POMONA, Calif. -- The 38th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, the final of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Professional competitors in four categories earn points leading to 2002 NHRA POWERade championships.
Sportsman competitors in seven categories earn points leading to 2002 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series championships.
WHERE: Pomona Raceway, Pomona, Calif. Track is located off I-10 at Fairplex Drive. Go north on Fairplex drive to the Fairplex.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 7-10.
SCHEDULE: THURSDAY, Nov. 7 -- Gates open at 7 a.m. Qualifying and sportsman time trials, 8:15 a.m. to 7 p.m. PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSION at 1:45 p.m.
2001 WINNERS: Kenny Bernstein, Top Fuel; Del Worsham, Funny Car; Bruce Allen, Pro Stock; Angelle Savoie, Pro Stock Bike.
2001 REWIND: Kenny Bernstein defeated Mike Dunn in the final to capture his eighth victory of the season to close out his championship winning campaign in Top Fuel. Del Worsham recorded his fourth Funny Car victory to finish a career-best third in the Funny Car points standings after Whit Bazemore left early in the final. Bruce Allen solidified an impressive Pro Stock campaign by driving past Brad Jeter for the win. Angelle Savoie's second consecutive Pro Stock Bike championship was completed with her seventh victory of 2001 as she knocked off Shawn Gann in the final. Larry Dixon claimed the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout victory.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
While championship crowns have already been awarded in Top Fuel (Larry Dixon), Pro Stock (Jeg Coughlin) and Pro Stock Bike (Angelle Savoie), other drivers will be battling hard to gain critical positions in the POWERade Top 10 standings.
The Budweiser Shootout, a lucrative bonus event for the season's quickest Top Fuel cars, will be contested with a $100,000 winner's share up for grabs. Pomona Raceway's smooth quarter-mile surface lends itself to some of the quickest side-by-side racing of the season. NHRA national records will be in jeopardy in all four pro categories.
Larry Morgan is the current season leader of the Motel 6 Who Got the Light? Award, by virtue of his 0.0002 of-a-second margin of victory over Greg Anderson in the Pro Stock final round of the FRAM-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, Calif., in early August. If no Top Fuel, Funny Car or Pro Stock round win at the Auto Club NHRA Finals is closer, Morgan will pocket the $25,000 bonus from Motel 6 for having the narrowest margin of victory during the 2002 season.
FAST FACTS: Jeg Coughlin has a stellar record at Pomona Raceway in the last nine events, where he reached the final round six times, earning a victory three times...Defending Finals PSB winner Angelle Savoie will join Matt Hines, Terry Vance, Dave Schultz and John Myers as the only repeat winners of the Finals if she can earn a victory to close out the season...Larry Dixon is the defending champion of the Budweiser Shootout, which will award $100,000 to the winning driver on Saturday during the Finals...The Finals had five other homes before coming to Pomona Raceway in 1984, including: Tulsa, Okla.; Dallas; Amarillo, Texas; Ontario, Calif., and Irvine, Calif....Kenny Bernstein and Cory McClenathan are the only active Top Fuel drivers to win at the Finals... John Force has advanced to the Funny Car final round at the NHRA finals seven times during his career, winning four ... Kenny Bernstein is the only driver to win both Top Fuel (3) and Funny Car (2) titles at the NHRA Finals ... Rookie Top Fuel driver David Baca, son of 1977 NHRA Finals TF winner Dennis Baca, will attempt to make his first eliminations start in his second career race... John Force will attempt to qualify for his 300th consecutive Funny Car eliminations start... The last time John Force failed to qualify was at the 1987 NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway.
Kenny Bernstein, driver of the Budweiser King dragster, regarding the end of his
championship quest for this season --
Don Prudhomme, four-time NHRA Funny Car champion as a driver and team owner of
the Miller Lite dragster driven by Larry Dixon, regarding his first Top Fuel
Larry Dixon, 2002 POWERade Top Fuel champion and driver of the Miller Lite
dragster, regarding his first championship --
John Force, driver of the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang who leads Tony Pedregon by 31
points entering the season's final race, on pursuing his 12th NHRA Funny Car
championship, and 10th in a row --
Jeg Coughlin, driver of the Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Cavalier, on winning his
second NHRA Pro Stock title --
Greg Anderson, driver of the Vegas Construction Chevy Cavalier, on what he needs
to do to finish out the season -
TRACK RECORDS: Top Fuel-- 4.490 seconds by Andrew Cowin, Feb. 2002; 330.88 mph by Tony Schumacher, Feb. 2002 Funny Car-- 4.736 seconds by Whit Bazemore, Nov. 2001; 326.87 mph by Gary Densham, Feb. 2002 Pro Stock-- 6.803 seconds by Jim Yates, Feb. 2002; 203.12 mph by Warren Johnson, Feb. 2002 Pro Stock Bike - 7.158 seconds by Angelle Savoie, Nov. 2001; 189.27 mph by Matt Hines, Nov. 1998
TICKETS:For tickets call the NHRA, (800) 884-6472. Tickets also available at Ticketmaster or at nhra.com.
GENERAL ADMISSION (includes pit pass) Thursday: Adult, $18; Junior (6-12 years), $10. Friday: Adult, $25; Junior (6-12 years), $10. Saturday: Adult, $45; Junior (6-12 years), $10. Sunday: Adult, $50; Junior (6-12 years) $12. Child (5 years-under), free with paying adult in general admission and pit access areas each day.
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