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Brown, Capps, Butner, Tonglet are Tricky Tipster's favorites for Sonoma wins

Denver Top Fuel winner Antron Brown and points leaders Ron Capps (Funny Car), Bo Butner (Pro Stock), and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) lead the lists of NHRA National Dragster's Tricky Tipster's favorites for victories at this weekend's Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
27 Jul 2017
NHRA National Dragster staff
News
Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Bo Butner, and LE Tonglet

For more than five decades, NHRA National Dragster's famed Tricky Tipster has tested his prognosticating skills prior to each national event, putting odds on the top eight racers he thinks have the best shot at victory in Tricky Tipster. This week, Tricky Tipster handicaps the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

TOP FUEL
Funny Car | Pro Stock | Pro Stock Motorcycle
Antron Brown
Antron Brown • Matco Tools
Coming off a strong performance in Denver, the Matco team will have a chance to sweep the Swing for the second time. It’s a monumental task, but it’s also not out of the question.
ODDS: 3-1
Steve Torrence
Steve Torrence • Capco Contractors
OK, so the Denver race was basically a mulligan for the points leader. He’s never won this race, but he’s accomplished a lot of other firsts this season.
ODDS: 4-1
Leah Pritchett
Leah Pritchett • Papa John’s Pizza
Denver final should have been a big morale booster for the Papa John’s crew. There is no reason to think they won’t be in the hunt at every remaining race.
ODDS: 5-1
Tony Schumacher
Tony Schumacher • U.S. Army
Won back-to-back titles here in 2007-08 and has a handful of final rounds to boot. Looking to rebound after a tough semifinal loss last week in Denver.
ODDS: 7-1
Brittany Force
Brittany Force • Monster Energy
Since Topeka, Britt has qualified no worse than sixth and won at least a round at every stop. There is a whole lot to like here in terms of performance and consistency.
ODDS: 8-1
Doug Kalitta
Doug Kalitta • Mac Tools
Over the past decade or so, he’s practically owned Sonoma Raceway with five wins in six final rounds. If there was ever a good time to get back in the win column, this is it.
ODDS: 10-1
Clay Millican
Clay Millican • Parts Plus/Great Clips
Since his historic Bristol win, he’s qualified in the top half of the field and claimed four round-wins at three events. That’s pretty respectable.
ODDS: 12-1
Shawn Langdon
Shawn Langdon • Global Electronic Technology
Fighting like crazy to make it into the top 10, which makes last week’s first-round loss even more painful. He’s going to have to pour it on during the last four regular season events.
ODDS: 14-1

FUNNY CAR
Ron Capps
Ron Capps • NAPA Dodge
You didn’t really think that one bad race would be enough to knock him from the top spot, did you? We didn’t think so. This is still the best of the best in a talented Funny Car class.
ODDS: 2-1
Robert Hight
Robert Hight • Auto Club Chevy
Denver win had to be the best thing to happen to the Force team in a while. Let’s see how well they can use that momentum to carry the fight to their DSR rivals.
ODDS: 4-1
Tommy Johnson Jr.
Tommy Johnson Jr. • Make-A-Wish Dodge
It is almost impossible to handicap the Funny Car field anymore, and this is a prime example. He could win the whole darn thing or lose a great side-by-side battle in the early going. That applies to almost everyone else in the class as well.
ODDS: 5-1
John Force
John Force • Peak Chevy
With 148 career wins, it’s safe to assume that he wins everywhere, but Sonoma has been particularly good with eight wins in 14 finals since 1988.
ODDS: 6-1
Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan • Mopar Express Lane Dodge
Lost a really close battle to Cruz Pedregon last week in Denver, so we’re going to assume he’s eager to put that behind him. Expect a better showing this week.
ODDS: 7-1
Courtney Force
Courtney Force • Advance Auto Chevy
Wasn’t it just three years ago that she ran the table here with a No. 1 qualifying effort and a final-round win against her dad? Don’t think for a minute that she’s not capable of the same type of performance here.
ODDS: 9-1
Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman • Infinite Hero Dodge
Won here in 2015, and he’s run pretty darn well lately. That just means he’s one of about 12 drivers who could legitimately win this race.
ODDS: 11-1
Cruz Pedregon
Cruz Pedregon • Snap-On Tools Toyota
Reached his first semifinal of the year last week in Denver and will likely need another one soon in order to stay in the top 10.
ODDS: 14-1

PRO STOCK
Bo Butner
Bo Butner • Butner Auto Camaro
Can anyone provide even one good reason why this guy can’t win the 2017 Mello Yello championship? We couldn’t come up with one. By a small margin, he’s the favorite.
ODDS: 2-1
Drew Skillman
Drew Skillman • Skillman Auto Camaro
Winning one Pro Stock race is incredibly difficult. Winning two in a row is next to impossible. Regardless, he’s going for the ultra-rare “hat trick” this week
ODDS: 7-2
Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson • Summit Camaro
Defending event winner has five Sonoma Wallys to his credit. Obviously, something about this place agrees with him and the KB team.
ODDS: 5-1
Erica Enders
Erica Enders • Melling Camaro
She’s never won this event, but that means little. She’s been to the semi’s or better at five of the last six races.
ODDS: 6-1
Jason Line
Jason Line • Summit Camaro
His .005 light against Tanner Gray was a thing of beauty; a .060 in the semi’s against Skillman, not so much. Pro Stock is so dependent on a driver’s clutch foot, but we all know that.
ODDS: 7-1
Tanner Gray
Tanner Gray • Gray Manufacturing Technology Camaro
He’s made a handful of rookie mistakes this year and owned up to all of them. That’s why he’s almost certainly going to be the rookie of the year. Oh, and he’s not done winning yet.
ODDS: 9-1
Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. • JEGS.com Camaro
Back-to-back first-round losses are shocking. No way, no how that should be happening. This team has too much talent both in and out of the driver’s seat to remain winless much longer.
ODDS: 11-1
Chris McGaha
Chris McGaha • Harlow Sammons Camaro
Two years ago, he won his first ever national event here and has been a consistent threat to win at almost every race since then. He should be among the contenders again this week.
ODDS: 14-1

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
LE Tonglet
LE Tonglet • Nitro Fish Suzuki
Given the year he’s having, would anyone be shocked if he swept the event and won the Mickey Thompson Tires Pro Bike Battle?
ODDS: 3-1
Eddie Krawiec
Eddie Krawiec • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
So, about those new bike blues? The only question remaining is if the combination that won Denver can be successfully adapted to sea-level conditions.
ODDS: 4-1
Matt Smith
Matt Smith • Polaris Victory Magnum
Not really sure what needs to happen for him to win a race. He certainly has the bike and the skills to do it. Eliminating red-lights would be a huge step forward, but basically, he just needs a little good luck.
ODDS: 5-1
Jerry Savoie
Jerry Savoie • White Alligator Suzuki
Easy to imagine the world champ winning this race. Also somewhat possible that he finally cracks the stubborn 200-mph barrier.
ODDS: 6-1
Andrew Hines
Andrew Hines • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
He really shouldn’t be this far behind his teammate, but in a “what have you done for me lately” sport, he hasn’t been to the semi’s since Charlotte.
ODDS: 8-1
Hector Arana Jr.
Hector Arana Jr. • Lucas Oil Buell
Another rider who could honestly win everything and anything this weekend, including the Pro Bike Battle. Oh, and he’s also a candidate to run 200 mph.
ODDS: 10-1
Scotty Pollacheck
Scotty Pollacheck • Suzuki Extended Protection Suzuki
Rock-solid consistent in qualifying and the first couple of rounds on race day. Now, he needs to get over the hump and make some final rounds.
ODDS: 12-1
Angie Smith
Angie Smith • MSR Buell
She’s more than held her own at most of the “go fast” races this year, and Sonoma should definitely be one of them. Got to start winning some rounds to make the top 10.
ODDS: 14-1