NorCal Racing

NHRA pays visit to Sonoma Raceway

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The Sonoma County Wine Country’s tranquil setting will be absent of silence this weekend for any tourists at the south end of the region, as the NHRA Sonoma Nationals visit Sonoma Raceway this weekend.

Nitro dragsters will start to hit the track today with qualifying runs tonight, Saturday and eliminations on Sunday. A full weekend ticket for access on Friday, Saturday and Sunday runs between $135-145 for adults and $75 for kids 12 years old and under. Tickets for individual days run between $55-65. Preferred parking for lot 1 is still available for Saturday for $15 but sold out on Friday and Sunday. Camping is available at 50 Acres Campground for $200 cash only on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information on tickets, parking and camping, visit


Here are some events fans attending the Sonoma Nationals can look forward to this weekend.

Fans heading to the track early today can head to Sunoco Victory Lane to see Don Schumacher Racing teammates Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett, along with NHRA racing legend Jeb Allen take part in a question and answer session in the afternoon. Pritchett and Allen are scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and Capps, Hagan and Brown will chat at 3 p.m.

Autographs: Toyota NHRA drivers will be signing autographs at the Toyota display starting at 2:30 p.m. today and Saturday at 11:45 a.m. A kids-only autograph session will take place Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

Cacklefest: A collection of nostalgic dragsters will fire up in front of the main grandstand just before Nitro qualifying at 8 tonight.

Ice Cream Social: After the finals on Sunday, the raceway will hold the 12th annual Eric Medlen Ice Cream Social where fans are invited to have a free scoop of Clover Sonoma ice cream. The raceway encourages donations to the Sonoma Raceway chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.


The Wednesday Night Drags program runs almost every Wednesday. Currently in its 30th year, it runs from March 14-Nov. 4. Fans can race their vehicles down the ¼-mile drag strip in a controlled-environment away from city streets. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with racing from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Competitors must have a driver’s license to compete, their car must pass a technical inspection and all vehicles must have mufflers. Up to 300 cars are allowed to enter.

Running alongside the drags will be Sonoma Drift, where pros and amateurs can swing wheels to perfect their drifting techniques. Speed is secondary as competitors are judged on the style and execution of their drift through a marked course in the raceway’s paddock. Cars must pass a technical inspection before being allowed to drift.

Drifting starts at 4 p.m. Drivers can pay $25, high school students with ID can race for $15 at the gate. Spectators can watch for $10.

The next Wednesday Night Drags event will be held next Wednesday, Aug. 1.

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