2021 NHRA FINALS - EVENT RESULTS
SUNDAY - S. TORRENCE, CAPPS, ANDERSON AND M. SMITH CLAIM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS
Steve Torrence, Greg Anderson and Matt Smith all wrapped up their championship seasons in impressive fashion, racing to a world title and the event victory on Sunday at the season finale, the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
All four points leaders entering the race also claimed world titles, as Torrence clinched his fourth straight world title in Top Fuel, Anderson and Smith each won their fifth championship in Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, respectively, and Ron Capps picked up his second career world title in Funny Car.
Bob Tasca III (Funny Car) also picked up a win at the final race of the Countdown to the Championship and the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Torrence continued his incredible reign of dominance and secured the world title for a fourth consecutive year with a win in the first round in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster. He wasn’t done there, either, and powered to the victory, going 3.759-seconds at 317.12 in the final round against Antron Brown. It capped off another dominant season, as he picked up his 11th victory of the season and 51st in his career.
“I just have all the confidence in the world in that race car,” Torrence said. “I don’t know how we’ve accomplished what we have other than hard work and great support, but this is what all the guys on this team have dedicated their lives to. At the level we’re at, it takes a team that’s willing to go the extra mile. When you have people where winning is the only option, you’re willing to go the extra mile and that’s what these guys do.”
Brown reached the final round for the second time this year and 125th time in his career by beating Justin Ashley, Billy Torrence and Tripp Tatum. Torrence advanced to his 76th career final round thanks to round wins against Brandon Welch, Doug Kalitta and Cameron Ferre, and then wrapped off a truly memorable 2021 season by chasing down Brown in the finals.
“Over the last four years I’ve been able to be in a lot of high-pressure situations and it prepares you,” Torrence said. “It trains you and conditions you to be a machine in those situations. I’m telling myself to do what you do and (my team) has my back. In the finals, I went up and did my job and the outcome fell our way. We’ve got a target on our back and each year it gets bigger, so we’ve got to continue to up our game.”
Capps won his second world title when defending world champ Matt Hagan lost in the semifinals. The Funny Car veteran won his first title in 2016 and was helped by a first round win against Terry Haddock on Sunday in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. Capps’ championship season included a pair of victories and five final round appearances, advancing to the championship round in two of the previous three races to take command in the points race against his Don Schumacher Racing teammate. Capps lauded the competition in the class in 2021, relying on a team that gave him a strong car in crunch time.
“I figured there was no way this was going to be easy,” Capps said. “It’s been so fun to work with these guys and this team, and to win another championship, you couldn’t have scripted it any better. I’m just so happy to be able to work with these guys. I always approach it like I’m trying to win another championship and Funny Car is just so tough. I’ve just had to chug along with a lot of great people around me and just do our thing. To have a second championship, it validates it all a little bit more.”
Tasca led the points for eight straight races in the early portion of the season and while he wasn’t in the title mix at the end of the year, he finished on a huge strong note, going 3.955 at 321.65 in his 11,000-horsepower Mustang to defeat Alexis DeJoria’s 3.974. It is Tasca’s third win this season and ninth in his career and it came after knocking off J.R. Todd, Jim Campbell and John Force to reach the final round. DeJoria advanced to her third final round this season thanks to wins against Bobby Bode, Tim Wilkerson and Hagan, but Tasca led wire-to-wire in the finals and finished a career-best third in points.
“I’ve been chasing a Pomona Wally for a long time,” Tasca said. “I remember being out here as a kid with my dad and I’ve always wanted to win here. It’s just a special day for my family, for sure. I just knew we were going to have a great weekend and we’ve got a great team. Everyone’s coming back next year and it was a fun way to end the year.”
An absolute dream season for Anderson ended with a fifth world championship in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro when he slipped past defending world champ Erica Enders in the semifinals. The all-time wins leader in Pro Stock history then rolled to his 99th career win, going 6.574 at 208.23 in the final round, defeating KB Racing teammate Kyle Koretsky on a holeshot.
“That is the meanest race car in all the years I’ve raced,” Anderson said. “It was fast right off the trailer and it never skipped a beat. I’m very proud of everyone on the race team this weekend and we definitely came prepared to race. I love the competition in the class and we had a great, great day. I really believe I had the best race car all year and we got it done. It was a pretty neat day."
Koretsky reached the final round for the fourth time this year after beating Troy Coughlin Jr., Aaron Stanfield and rookie Dallas Glenn. But there was no stopping Anderson in 2021, as he beat Mike Callahan, Deric Kramer and then Enders in a thriller to advance to the final. In a year where he became the all-time wins leader in the class and also qualified No. 1 at 12 different races, Anderson finished it off with his fifth win this season.
“In the final round, all the pressure and tension was off,” Anderson said. “It was fun. There’s a lot of pressure in these races. To finish the season and get a 99th win, we can’t quit now. We’ve got to keep digging and I still feel like I can win races and win championships. I’m having a ball and I think I had more fun racing this year than a lot of years.”
Smith wrapped up his second straight world championship and fifth overall by winning in the second round on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR against three-time world champion Angelle Sampey. Smith was first off the starting line in the pivotal matchup to pull off the holeshot victory and replicated that in the final round, going 6.817 at 200.74 to beat Karen Stoffer on a holeshot. That gave Smith six victories during his championship season.
“The goal was to at least get three round wins today,” Smith said. “When we beat Angelle and Steve (Johnson) lost right in front of us, I knew we were champs. Everything worked out for the best. I knew we were going to have a tough race with Karen, but I hit the Tree as hard as I could and had the best light of the weekend for me. We just made it work and performed well on the starting line.”
Stoffer, who also qualified No. 1 and made her first career 200-mph run this weekend, advanced to her third straight final to close the year, knocking off Kelly Clontz and Scotty Pollacheck. Smith, though, was brilliant the entire season, knocking off Ryan Oehler, Sampey and Eddie Krawiec on Sunday to reach the final round en route to his 32nd career win.
The 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series begins Feb. 17-20 with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
SATURDAY - HIGHT, SALINAS, ANDERSON AND STOFFER QUALIFY NO. 1 AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS
Looking to end his season on a good note, Robert Hight powered to the top in Funny Car on Saturday, qualifying No. 1 at the final race of the season, the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the final race of the Countdown to the Championship and the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. World championships will be decided in all four classes on Sunday.
Hight was already the provisional No. 1 qualifier in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS, but improved on his top run to close out qualifying on Saturday, going an impressive 3.886-seconds at 329.34 mph. It gives Hight his third top spot this season and 71st in his career, setting up a first-round matchup with Jim Campbell in eliminations. Hight may not be in the title picture this year, but he’s still determined to finish strong to close 2021.
“This is probably the best car I’ve had all year going into raceday,” Hight said. “It’s pretty exciting. It’s a little too late as we wanted to be fighting for a championship, but we’re going to try to win this race and come back strong next year.”
Ron Capps finished second in qualifying with a run of 3.908 at 329.83, giving him a lead of 67 points over defending world champ Matt Hagan going into eliminations. With the points-and-a-half scenario in Pomona, Capps has more than a two-round lead over his Don Schumacher Racing teammate as he aims to win a second world title. Hagan qualified seventh, meaning they could face off in a huge second-round matchup. Alexis DeJoria qualified third with a 3.919.
Salinas lowered the boom even more in Top Fuel, ending qualifying with a spectacular run of 3.676 at 330.23 in his 11,000-horsepower Scrapper Racing dragster. It gave Salinas, who has advanced to final rounds in three of the past four races, his second No. 1 spot of 2021 and the eighth in his career. He’ll start raceday against Steven Chrisman in the first round of eliminations, trying to end his season with two wins in the final three events and a possible top-three position in points.
“This team is amazing and it’s pretty awesome to be part of this,” Salinas said. “They taught me how to race and they’re just amazing. I believe we’re going to do really well tomorrow and we’re capable of going four rounds. We’ll both keep doing what we’ve been doing and we’re going to have a lot of fun tomorrow.”
Points leader and three-time defending world champ Steve Torrence took the second spot with his run of 3.698 at 317.05, putting him on a good path to win his fourth straight world title. His chief competitor, Brittany Force, qualified 13th, and Torrence will take a commanding 116-point advantage into eliminations. That puts him more than three rounds ahead of Force heading into Sunday. Leah Pruett qualified third with a 3.706 at 327.59.
In the hunt for his fifth world championship, qualifying couldn’t have gone any better for Pro Stock points leader Greg Anderson. He made the quickest run in all three qualifying sessions, capped off by his 6.558 at 209.85 in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro. That run came in the first session on Saturday and it gave the all-time Pro Stock wins leader his 12th No. 1 qualifier this year and the 118th in his stellar career. He’ll open eliminations against Mike Callahan and with a 47-point lead over defending world champion Erica Enders. The two four-time world champs could potentially meet in a must-see semifinal matchup, but Anderson feels good heading into Sunday.
“Quite honestly, we’ve made three flawless runs in qualifying,” Anderson said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world my car is going to be great tomorrow. That’s a good feeling and a confidence-builder and you’ve got to have that going into raceday when there’s so much on the line. I’ve got the best horse that’s going to line up tomorrow and hopefully, I can ride it like a champion and come away with a championship. It’s been a special year and to cap it off (with a championship), it would mean more than any of my other championships.”
Kyle Koretsky qualified second with a 6.571 at 208.49 and Dallas Glenn’s run of 6.580 at 209.33 gave the standout rookie the third spot. Matt Hartford was fourth, giving KB Racing the top four spots, while Enders took fifth with a 6.589 at 209.04.
After advancing to back-to-back final rounds in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Karen Stoffer made a big move during the final qualifying session, going to the No. 1 spot with a run of 6.751 at 199.11 on her Ray Skillman Auto Group/Big St. Charles Suzuki. The standout pass gave Stoffer her first No. 1 qualifier of the season and the fifth in her career. Stoffer will open eliminations against Kelly Clontz as she looks to finish off her 2021 campaign on a strong note.
“The job is to turn on the win light and we want to do that four times tomorrow,” Stoffer said. “We’ve got the bike to do it and that was a good pass. We nearly squeaked out that 200 (mph) run, but we’re really excited. My job is to go ride the best I can and try to turn that win light on.”
Stoffer’s run bumped Matt Smith to second, as the points leader and defending world champ went 6.778 at 201.25. Eddie Krawiec’s 6.810 at 199.55 put him third, while championship contenders Steve Johnson and Angelle Sampey followed in fourth and fifth, respectively. Smith will take a 41-point lead over Sampey into raceday and faces Ryan Oehler in the first round. He could potentially face Sampey in the second round and Johnson, who is 45 points out of first, in the semifinals.
Eliminations for the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona begin at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday.
Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 56th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the final of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel -- 1. Mike Salinas, 3.676 seconds, 330.23 mph vs. 16. Steven Chrisman, 4.106, 257.83; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.698, 317.05 vs. 15. Brandon Welch, 3.919, 308.28; 3. Leah Pruett, 3.706, 327.59 vs. 14. Cameron Ferre, 3.803, 312.28; 4. Billy Torrence, 3.713, 330.47 vs. 13. Brittany Force, 3.784, 328.30; 5. Antron Brown, 3.719, 329.26 vs. 12. Justin Ashley, 3.765, 320.97; 6. Clay Millican, 3.733, 324.28 vs. 11. Alex Laughlin, 3.759, 324.83; 7. Josh Hart, 3.734, 323.81 vs. 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.757, 302.08; 8. Shawn Langdon, 3.746, 320.97 vs. 9. Tripp Tatum, 3.750, 323.97.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Buddy Hull, 4.265, 220.48.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.886, 329.34 vs. 16. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.138, 273.83; 2. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.908, 329.83 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, 4.081, 311.27; 3. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.919, 326.32 vs. 14. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 4.057, 310.70; 4. Paul Lee, Charger, 3.920, 327.43 vs. 13. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.031, 314.24; 5. John Force, Camaro, 3.939, 328.14 vs. 12. Chad Green, Mustang, 4.002, 315.19; 6. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.939, 321.96 vs. 11. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.990, 316.23; 7. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.956, 319.75 vs. 10. Tony Jurado, Mustang, 3.988, 316.08; 8. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.963, 326.71 vs. 9. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.975, 318.24.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Alex Miladinovich, 4.213, 256.84; 18. Chris Morel, 4.225, 276.52; 19. Gary Densham, 5.130, 203.49; 20. Jason Rupert, 19.986, 32.74.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.558, 209.85 vs. 16. John Callahan, Dodge Dart, 6.852, 186.23; 2. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.571, 208.49 vs. 15. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.713, 183.67; 3. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.580, 209.33 vs. 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.671, 205.47; 4. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.587, 207.40 vs. 13. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.644, 206.35; 5. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.589, 209.04 vs. 12. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.637, 207.53; 6. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.589, 208.10 vs. 11. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.617, 207.18; 7. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.592, 204.98 vs. 10. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.614, 207.34; 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.594, 208.49 vs. 9. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.608, 209.79.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Marty Robertson, 7.956, 171.49.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.751, 199.11 vs. 12. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.013, 192.22; 2. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.778, 201.25 vs. 11. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.985, 194.16; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.810, 199.55 vs. 10. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.943, 192.91; 4. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.811, 197.39 vs. 9. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 6.935, 195.28; 5. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.819, 196.76 vs. 8. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.931, 195.28; 6. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.849, 185.03 vs. 7. Andrew Hines, Buell, 6.902, 199.02.
FRIDAY - SALINAS, HIGHT, ANDERSON AND M. SMITH TAKE PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS
Fresh off back-to-back final round appearances in Top Fuel, Mike Salinas continued his strong run on Friday, powering to the provisional No. 1 spot at the season finale, the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the final race of the Countdown to the Championship and the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Salinas had another impressive performance in his 11,000-horsepower Scrappers Racing dragster, going 3.694-seconds at 328.78 mph. If it holds, it would be the second No. 1 qualifier this year for Salinas and the eighth in his career. It’s also another great run in what’s shaping up to be a big finish for Salinas, as he has a chance to win in Pomona for the first time and finish in the top three in points in Top Fuel.
“We’re having a good time and we want to finish this season strong,” said Salinas, who has been to the final round in three of the past four races. “That’s our plan and it helps when you have a team like this and you know the car is going to run well. They’re making this fun. I know what I need to do and if I show a good example, that’s all that matters. We’re going to have a good time with it and we push each other. This place is very special and this is where everyone wants to win. It would be a great way to finish the year off.”
Points leader Steve Torrence is currently second after his run of 3.698 at 317.05 as he seeks his fourth straight world championship. It was an impressive run to open Torrence’s weekend and it also gave him qualifying bonus points, extending his lead to 108 points over Brittany Force. His father, Billy, qualified in the third spot on Friday after going 3.713 at 330.47.
Hight went 3.894 at 330.55 in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS as he looks to qualify No. 1 for the third time this year in Funny Car and 71st time overall. After struggling in the Countdown to the Championship, a strong finish would also give the three-time world champ momentum heading into the 2022 campaign.
Points leader Ron Capps is currently second in qualifying after he went 3.908 at 329.83 in the opening qualifying round. With defending world champ Matt Hagan struggling on his run, it moved Capps’ points lead to 61 points, which is just over a two-round advantage with the points-and-a-half scenario in play at Pomona. Capps is seeking his second career world title in the loaded class. John Force is currently third with a 3.939 at 328.14 and Cruz Pedregon, who now sits 85 points behind Capps, is fourth after his pass of 3.939 at 321.96.
It was business as usual for Pro Stock points leader Greg Anderson, as the all-time wins leader in the class shot to the top in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro with a run of 6.566 at 210.21. It gave Anderson four qualifying points as well, extending his points lead over defending world champ Erica Enders to 35 points heading into final qualifying. If it holds, Anderson would also qualify No. 1 for the 12th time this year and 118th time in his career, but the veteran is more concerned with clinching his fifth world championship. He got off to a great start on Friday, with Enders currently fourth after going 6.589 at 209.04. She’s also after her fifth world title and is coming off a final round appearance in Las Vegas.
Kyle Koretsky is currently second with a 6.584 at 208.71 and star rookie Dallas Glenn is a spot behind thanks to his 6.584 at 208.59, giving KB Racing the top three spots in qualifying.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Matt Smith is also after his fifth world championship and he started the weekend perfectly, going straight to No. 1 with a standout run of 6.779 at 201.19 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR. Smith would pick up his fifth No. 1 qualifier this season and 48th top spot in his career if it holds, but like Anderson, Smith’s focus is on a world title in the midst of a heated points battle. He picked up crucial qualifying points with his standout performance on Friday, pushing his lead to 22 points over Steve Johnson and 33 points over three-time world champ Angelle Sampey.
Johnson also ran well and is currently sitting third with a 6.811 at 197.39 and Sampey is right behind with a 6.819 at 196.76. Karen Stoffer, who has advanced to two straight final rounds, is currently second after going 6.785 at 197.97.
Qualifying continues at 11:30 a.m. PT on Saturday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Friday's results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 56th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, final of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Mike Salinas, 3.694 seconds, 328.78 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.698, 317.05; 3. Billy Torrence, 3.713, 330.47; 4. Antron Brown, 3.719, 329.26; 5. Shawn Langdon, 3.747, 324.05; 6. Tripp Tatum, 3.752, 306.67; 7. Clay Millican, 3.756, 321.12; 8. Alex Laughlin, 3.759, 324.83; 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.759, 321.65; 10. Cameron Ferre, 3.880, 299.66; 11. Brittany Force, 4.446, 172.87; 12. Brandon Welch, 4.766, 167.66; 13. Leah Pruett, 4.954, 145.83; 14. Josh Hart, 5.107, 135.48; 15. Buddy Hull, 6.274, 98.66; 16. Justin Ashley, 6.384, 104.60.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.894, 330.55; 2. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.908, 329.83; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.939, 328.14; 4. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.939, 321.96; 5. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.954, 318.92; 6. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.975, 318.24; 7. Tony Jurado, Mustang, 3.988, 316.08; 8. Chad Green, Mustang, 4.002, 315.19; 9. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.031, 314.24; 10. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.346, 221.09; 11. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.432, 248.98; 12. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.483, 187.65; 13. Alex Miladinovich, Camry, 4.734, 206.67; 14. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.978, 154.23; 15. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 6.460, 116.42; 16. Chris Morel, Charger, 7.165, 90.61.
Not Qualified: 17. Jim Campbell, 7.606, 78.24; 18. Bobby Bode, 10.548, 81.44.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.566, 210.21; 2. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.584, 208.71; 3. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.584, 208.59; 4. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.589, 209.04; 5. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.589, 208.10; 6. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.594, 208.62; 7. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.594, 208.49; 8. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.617, 209.59; 9. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.620, 208.10; 10. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.648, 208.42; 11. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.721, 179.37; 12. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.776, 180.14; 13. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.822, 171.58; 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 11.215, 97.02; 15. Bo Butner, Camaro, 16.368, 103.70; 16. Marty Robertson, Mustang, 22.614, 38.12.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.779, 201.19; 2. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.785, 197.97; 3. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.811, 197.39; 4. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.819, 196.76; 5. Andrew Hines, Buell, 6.906, 196.82; 6. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 6.935, 195.28; 7. Eddie Krawiec, Buell, 6.949, 196.53; 8. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.973, 194.63; 9. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.019, 193.77; 10. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 7.330, 138.02; 11. Angie Smith, EBR, 9.665, 88.80; 12. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, broke.
THURSDAY SPORTSMAN QUALIFYING -
NATAAS, BELLEMEUR, GUSSO PACE FIRST DAY NHRA FINALS SPORTSMAN QUALIFYING
On Thursday, it was ladies' day at the top of the sportsman food chain in qualifying for the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Ca. Female drivers paced the first two spots in the Top Alcohol Dragster division.
Julie Nataas thundered to the top spot in the dragsters while Sean Bellemeur paced the Funny Cars in their lone session. Travis Gusso was the king of the hill in Competition Eliminator.
Nataas, drove the Randy Meyer Racing entry to the provisional pole with a 5.232 elapsed time at 274.75 miles per hour. On her heels was Jackie Fricke with a 5.245 with a top speed 277.94. Dan Mercier was third with a 5.260. Shawn Cowie (5.261) and James Stevens (5.268) rounded out the top five.
Bellemeur created some breathing room for himself as he laid down a 5.474, 269.89. Doug Gordon (5.493) and Shane Westerfield (5.498) were within striking distance.
Gusso, behind the wheel of his D/Super Modified Cobalt, eeked out the Comp No. 1 spot as his 8.331 was good enough for -.649, .007 better than Tibor Kador's D/Econo Altered Cobalt. Dean Carter was third, -.623 under the A/Npstalgia Dragster
Other top qualifiers included Angelo DeCarlo (Super Stock), Steve Wann (Stock), John Richardson (Top Dragster) and Brian Flamm (Top Sportsman).
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER Q1
1 3 TA/D Julie Nataas, Brownsburg IN, Yancy-BAE 5.232 274.72 274.72
2 4 TA/D Jackie Fricke, Flemington NJ, Copeland- 5.245 277.94 277.94
3 182 TA/D Dan Mercier, Saint-Michel PQ, Page-Hemi 5.260 272.17 272.17
4 2 TA/D Shawn Cowie, Langley BC, Hadman-BAE 5.261 277.89 277.89
5 7 TA/D James Stevens, Gothenburg NE, CNE-MBR 5.268 273.88 273.88
6 610 TA/D Mitch Myers, Hermiston OR, Hadman-BAE 5.400 266.69 266.69
7 760 TA/D Eric Chesleigh, Claremont CA, Attac-Chry 5.406 254.81 254.81
8 611 TA/D Garrett Bateman, Albany OR, Dragster-Do 5.476 272.01 272.01
9 110J TA/D Rich McPhillips Jr., Phoenixville PA, H 5.476 269.35 269.35
10 732 TA/D Chris Demke, Valencia CA, Uyehara-Chrys 5.499 268.81 268.81
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR
1 2 Sean Bellemeur, Placentia CA, '19 Camaro 5.474 269.89 269.89
2 1 Doug Gordon, Paso Robles CA, '20 Camaro 5.493 267.48 267.48
3 744 Shane Westerfield, Fullerton CA, '18 Camaro 5.498 267.80 267.80
4 5757 Terry Ruckman, Grand Junction CO, '21 Camaro 5.514 267.80 267.80
5 3 Brian Hough, Junction City OR, '21 Camaro 5.543 259.16 259.16
COMP ELIMINATOR (FINAL)
1 5008 D/SM Travis Gusso, Sioux Falls SD, '10 Cobalt 8.331 8.98 -0.649
2 767 D/EA Tibor Kadar, Glendale AZ, '09 Cobalt 8.098 8.74 -0.642
3 7189 A/ND Dean Carter, Peoria AZ, Uyehara-Chevy 6.897 7.52 -0.623
4 777A A/SMA Phil Cocuzza, Phoenix AZ, '08 Cobalt 7.848 8.47 -0.622
5 7 E/SMA Cody Lane, North Bend WA, '05 Cavalier 8.338 8.96 -0.622
SUPER STOCK (FINAL)
1 347 SS/HA Angelo DeCarlo, Schaumburg IL, '66 Corvet 9.621 10.60 -0.979
2 757 SS/IA Larry Zavala, Montebello CA, '87 Camaro 9.735 10.70 -0.965
3 7856 GT/EA Jim Grossi Jr., Brentwood CA, '95 Achieva 9.151 10.10 -0.949
4 7375 GT/LA Ken Etter, Riverside CA, '93 Shadow 10.109 11.05 -0.941
5 5453 FSS/B Bob Sherwood, Sioux Falls SD, '14 Mustang 8.260 9.20 -0.940
6 7304 SS/GA Tom Armanino, San Mateo CA, '68 Camaro 9.612 10.55 -0.938
7 J712 FSS/C Chris Hall, Brigham City UT, '17 Camaro 8.714 9.65 -0.936
8 730 FSS/B John Calvert, Lancaster CA, '19 Mustang 8.266 9.20 -0.934
9 732 FSS/D Phil Mandella Jr, Upland CA, '11 Challeng 8.982 9.90 -0.918
10 7171 SS/GA Fred Moreno, La Verne CA, '69 Mustang 9.644 10.55 -0.906
1 7980 AA/SA Steve Wann, Modesto CA, '63 Savoy 9.641 10.70 -1.059
2 10 B/SA Jerry Emmons, Pasadena TX, '69 Camaro 10.195 11.25 -1.055
3 77 G/SA Phil Mandella, Upland CA, '69 Chevelle 10.966 12.00 -1.034
4 1 L/SA Jody Lang, Puyallup WA, '81 Malibu Wagon 11.675 12.70 -1.025
5 7050 B/SA Darin Grossi, Copperopolis CA, '64 Fury 10.229 11.25 -1.021
6 68 L/SA Larry Peterson, Eugene OR, '80 Malibu 11.687 12.70 -1.013
7 7801 E/SA Pete Lanciers, Spring Valley CA, '73 Dust 10.714 11.70 -0.986
8 7155 FS/C Leo Glasbrenner, Murrieta CA, '14 Camaro 9.316 10.30 -0.984
9 7593 C/SA Richie Pauley, Saugus CA, '68 Mustang 10.419 11.40 -0.981
10 5 A/SA John Shaul, Fultonham NY, '64 Fury 10.027 11.00 -0.973
TOP DRAGSTER (FINAL)
1 79 John Richardson, Santa Clarita CA, Sarmento-Ch 6.102 223.06 223.06
2 7029 Bobby Ray McMahan, Lodi CA, TNT-Chevy 6.170 223.73 223.73
3 6915 Ryan Carlson, Maple Valley WA, RCF-HEMI 6.180 221.78 221.78
4 7145 Jennifer Wiens, Las Vegas NV, RaceTech-Madc 6.196 213.50 213.50
5 710V Taylor Vetter, Las Vegas NV, RaceTech-Chevy 6.214 221.56 221.63
6 D712 Phil Dion, Paradise Valley AZ, Yancer-MOPAR 6.220 216.41 216.41
7 7237 Steve Will, Fortuna CA, Sarmento-BAE 6.239 228.65 228.65
8 75 Mike Mendenhall, Santee CA, Spitzer-Chevy 6.284 221.60 221.60
9 7711 Don London, Lake Havasu City AZ, M & M-Chevy 6.332 214.52 214.52
10 7942 Thomas Bayer, Cherry Valley CA, Miller-Chevy 6.341 213.30 213.30
TOP SPORTSMAN (FINAL)
1 730 Bryan LaFlam, Gilbert AZ, '67 Mustang 6.276 225.03 225.03
2 4880 Jimmy Lewis, Forney TX, '08 GXP 6.385 223.25 223.25
3 404M Florentino Martin, Westchester CA, '15 Camaro 6.391 225.00 225.00
4 7151 Jeff Connelly, Mesa AZ, '19 Camaro 6.484 230.29 230.29
5 7167 Ryan Priddy, Chino CA, '18 Camaro 6.622 209.59 209.59
6 702G Mike Proctor, Chandler AZ, '63 Corvette 6.637 214.28 214.28
7 780 David Cook, Novato CA, '67 Mustang 6.728 206.92 206.92
8 7450 Don Meziere, Escondido CA, '09 Cobalt 6.731 203.98 205.26
9 7135 Randy Goodwin, Chino CA, '16 Camaro 6.743 205.19 205.19
10 518 Monte Green, Mesa AZ, '07 Stratus 6.810 202.58 202.58