Northern California drag racers kicked off the month of May with tire-melting action on Sonoma Raceway's drag strip during Wednesday Night Drags Powered by Universal Technical Institute.

The Wednesday Night Drags Powered by Universal Technical Institute program, which is in its 31st consecutive year, gives drag racers the opportunity to race on Sonoma Raceway's world-famous quarter-mile drag strip. The objective of the program is to give people, from teenagers to working professionals, a safe, legal and controlled environment in which to race their vehicles, as opposed to using city streets, back-county roads or parking lots.

Racing is featured in seven classes. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with racing spanning from 4-10 p.m. Eliminations begin at 7 p.m. allowing more track time for the racers. Anyone with a valid driver's license can participate, providing their vehicle or motorcycle passes a simple technical inspection.

Wednesday night's class winners included:

  • Jackpot: Pacheco's Bill Taggart
  • Gear Jammer: Vacaville's Mark Chancey
  • Motorcycle: Hayward's Joe Sisk
  • Comp Rod: Moraga's Willie Woo
  • Sport Street: Antioch's Nick Shively
  • Street: Novato's Brad Bowen
  • High School: Petaluma's Jessica Rue

The Top the Cops™ program also ran during the evening with Sonoma County Sheriff Jack Neely taking home the win against local high school student Daniel Bartnicki. 

Winner photos are posted on the Sonoma Raceway Drag Racing Facebook page.

Wednesday Night Drags will resume on Wednesday, May 15. For more information about Wednesday Night Drags, visit or call 800-870-RACE (7223). For track weather conditions, please call 800-870-RACE ext. 209.