Tonglet Wins NHRA Pro Bike Battle; Pritchett, Hight, Skillman and M. Smith Clinch No.1 Qualifying Positions at Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals

SONOMA, CA – July 30, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  LE Tonglet raced to his first career NHRA Mickey Thompson Tire Pro Bike Battle win during the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday. Tonglet received a $7,500 payday in the all-star bonus race featuring the top eight Pro Stock Motorcycles in the category.

In other racing, Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) earned No. 1 qualifying positions and will lead their classes into Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

In his first appearance in the Pro Bike Battle, Tonglet, on his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki, defeated Angelle Sampey and Andrew Hines before facing Eddie Krawiec in the finals. Tonglet’s pass of 6.827-seconds at 196.07 mph earned him the victory.

“This is the first time I’ve been in the battle,” Tonglet stated. “To be able to win it on the first go-around is pretty amazing. My brother (GT Tonglet) won it back in 2005 and to be able to follow in his footsteps just means a lot to me.”

In Top Fuel, no one was able to best the track record E.T. that Pritchett ran on Friday. She earned her fifth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and sixth of her career with a run of 3.669 at 304.80 in her Papa John’s dragster. She’ll face Terry Haddock in the first round.

“This is the highest confidence we can have heading into a Sunday,” Pritchett said. “Keeping in mind that anything can happen on Sunday; no matter who you’re racing. Today we took this track extremely serious trying to get down it in similar conditions for tomorrow.”

Brittany Force piloted her Monster Energy dragster to the No. 2 spot after a pass of 3.689 at 330.63 and is paired against Steve Chrisman.

Hight’s national record speed of 339.87 with a time of 3.807 in his Auto Club of Southern California / California Highway Patrol Chevrolet Camaro from Friday earned him back-to-back No. 1 qualifying positions. This is his third of the season and 52nd of his career. He’ll line up against Tim Gibbons to open eliminations.

“Things are definitely going in the right direction for us,” Hight stated. “It’s a big deal. Everyone wants to talk about sweeping the swing. We’ve got one leg down and coming here to make the quickest run in history is pretty awesome.”

Hight’s team owner and 16-time world champion, John Force, powered his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro to a pass of 3.848 at 337.16 to secure the No. 2 slot. He will face Jeff Diehl in the first round of eliminations.

Skillman, in his Ray Skillman Chevrolet Camaro, earned the top spot in Pro Stock with his run of 6.538 at 211.36 during the third qualifying session. This is his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season and fifth of his career.

“Momentum is the word of the weekend for us,” Skillman said. “Team is really positive, momentum is moving forward and engine is really strong. Our Chevrolet Camaro is really strong right now.”

Points leader Bo Butner drove his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevrolet Camaro to a pass of 6.546 at 211.63 for second and will see two-time world champion Erica Enders in eliminations.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Smith powered his Polaris Victory Magnum to a pass of 6.771 at 198.70 during the final qualifying session. This is his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 26th of his career. He will face Steve Johnson in the first round of eliminations.

“I feel good, very good heading into tomorrow,” Smith stated. “We struggled all weekend and blowing the tire way in. We were running big speeds, but just couldn’t get off the line. Ended up being a tire problem, but we’re excited for tomorrow.”

Hector Arana Jr. secured second after a 6.773 at 197.91 on his Lucas Oil Buell, while Tonglet sits at third with a 6.783 at 196.73 on his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki.

Eliminations at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals begin on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Sonoma Raceway.

SONOMA, CA– Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 30th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, the 15th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel — 1. Leah Pritchett, 3.669 seconds, 328.38 mph vs. 16. Terry Haddock, 8.133, 86.62; 2. Brittany Force, 3.689, 330.63 vs. 15. Steven Chrisman, 5.152, 141.82; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.694, 331.28 vs. 14. Shawn Reed, 4.116, 234.33; 4. Antron Brown, 3.705, 329.42 vs. 13. Troy Buff, 3.860, 314.02; 5. Tony Schumacher, 3.709, 328.30 vs. 12. Scott Palmer, 3.828, 324.59; 6. Steve Torrence, 3.718, 328.78 vs. 11. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.824, 296.18; 7. Shawn Langdon, 3.722, 327.59 vs. 10. Mike Salinas, 3.779, 324.67; 8. Clay Millican, 3.744, 328.54 vs. 9. Terry McMillen, 3.757, 315.12.

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.807, 339.87 vs. 16. Tim Gibbons, Chevy Impala, 7.251, 101.51; 2. John Force, Camaro, 3.848, 337.16 vs. 15. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.093, 310.48; 3. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.854, 328.70 vs. 14. Jonnie Lindberg, Toyota Camry, 4.079, 311.77; 4. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.889, 329.91 vs. 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.019, 310.84; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.896, 327.43 vs. 12. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.000, 321.96; 6. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.904, 330.39 vs. 11. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.959, 328.94; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.926, 331.20 vs. 10. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.947, 329.50; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.935, 325.30 vs. 9. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.935, 319.60.

Pro Stock — 1. Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.538, 211.73 vs. Bye; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.546, 211.66 vs. 15. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.949, 211.89; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.553, 212.46 vs. 14. Tom Huggins, Dodge Dart, 6.709, 206.80; 4. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.553, 212.13 vs. 13. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.679, 209.26; 5. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.570, 211.20 vs. 12. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.625, 209.14; 6. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.571, 211.89 vs. 11. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.614, 209.20; 7. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.576, 211.63 vs. 10. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.610, 209.17; 8. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.578, 211.03 vs. 9. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.598, 210.97.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.771, 198.70 vs. 16. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.890, 196.56; 2. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.773, 197.91 vs. 15. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.889, 191.46; 3. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.783, 197.02 vs. 14. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 6.888, 197.10; 4. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.784, 197.33 vs. 13. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.874, 195.14; 5. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.791, 196.99 vs. 12. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.844, 199.55; 6. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.811, 195.96 vs. 11. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.841, 194.94; 7. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.811, 196.30 vs. 10. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.839, 196.33; 8. Chip Ellis, Victory, 6.835, 195.62 vs. 9. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.837, 198.88.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Scott Bottorff, 6.992, 191.08; 18. Charles Sullivan, 7.140, 187.36; 19. Lance Bonham, 7.237, 184.83; 20. James Surber, 7.353, 185.23; 21. Andie Rawlings, 7.618, 170.17.

SONOMA, CA– Saturday’s final results from the fourth annual Mickey Thompson NHRA Pro Bike Battle at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway. The race is a special race within a race based on qualifying throughout the year.

Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle — LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.827, 196.07 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, Foul – Centerline.

SONOMA, CA — Saturday’s final round-by-round results from the fourth annual Mickey Thompson NHRA Pro Bike Battle at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway. The race is a special
race within a race based on qualifying throughout the year.


ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.784, 195.05 def. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, Foul – Red Light; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.830, 196.96 def. Angelle Sampey, 10.261, 69.39; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.851, 198.88 def. Chip Ellis, 6.950, 195.62; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.866, 199.55 def. Matt Smith, 6.879, 198.00;

SEMIFINALS — Krawiec, 6.840, 196.67 def. Savoie, Foul – Red Light; Tonglet, 6.783, 197.02 def. Hines, 6.844, 197.42;

FINAL — Tonglet, 6.827, 196.07 def. Krawiec, Foul – Center line.

About National Hot Rod Association

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

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