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Tonglet barely beats Smith

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals was the LE Tonglet show. The White Alligator Racing/Nitro Fish Suzuki rider was the No. 1 qualifier, won the Mickey Thompson Tire’s Pro Bike Battle and won the Wally, all in one weekend.

Tonglet, who is also a Louisiana firefighter, won the 30th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. He defeated Matt Smith in the final round.

LE Tonglet (Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)

LE Tonglet (Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)

Tonglet went 6.783 at 197.02 mph. Smith went 6.790 at 196.67 mph on his Victory bike.

“It’s a big benefit to win the battle the day before which builds your confidence going into Sunday,” Tonglet said. “I could hear him (Smith) the whole way and knew it was close. I wanted to look over very badly, but I just stayed tucked in and just stared at the win light and it lit, which was exciting.”

According to, Tonglet held a 12-9 advantage against Smith in prior events. He was also 2-1 against Smith in the prior final rounds.

Smith has appeared in three final rounds in the past four races. He had a narrow 0.007 second lead at the Christmas tree.

He stayed out front until the 100 foot mark. Smith had to keep it in the groove as he got a little loose down the track.

Getting loose cost Smith, as Tonglet nipped him at the finish line.

Tonglet won by 0.0002 seconds, or approx. 1 inch.

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