Sonoma Raceway Celebrates First Responders

with NHRA Starting Line Party

Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Return, July 28-30


SONOMA, Calif. (May 11, 2017) - Drag racing fans can join NHRA champions Jack Beckman, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, Jason Line and LE Tonglet at a special pre-race Starting Line Party at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 30.

Sonoma Raceway joins the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series' "NHRA Salutes" program with this special event to bring fans close to these racing veterans, who have also served our country. NHRA Salutes is dedicated to paying tribute to the legion of first responders who are among the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency and charged with managing the well-being of the public.

Beckman, Schumacher, Line and Tonglet will be featured as part of the Starting Line Party ticket package, which 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.

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. Beckman also proudly represents the Infinite Hero Foundation race team, which has raised more than $500,000 for the IHF to help injured veterans facing physical and mental challenges related to their service.

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. The eight-time Top Fuel champion represents the U.S. Army at high school appearances 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 fire fighter for the past three years.

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.