Photo: Kalitta Motorsports

NHRA: J.R. Todd breaks through in Funny Car in Sonoma

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SONOMA, Calif. (AP) J.R. Todd became the first black winner in NHRA Funny Car history Sunday, beating Tim Wilkerson in the Sonoma Nationals.

The 35-year-old Todd, from Lawrenceburg, Indiana also joined Don Prudhomme as the only NHRA drivers to win at Sonoma Raceway in both nitro categories. Todd won nine times in Top Fuel.

Todd beat Wilkerson with a 4.049-second pass at 323.27 mph in a Toyota Camry.

“Our car showed us a lot of promise in Denver which gave us hope coming into here,” Todd said. “We’ve been struggling so bad this season. I’m just happy to win a Funny Car. I was able to win here last year in Top Fuel and to be able to come back and do it again in Funny Car is pretty special.”

Wilkerson’s Ford Shelby Mustang went up in smoke in a 6.823 at 100.26.

Steve Torrence raced to his sixth Top Fuel victory of the season, Tanner Gray topped the Pro Stock field for his third win in his rookie season, and LE Tonglet took his fifth Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of the year.

Torrence beat Antron Brown in the final with a 3.784 at 329.42. Gray had a 6.572 at 210.05 in a Chevrolet Camaro to edge points leader Bo Butner. Tonglet beat Matt Smith with a 6.783 at 197.02 on a Suzuki. Tonglet won the Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle on Saturday.

Formula 1: Recapping the past week’s news

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This past week in Formula 1 was dominated by teams launching their 2018 challengers for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.

A total of six teams took the covers off their new chassis for the world to see this week, joining Haas F1 Team and Williams Martini Racing in doing so.

The list below contains the teams that launched their 2018 chassis this week and the name of their 2018 chassis:

  • Red Bull Racing – RB14
  • Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team – C37
  • Renault Sport F1 Team – R.S.18
  • Scuderia Ferrari – SJ71H
  • Mercedes AMG Petronas – W09
  • McLaren F1 Team – MCL33

Testing for everyone begins on Monday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, home of the Spanish Grand Prix, beginning a stretch of two weeks of pre-season testing prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Sahara Force India and Scuderia Toro Rosso are expected to unveil their 2018 cars the morning of the first day of testing.

Force India Up for Sale?

Rumors about the future of Sahara Force India, already rumored to be changing names soon, took yet another interesting this week as news surfaced about a possible sale of the team to British energy drink firm Rich Energy.

This news also comes as current majority team owner Dr. Vijay Mallya faces developing legal troubles involving money laundering, further adding to the murky environment surrounding a team that has become the “best of the rest” behind Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull in recent years.

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