Nov. 11-14, 2011
Story and Photographs by Roger Rohrdanz
Traditionally the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season concludes at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, CA. On November 10 thru 14, 2011 the 47th annual NHRA Finals were contested. Over 500 racers came from 7 geographical divisions around the United States. They represented the best in 16 classes competing not only for a “Finals” event win, but also the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series champions were determined. The racing action included a few pauses due to rain, so the Lucas Oil Series drag racers finished their season on Monday. At the end of this NHRA event, Chief Starter Rick Stewart hung up his proverbial hat. Rick, a Bakersfield native, has been only the second Chief Starter in NHRA history.
“Nitro Alley” was packed with rows and rows of vendors showing their wares. Rows and rows of stands served all kinds of food. The John Force “Roadshow” was on display with over 30 of his historic race cars. A huge flat screen featured John in a great video biography of his racing career. Next to the “Roadshow” was a vintage corral full of 20 restored historic front engined dragsters and beautiful funny cars. As though that wasn’t enough to satisfy your “Gearhead” needs, the pits had hundreds of amazing racecars to check out. You could also get the autograph of your favorite driver.
This year the NHRA has also been celebrating its 60th Anniversary. Wally Parks founded the National Hot Rod Association in 1951 to get hot rodders off the streets and on to legal drag strips. Until his passing in 2007, “Wally” guided the now 80,000 member NHRA to improved safety and its position of leader in the world of motorsports. Drag Racing‘s most coveted trophy is called “The Wally” in honor of this most dedicated man.
The winners of this 47th Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals were,
*Top Fuel – Del Worsham, 3.796et & 318.02mph defeated Tony Schumacher’s, 3.799et & 321.50mph.
*Funny Car – Matt Hagan, 4.009et & 317.79mph beat Robert Hight’s, 4.031et & 318.92mph.
Pro Stock – Greg Stanfield, 6.597 & 209.59mph defeated Kurt Johnson’s, 19.88et & 44.02mph.
Pro Motorcycle – Andrew Hines, 6.814et & 196.39mph beat Eddie Krawiec’s, foul.
Top Alcohol Dragster – Jim Whiteley, 5.30et & 269.62mph beats, Ray Martin’s, 5.676et & 265.80mph.
Top Alcohol Funny Car – Jay Payne, 5.575et & 258.36mph defeated Sean Bellemeur’s 6.055et & 255.73mph.
Comp Eliminator – Scott McClay, 7.306et & 180.02mph beat Doug Lambeck’s 8.369et & 160.37mph.
Super Gas – Peter Biondo, 9.915et defeated, Dana Keniry’s, 9.914et.
Super Comp – Val Torres, 8.903et, defeated Craig Anderson’s, 8.949et.
Super Stock – Jody Lang, 11.47et defeated Abe Loewen, who fouled.
Stock Eliminator – Michael Iacono, 11.128et defeated Brad Plourd’s, 11.134et.
*Top Fuel & Funny Car are winners of a 1000 foot race, not a quarter mile.
Del Worsham, Matt Hagan, Larry Dixon, John Force, Tony Schumacher and Robert Hight are the only NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series champions at the current 1000 foot distance.
Thanks for the Show!!