Tasca III topples Hight, John Force in finals; Brittany Force nabs first Sonoma win

Nick Vides, Photographer

It was a series of firsts Sunday afternoon as all four winners in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle picked up their first Sonoma wins.

Bob Tasca III (front) wins against John Force (back) in the finals for Funny Car at the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals Sunday July 24, 2022. (Nick Vides)

Bob Tasca III had a challenging path to victory at the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals on Sunday July 24, 2022. Tasca III, having beaten first place qualifier Robert Hight in the previous elimination round, defeated John Force in the final round. Tasca III topped out at 325.61 mph. 

“How often do you get to go toe-to-toe with the greatest of all time in maybe the next 1000 years?” Tasca asked in a post-race press conference. “It’s a treat for me to race John, and I know that he brings his A game.” This was Tasca’s first win at Sonoma Raceway.

Top Fuel driver Brittany Force also earned her first Sonoma win on Sunday. Force broke the track speed record, hitting 337.75 mph and broke the lowest elapsed time record, going for 3.662 during her semi-final run against Shawn Langdon. 

Brittany Force (right) defeats Bay Area native Mike Salinas (left) for the finals in Top Fuel at the Denso NHRA Sonoma Nationals Sunday July 24, 2022. (Nick Vides)

Force went on to win against Bay Area Native Mike Salinas in the final run. “Sonoma has always been on my bucket list. It’s one of my wins that I’ve always wanted to get,” Force said at the press conference. “It’s almost a home track for me. I grew up at this racetrack watching my dad (John) run Super Comp and A-Fuel.”

Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Joey Gladstone joined the first-timer club and nabbed his first Sonoma win on Sunday. Gladstone defeated Eddie Krawiec in the final run. “I never thought I’d see this day. No, that’s a lie,” Gladstone said after the race. “I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and thought I could do this. I’ve dedicated 20 years of my life to this, and now I’ve accomplished it.” 

Pro Stock driver Erica Enders joined in on the fun, winning for the first time in Sonoma against Greg Anderson. “This race has evaded us somehow for 18 years with racing pro stock. So every year I set my goals and Sonoma is on the list,” Enders said.

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series continues in Seattle at the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals July 29-31.