SONOMA, Calif. (July 23, 2019) – The field is set for the annual Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle featuring the very best in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category. This race-within-a-race pits the top eight riders in the class against each other as they compete for a $25,000 prize on July 27 during the 32nd annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
Former world champions Eddie Krawiec, Matt Smith, Andrew Hines, Angelle Sampey and Hector Arana Sr. comprise five of the eight competitors who earned the most bonus points during qualifying between the annual events. Also among the elite eight are Hector Arana Jr., Angie Smith and Ryan Oehler.Unlike previous years, the final standings (led by Krawiec) will not determine first-round matchups in this exciting battle. First-round pairings will be decided on stage during a pre-race ceremony only moments before competition begins. The riders will each select a special Mickey Thompson tire. The inside of each tire will be numbered one through four. The riders who select tires with the same numbers inside will be paired up against each other for the opening round.
Current world champion M.Smith won this iconic event in 2018 when he defeated Krawiec in the final round, providing a big boost of momentum going into the Countdown to the Championship and setting him on a positive course that stretched through the remainder of the season. Krawiec and his teammate Hines have been dominant forces in Pro Stock Motorcycle so far this year and each competitor understands how the Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle can set the stage for success in the countdown.
This year’s competition also marks a milestone for females in the sport as this is the first year to have more than one woman among this elite field. A. Smith and Sampey have both competed in the Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle in years past and both plan to be the first woman in NHRA history to bring home the $25,000 prize from this specialty race.
Introductions and tire flips for pairings for the Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle take place at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday followed by the first round at 1:15 p.m. The semifinals follow at 4:15 p.m., with the final round slated for 5:30 p.m.
To purchase tickets, call 800-870-RACE (7223). Tickets also are available online at www.sonomaraceway.com. First responders save 50% on adult reserved or general admission tickets on Saturday only. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
ABOUT MICKEY THOMPSON TIRES & WHEELS
Max-Trac Tire Co., Inc., dba Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels, markets racing and high-performance tires and wheels for street, strip, truck, and off-road applications.
The company was founded in 1963 by racing legend Mickey Thompson and is headquartered in Stow, Ohio, USA.
NHRA SONOMA NATIONALS
WHAT: 32nd annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, the 15th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships. The NHRA Lucas Oil Series also will be featured at this event.
WHERE: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, Calif. The track is located at the intersection of Highways 37 and 121
COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 15 feet above sea level; Track direction is north to south.
WHEN: Friday through Sunday, July 26-28SCHEDULE:
FRIDAY, July 26- LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, July 27- LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 1:20 and 6:15 p.m.
NHRA PRO BIKE BATTLE AT SONOMA RACEWAY at 1:15
SUNDAY, July 28 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.TELEVISION:
Saturday, July 28, FS1 will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 8 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, July 29, FOX will televise three hours of live finals coverage at 4 p.m. (ET).
2018 EVENT WINNERS: Blake Alexander, Top Fuel; Robert Hight, Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin, Pro Stock, LE Tonglet, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
MOST VICTORIES: John Force, 8, FC; Doug Kalitta, 5, TF; Greg Anderson, 5, PS; Antron Brown, 4, TF; Ron Capps, 4, FC; Darrell Alderman, 3, PS; Warren Johnson, 3, PS; Eddie Krawiec, 3, PSM; Jason Line, 3, PS; Jim Yates, 3, PS.TRACK RECORDS:
Top Fuel – 3.669 sec. by Leah Pritchett, July ‘17; 332.75 mph by Clay Millican, July ’18.
Funny Car – 3.807 sec. and 339.87 mph by Robert Hight, July ‘17.
Pro Stock – 6.499 sec. by Chris McGaha, July ’15; 213.00 mph by Shane Gray, July ‘15.
PS Motorcycle – 6.730 sec. by Angelle Sampey, July ’16; 200.35 mph by Hector Arana Jr., July ‘18.
Top Fuel – 3.628 sec. by Clay Millican, Feb. ’18, Pomona, Calif.; 336.57 mph by Tony Schumacher, Feb. ‘18, Phoenix
Funny Car – 3.793 sec. by Robert Hight, Aug. ’17, Brainerd; 339.87 mph by Robert Hight, July ’17, Sonoma, Calif.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ’14, Englishtown N.J.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.720 sec. by Andrew Hines, March ‘19, Gainesville, Fla., PA.; 201.76 mph by Matt Smith, March ‘19, Gainesville, Fla.
TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 870-RACE (7223). Tickets may also be purchased online at http://www.sonomaraceway.com.
Photos courtesy of NHRA
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 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service. 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 four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California.