Compiled by SEMA Editors
ALBALOOSHI, C. FORCE, LINE AND KRAWIEC TAKE HOME WINS IN SONOMA: Khalid alBalooshi (Top Fuel), Courtney Force (Pro Stock), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took home wins at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals—the second of three races in the Western Swing. In Top Fuel, alBalooshi piloted his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to a 3.912 at 309.42, defeating teammate Shawn Langdon. It was the second win of the season for alBalooshi, who celebrated his 35th birthday during race day, and the fourth of his career.
"The trophy is exactly what I wanted," said alBalooshi, who beat Billy Torrence, Clay Millican and Englishtown winner Richie Crampton to reach the final. "This is a very special birthday for me. This trophy is the best gift of my life, and [crew chief] Jason McCulloch gave it to me with all my crew guys."
HINES WINS MIRAMONTE RECORDS NHRA PRO BIKE BATTLE IN SONOMA: Andrew Hines extended his win streak to 11–0 by winning the inaugural MiraMonte Records NHRA Pro Bike Battle last Saturday at Sonoma Raceway. Since unveiling his new chassis earlier this month, Hines won in Norwalk and Denver, and he remained perfect with a final-round win over Scotty Pollacheck to claim the $25,000 top prize in the specialty event, which was open only to the top eight riders based on qualifying performance this year.
"This is a big deal for Vance & Hines and Harley-Davidson," said Hines. "It’s been a while since we’ve had a specialty race. I think 2009 was the last time, and five years later, we’ve been able to continue what we started. Our team has won the last five of these [specialty] races, and I’m glad to keep that streak going. I’ve been on a roll since we broke out this new motorcycle. [New bikes] don’t usually start winning when you first bring them out. I’m 11–0, and I’m not looking forward to the day when it doesn’t turn on the win light."
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES ROLLS INTO PACIFIC NORTHWEST: The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season is winding down and teams head to the Pacific Northwest for the final stop of the Western Swing at Pacific Raceways for the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals. The best in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will all compete for the final Wally of the Western Swing—the third-to-last stop before the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2. Pacific Raceways has hosted 320-mph action for the last 26 years and fans will once again get to see the spectacle of two 10,000-hp nitro-charged race cars roar 1,000 ft. in less than four seconds. The track, located just south of downtown Seattle, has seen drag racing’s biggest names drive to victory, and the winners in 2014 could be next on the list of NHRA legends.
He Said, She Said
"Winning the 200th was something that is really cool, and I'm proud to represent Chevrolet and be able to have my name on this record. It's great to give a little something back after all that they've done for us and for this class. It's just a neat, neat deal. It was a great weekend. I have a really good race car right now. To be honest, I struggled driving this weekend and did things I've never done in my life. Without question, this is the luckiest I've ever been—but I'll take it. There have been a lot of times where I've done a good job driving and haven't been able to win. Sometimes the luck falls your way, and today it did because I had a great hot rod."
—Pro Stock racer Jason Line on recording the 200th Pro Stock win for Chevrolet at the most recent event in Sonoma. Line, a two-time Pro Stock world champion, has two wins this season and 33 in his career.
Inside the Numbers
5: The number of wins Courtney Force has after her most recent victory in Sonoma. The win makes her the winningest female racer in the Funny Car category and breaks a tie she had with her sister Ashley Force-Hood. Melanie Troxel has five career wins with four wins in Top Fuel and one in Funny Car. Force's win came against her father John and she now has six wins to five losses to her father in eliminations.
"I saw Dad right out my window the whole way down," said Courtney. "We were able to get that win. I was holding on for dear life. It’s a great thing for our team to have two cars in the final round and for us to get that win with our sponsor, Mike Jenkins, here with us today. We were going to be excited no matter what, but I’m glad it was me. Dad has 140 wins, and I really wanted to just get five."
Did You Know
'MONGOOSE' AND 'SNAKE' WILL REVISIT FAMOUS INDY FUNNY CAR FINAL: Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen and Don "the Snake" Prudhomme were two of the fiercest rivals in NHRA Funny Car history. However, for most of the time, Prudhomme came out on the winning end in their legendary side-by-side races. It was a different story, however, in the 1978 Funny Car final at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indy. This time, "the Mongoose" finally got "the Snake." Spurred on by sheer emotion following the passing of his 14-year-old son Jamie weeks earlier to Leukemia, McEwen had what he called “the race of my life” and was able to defeat Prudhomme to earn his only victory in the world’s most prestigious drag race.
"It was a sad situation," McEwen has said. "I was really bummed, but one of the last things [Jamie] told me was that he wanted me to go to Indy and beat Prudhomme. He and Prudhomme were buddies."
During the weeks leading up to the running of this year's Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the NHRA is unveiling six of the most iconic moments in the history of the event that will remember the very heroes who made them. The NHRA will conduct official presentations to honor each of the moments—including the epic 1978 Funny Car final—in the Hot Rod Junction on Friday through Sunday of the Indy race weekend.
View the complete 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.