When asked to reflect on his Sonoma win, and what it was that allowed Aaron Stanfield the kind of success it takes to defeat opponents with vastly different skillsets and reaction times, Stanfield credited his team.
“You know, that's tough to say. Every run is really important. The guys did a great job with our hot rod today. I felt like I was driving halfway decent and they were giving me a great race car. I always say everything's got to come together to win. And today it all came together.
“I’ve got to thank everybody at Elite, Tim Freeman, Allan Lindsey, Rodney Crabtree, Casey Freeman, all the guys that worked so hard on this race car, the Janac Brothers and Jc3 Energy. These guys let me get out here and do what I love. And you know, with all my friends and family back home rooting for me. It's a good day.”
He had to take down some big guns on the way to the winner’s circle today. “Greg Anderson has had a super-fast car all year long,” said Stanfield. “It’s super cool to get to race him. Back when my dad raced Pro Stock they were pretty big rivals. I hate that he had to shut his car off [in the semis], that would have been a really good run.”
“I know my guys made some changes after the semifinals and gave me a great race car, but I haven’t even seen a timeslip yet, so I’ll have to look at it before I can see where things went right for us.”
The third-generation racer is a threat to win in every car he gets in. His Elite-powered Camaro qualified number three and worked through a field of Keith Black Racing-powered cars, including Greg Anderson and Dallas Glenn on his way to his third Wally.
Sonoma in Raceway in July offers just about the perfect drag racing environment. Pro Stock big-blocks love the air here, and Pro Stock chassis love the racing surface Sonoma Raceway provides.
On Friday night, Stanfield qualified third with a 6.548 second run at 209.69 mph. Only Kyle Koretsky and Matt Hartford bested his time. Elapsed-time improvement came for some of the Pro Stock field Saturday morning, including for Stanfield, but his gains weren’t significant enough to keep him from getting bumped down to the fifth position. Fortunately, his Q2 time held and meant his first pairing would put him opposite Chris McGaha on race day.
In round one, Stanfield crushed McGaha with a .026 reaction time and a quicker e.t. of 6.542 to McGaha's 6.557. In round two, Matt Hartford bested Stanfield‘s reaction time but wasn’t able to put together the run required to win the round, and Stanfield beat him with a quicker 6.549 to Hartford’s 6.580.
In the semis, Stanfield matched up against Greg Anderson for a rematch of the 2021 Epping final. Again Stanfield crushed Anderson on the Tree and while it looks like the KB car might reel in the Elite Motorsports machine, Anderson got out of the groove and had to lift.
In the final round, Stanfield met Dallas Glenn and the crowd witnessed a familiar KB Racing versus Elite Motorsports showdown, just with two of those teams newest foot soldiers Stanfield's .020 reaction time wasn’t enough to match Glenn’s .016 , but his e.t. and speed advantage carried Stanfield to the winner circle.
Without an opportunity to Sweep the Swing, Stanfield will have to settle for coming to Pomona to see if he can defend his California win two weekends in a row.