The third time is a charm for Mark Kirby who picked up his first national event win at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in his third final round appearance.
SONOMA – Mark Kirby finally got the monkey off his back after defeating Jeff Jerome in the final round of the Sonoma Nationals on Sunday. The win, Mark’s first in NHRA national event competition, came in his third final round appearance.
The final was decided on the starting line as Jerome turned it red by -.029. Kirby was .017 and .01 under his 10.98 dial in the final.
To earn his first national event win, Kirby drove through a tough field of some of the finest class racers on the West Coast. Those racers included Justin Lamb, Steve Wann, Kyle Rizzoli, and Scott Burton.
Kirby was solid at the tree throughout the race with a best light of .001 and a worst of .038. Excluding his .038 reaction in the semifinals, Kirby was .023 or better in each of his other five rounds.
Kirby’s closest race of the event came in his semifinal match with Scott Burton. Kirby left with a .038 reaction to Burton’s .039. At the stripe, both drivers ran -.014 under their respective dial-ins for a virtual dead heat. Kirby claimed the win by less than .001-second.
The runner up, Jerome, drove past a tough field as well. On his way to the final round, Jerome defeated Randi Lyn Shipp, his son Justin Jerome, and DragChamp pre-race pick Jody Lang.