SONOMA, Calif. (July 13, 2017) - Sonoma Raceway will partner with the NHRA to pay tribute to the legion of first responders, the heroes who are among the first people to arrive and assist at a scene of an emergency, at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 28-30.

            The NHRA Salutes First Responders initiative honors medical professionals, law-enforcement officers, firefighters, members of the armed forces, and a number of other professions charged with the safety and well-being of the public.

            As part of the program, Sonoma Raceway has put together a Sunday morning Starting Line Party during pre-race festivities highlighting four drag racers who have also served as first responders in their communities.  NHRA champions Jack Beckman, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, Jason Line and LE Tonglet will be featured as part of the Starting Line Party

Beckman is a former U.S. Air Force sergeant, who was presented with the U.S. Air Force Wall of Achievers honor at Gunter Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. in 2013.  Line, a three-time and defending Pro Stock Champion, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1987-1991 during the Persian Gulf War. In addition, for the past several years, Line has participated in Summit Racing Equipment's annual Operation Appreciation overseas tour of U.S. military bases.

Since 2000, Schumacher has served as a civilian ambassador for the U.S. Army and hosts recruits and soldiers at each NHRA event. He also has met with troops at various bases in the country and at war-zone military outposts in the Middle East, and he's made several trips to Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital in Washington, D.C. Tonglet, the 2016 Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, has served as a firefighter for the past three years.      

The Starting Line Party ticket package includes a reserved seat in the Main Grandstand and access to a special Q&A with the racers prior to eliminations on Sunday, July 30. The Q&A will be followed by the Sealmaster Track Walk down the drag strip. The package also includes a Thunder Alley pass, the closest access to the strip for race fans. The Starting Line Party ticket package runs from $80-$85, depending on seat location, or just $20 as an upgrade with ticket purchase.

             In addition, Sonoma Raceway will recognize military members during race weekend through the Hometown Heroes contest as part of its Heroes in or Community program.

These elements and many more round out a jam-packed weekend of racing at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 28-30. This marks the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series' only stop in Northern California, and the only chance to witness 10,000-horsepower dragsters rocketing down the drag strip. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 800-870-7223.