at 12:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 27: Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.; Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

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