Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

Article by Ė John R. Andres, SMM Editor-in-Chief

Photography by Ė J.R. Andres & Randy Jones/SMM Staff Photographer

Infineon Raceway – SONOMA, Calif., June 6, 2010 – The sights, sounds and smells of the Sonoma Valley Wine Country gave way to the sweet scent of spent leaded fuel, engines revving way past their redlines and hot gear oil this weekend at Infineon Raceway. It was a time to celebrate a past when racing was in its formative years and the future horizon for automobiles seemed cloudless and boundless.

It was inevitable that things would change once racing and the automotive industry became big business. As the years went by and the fences went up, the cars and their drivers were gradually festooned with product logos and the best seat in the house wasn't on the grassy knoll under the elm tree any longer. A few complained but before long, the "good old days" were forgotten, a distant memory, that with the passage of time became merely a quaint relic of a storied past. Fortunately, the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival served as a time machine capable of erasing the years, allowing contemporary time travelers to experience the past glories of automotive competition once again.

The 24th edition of this event was indeed special, more so in years past, perhaps due to the number of entries, or maybe it was the variety of the automobiles present, but most likely it was the addition of an individual who exudes a passion for the preservation and the running of old cars that few have equaled.

Steve Earle of General Racing Ltd. is a man who maintains a clear vision of what it takes to showcase the mechanical legends of the past. After serving 36 years as the founder and organizer of the Monterey Historic Automobile Races at Laguna Seca Raceway, Earle has transitioned his expertise and his unique style to the annual Infineon Wine Country event in 2010, laying the seeds for a world-class "Woodstock" happening Ė a coming together of automotive legends that will only grow in tradition and prestige as the years unfold.

In the June 2009 issue of Motor Trend Magazine, Barry Meguiar, president and CEO of Meguiars Inc. was quoted as saying, "One of the founding fathers of the American vintage racing movement, Steve Earle, has given tirelessly to the sport, remaining in the background as he brought to life such renowned events as the Monterey Historics and the annual Wine Country Classic. His pioneering efforts have created world-class venues where collectors can relive the former glory of their historic racecars to the cheers of their fellow enthusiasts." The three hundred and seventy five participants at this year's event agree. A weekend of historic car racing isn't just about the racing itself. It's about the total experience that goes hand in hand for those with a penchant for all things genteel, refined and cultured.

The Gooding & Company auction house ( displayed three examples of cars with histories their brethren would envy. Present and accounted for were the 1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 Racing Monoplace that won the 1950 Paris Grand Prix, Gil Nickel's 1951 Ferrari 340 America, and Stirling Moss's 1956 Maserati 200 SI. It was a rare opportunity to view these thoroughbreds together for soon they would be separated at the Pebble Beach Auctions, which will be held August 14th and 15,th where all three will be seeking new owners.

On Saturday, those in attendance were invited to Infineon's Wine Country Pavilion to sample some of the best food and wine Sonoma and Napa counties had to offer, presided over by none other than the noted Bay Area chef, Victor Scargle. Things didn't end there because there was also ample opportunity to engage in chat sessions with the drivers and the event organizers throughout the afternoon as part of Celebrate Sonoma Day.

Saturday night, the City of Sonoma and the Sebastiani Winery hosted the Historic Car Festival, benefitting Speedway Children's Charities. Thirty out of the 375 entries registered at the Raceway were chosen to form a procession of vintage automobiles that were driven to the town square where hundreds of individuals gathered to celebrate their existence surrounded by food and drink samplings from area wineries and restaurants. It was a perfect prelude to a weekend of revelry and appreciation for the objects of everyone's affection that ended much too soon Sunday afternoon when the last car crossed the finish line.

Featured Marque in 2011

Winner of the Sonoma Historic Cup, the “Phil Hill Trophy”
Chris MacAllister/1971 McLaren M8F

Main Event Racing Results

Group 1A (1963-74 Grand National Cars)
David Hankin (1968 Ford Torino – Redding, Calif.)
Group 1B (1914-49 Pre-War Sport and Racing Cars)
Peter Giddings (1935 Alfa Romeo – Danville, Calif.)

Group 2A (1948-55 Sports Racing and GT Cars)
Rob Manson (1952 Schaghticoke – Barcelona, Spain)
Group 2B (1955-61 Sports Racing Cars)
Donald Orosco (1958 Lotus – Monterey, Calif.)

Group 3A (1955-62 GT Cars)
Scott Brown, (1957 MGA – Redwood City, Calif.)
Group 3B (1962-67 GT Cars over 2000cc)
Terry Gough, (1965 Corvette – Reno, Nev.)

Group 4A (1962-68 GT Cars under 2000cc)
Tom Claridge 1964 Ginetta – Los Gatos, Calif.)
Group 4B (1958-63 Formula Cars (F-Jr. & F-1)
Art Herbert (1963 Lola – Larkspur, Calif.)

Group 5A (1961-65 Sports Racing Cars)
David Vegher (1966 Elva – Petaluma, Calif.)
Group 5B (1965-88 FIA Mfg./IMSA GTP Cars)
David Vegher (1976 Lola – Sparks, Nev.)

Group 6A (1973-80 IMSA GT, GTX/1982-91 Trans-Am)
Steve Petty (1991 Camaro – Charlestown, West Va.)
Group 6B (1966-72 Historic Trans-Am Cars)
Jim Hague (1972 AMC Javelin – Santa Clara, Calif.)

Group 7A (1966-74 Historic Can-Am Cars)
Chris MacAllister (1971 McLaren – Sonoma, Calif.


NORWALK, Ohio ‚Äď After qualifying in the top spot to start the day at the 14th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series driver Jose Gonzalez took home the win at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

The Norwalk event marked the fourth race of the 2021 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season, and with today’s victory, Gonzalez currently sits second in the points standings.¬†

His journey to the winner’s circle began when he defeated Alex Laughlin in the opening round. He then took down Mike Castellana in the quarterfinals and later Doug Winters in the semifinal round. It was his 5.723-second pass at 250.09 mph over points leader Brandon Snider.

Snider, the No. 7 seed, defeated Justin Jones, Lyle Barnett and Jerico Balduf en route to his first final round of the season.

The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service returns to action July 16-18 at the Dodge//SRT Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented By Pennzoil at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. 

Final finish order (1-16) at the 14th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. The race is the fourth of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.


1. Jose Gonzalez
2. Brandon Snider
3. Jerico Balduf
4. Doug Winters
5. Justin Bond
6. Mike Castellana
7. Lyle Barnett
8. Jim Whiteley
9. Steve Jackson
10. Mike Salinas
11. Eric Latino
12. Justin Jones
13. Alex Laughlin
14. Jeffery Barker
15. Khalid alBalooshi
16. JR Gray.

Sunday's final results from the 14th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. The race is the fourth of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

Pro Modified:

Jose Gonzalez, Chevy Camaro, 5.723, 250.09 def. Brandon Snider, Chevy Corvette, 5.777, 248.84. 

Final round-by-round results from the 14th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the fourth of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.



Jerico Balduf, Chevy Chevelle, 5.880, 244.92 def. Mike Salinas, Chevy Camaro, 5.909, 245.58; Doug Winters, Chevelle, 5.906, 245.76 def. Jeffery Barker, Toyota Camry, 6.057, 219.76; Jose Gonzalez, Camaro, 5.795, 248.48 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 5.931, 239.78; Jim Whiteley, Camaro, 5.858, 244.87 def. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.846, 247.79; Lyle Barnett, Camaro, 5.936, 243.50 def. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 6.628, 154.07; Brandon Snider, Chevy Corvette, 5.829, 248.52 def. Justin Jones, Corvette, Foul - Red Light; Justin Bond, Camaro, 5.836, 247.88 def. Eric Latino, Camaro, 5.913, 242.45; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.871, 245.23 def. JR Gray, Camaro, 6.712, 199.43;  QUARTERFINALS -- Winters, 5.923, 243.02 def. Whiteley, Foul - Red Light; Snider, 5.819, 247.97 def. Barnett, 6.248, 166.66; Gonzalez, 5.800, 246.89 def. Castellana, 5.847, 246.35; Balduf, 5.862, 244.25 def. Bond, 5.812, 248.66;  SEMIFINALS -- Snider, 5.794, 248.25 def. Balduf, 5.833, 246.21; Gonzalez, 5.752, 248.93 def. Winters, 5.922, 223.14;  FINAL -- Gonzalez, 5.723, 250.09 def. Snider, 5.777, 248.84. 

Point standings (top 10) following the 14th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the fourth of 12 events in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

Pro Modified:

1. Justin Bond, 328
2. Jose Gonzalez, 322
3. Brandon Snider, 294
4. Steve Jackson, 254
5. Khalid alBalooshi, 204
6. Jeffery Barker, 192
7. Mike Castellana, 177
8. JR Gray, 169
9. Doug Winters, 164
10. Alex Laughlin, 147.


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