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Draglist Photo Review!

Sonoma 2002: To Infineon and Beyond (Part 2)

By Tim Marshall

(1) Outstanding night qualifying at the all new Infineon Raceway. Tony Schumacher "the Sarge" displays huge flame on the Don Schumacher owned US Army T/F car and stayed in the POWERade/ NHRA points race at #4 with middle of the pack 4.714, 302.89 mph.

(2) The only husband and wife team of Rhonda Hartman-Smith, John Smith, and their beautiful youngster, pose right before the driver intros at Sonoma.

(3) Not only was Angelle Savoie the quickest bike rider on the facility at a fantastic effort of 7.073, and the fastest too at 192.52 mph, but she has great balance too!!!

(4) Awesome wheelstands were par for course in SS/S eliminator, like this show and go Hemi!

(5) John Force is not only and eleven time NHRA Funny Car World Champion, he IS NHRA Drag Racing period! The champ cleaned up in FC with outstanding times of 4.8664, and 303.09 mph. Castrol, ford, Mac Tools, Don Steves, and a host of others, you back a winner!

(6) Side by side qualifying with Larry "Lightning Reactions" Morgan and the brand new Greg Stanfield entry .

(7) Great qualifying efforts by both Del Worsham and Ron Capps put both deep into the Fram/Autolite NHRA Nationals

(8) In the second round of eliminations Darrell Russell in Joe Amato's Bilstein entry looked like he might get that "threesome" west coast swing when Russell put out NHRA points leader Larry Dixon. Darrell's fine 4.750, 300.66 mph was an easy victor when Dixon went up in smoke!

(9) Does it get any better than this? #1 and #2 in the points race face off the qualifying. And that is exactly how they ended up in qualifying TOO! Larry Dixon's 4.608, 317.94, while KB turned in a very close 4.610, 318.47 mph. This will be a race all the way to Pomona.

(10) Born in Australia, but now living in Riverside, California, Bernie Cunningham in his Valvoline backed Pontiac Trans Am won another one in Stock Eliminator with this wheelstanding beauty!!!

(11) Chandler, AZ resident Craig Treble in the Matco Tools backed 1992 Suzuki was not the quickest, or the fastest but "Mr. Consistent!" In the final round Craig punched out Matt Hines at a 7.128, 185.95 mph, to a very close but losing 7.144, 188.81 mph.

(12) Larry Miner from nearby Woodbridge, CA, captured the always tough Alcohol Funny Car field besting Steve Gasparelli, even though No Times were recorded for Miner.

(13) In the hotly contested SS/S category, the honors went to 'local boy' Kyle Seipel, who has probably raced as much at Sears Pt as anyone. Seipel's 1989 Camaro turned in a strong effort of 9.008, 144.01 mph to defeat John Schiess in a Jim DeFrank 1991 Olds Calais, which ran a 9.447, 139.76 mph. Bobby Dennis, all the way from Shorter, Alabama, was the #1 qualifier in his 1997 Pontiac Firehawk.

(14) In the Washington vs. California battle, Mike "Sportsman touring Pro" Ferderer, in the Pennzoil backed 1992 Pontiac Grand Am won easily at a 9.962, 144.88 mph, when Rod Hartzell broke in his California based 2000 Corvette.

(15) Top Fuel final round was a barn burner between the two Doug's' .Herbert and Kalitta! With almost a dead even start, Doug Herbert's' Snap-on, Herbert Performance Part, and Red-Line oil backed entry took home the "gold" at a fine pass of 4.727, 308.85 mph, while Kalitta's Mac Tool entry trailed very closely at a 4.788, 305.36 mph.

(16) Jim Pace put on an exhibition with his awesome "Jelly Belly" 1948 Anglia! They've got lotsa great candy at each and every event they are at too!

(17) Until Larry Morgan started putting "hole-shots" on everyone, Greg Anderson, (former crewchief for WJ) looked like the guy to beat! The Charlotte NC resident set Low qualifier, Low ET and Top Speed with the Vegas General Construction Chevy Cavalier. Times oh yeah, how about a best of 6.780 at 203.52 mph.

(18) Doug Herbert took out the hottest driver in the class, Darrell Russell, in the semifinals.

(19A) Morgan Lucas, just upgraded his Super Comp license recently, and the Riverside, CA. young gun just hooked up with "the Teacher" Jerry Darien, and they absolutely dominated Top Alcohol Dragster! 

(19B) The Lucas Oil backed A/FD put on quite a show, winning the race over veteran Steve Federlin from Oregon. It was a fantastic Final at 5.368, 262.23 mph, to a close but losing 5.447, 255.48 mph. Lucas also claimed Top Speed and Low ET of the breed at 5.295, 270.32 mph! Congrats to the entire Lucas Racing Team!

(20) From near-by Benecia Jeff Gillette returned to the winner circle, with the Central Chevy backed C/ED turning in a 7.983, 118.92 mph to defeat John Chamberlin who had severe tire shake and shut off wisely.

(21) It had been 8 years since Larry Morgan had been to the winners circle. He is always competitive but today was Larry's day with his MOPAR backed 1999 Dodge Neon. In the final round of elims Larry who had been outstanding on the starting line all day, cut another great lite (.437 to a fine .483) but won the Pro Stock title at a 6.845, to a better but losing 6.799, 202.45 mph. Congrats to Morgan and crew!

(22) Fuel Funny Car is probably the most popular class in NHRA Drag Racing. A big part of the reason why is John Force! The fans at Infineon were not disappointed, as the 11 time World Champion laid down a fine 4.953, 303.09 mph to just barely edge out Ron Capps in the Snake's Skoal Camaro with a 4.956, 202.45 mph. This race could not have been closer!

(23) Larry Morgan's crewman could have been this photographer's prediction! Those guys are either brave or "I guess I can't say that here." Anyway Larry Morgan and crew had a fantastic weekend.

(24) The famed Hot Rod Willys and Jim Pace put on a nice exhibition run for the crowd.

(25) An All Schumacher F/C battle in qualifying with both Scotty Cannon and Whit Bazemore easily making the show.

Check out Sonoma Photos Part One HERE.

Tim Marshall
tmarshall29@hotmail.com

 

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