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45th Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals - 11/09

45th Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals - 11/09
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45th Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Auto Club Raceway
Pomona, CA
Nov 12-15, ‘09

Story and Photographs by Roger Rohrdanz

The weather in Pomona, CA, couldn’t have been better for the 45th Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals and the conclusion of the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown. Temperatures for the 4 day event were typically in the mid 60’s to high 70’s, no wind and some overcast.

 

Mike Edwards started Pro racing in 1982. After dominating the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Pro Stock season, he won his first National Championship with the second quickest pass of the event, a 6.562 et and 210.64 mph in his A.R.T./Young Life Pontiac.

 

  After almost not making the Countdown, Robert Hight came from last place in the playoffs 6 races ago, to win his first Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car Championship!

 

  The 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Pro Motorcycle champion Hector Arana clinched his championship when Eddie Krawiec failed to secure a national record.

 

  When Larry Dixon was upset in the semifinal round by Spencer Massey, Tony Schumacher and the U.S.Army team had won the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Championship by the narrowest margin in NHRA history, 2 points!

   
The Finals event winners are;

 

Top Fuel – Antron Brown, 3.801 et, 316.90 mph def. Spencer Massey, foul.

 

Funny Car – Mike Neff, Ford Mustang, 5.131 et, 285.05 mph def. Ashley Force Hood, Mustang, DQ.

 

Pro Stock – Greg Anderson, Pontiac GXP, 6.564 et, 210.70 mph def. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, foul.

 

Pro Stock Motorcycle – Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.905 et, 194.32 mph def. Douglas Horne, Buell, foul.

 

Top Alcohol Dragster – Jim Whiteley, 5.262 et, 270.75 mph def. Courtney Force, 6.066 et, 241.50 mph.

 

Top Alcohol Funny Car – Sean O’Bannon, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 5.534 et, 260.26 mph def. Daniel Oliver, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.549 et, 258.91 mph.

 

Competition Eliminator – Dan Fletcher, Cobalt, 8.076 et, 134.35 mph def. Justin Lamb, Cobalt, 10.132 et, 100.60 mph.

 

Super Stock – Jimmy DeFrank, Cobalt, 8.762 et, 141.85 mph def. Bob Bales, Grand Am, foul.

 

Stock Eliminator – John Shaul, Fury, 9.772 et, 134.86 mph def. Jimmy DeFrank, Camaro, 9.736 et, 134.73 mph.

 

Super Comp – Greg Boutte, Dragster, 8.922 et, 174.30 mph def. Rick Beckstrom, Dragster, 8.901 et, 177.70 mph.

 

Super Gas – Mike Ferderer, Grand Am, 9.893 et, 170.06 mph def. Steve Williams, Corvette, 9.883 et, 172.98 mph.

 

Summit Super Pro – James McNeal from Texas, dragster, 7.703 et, 159.42 mph def. Tom Williams from Kansas, dragster, 7.640 et, 166.44 mph.

 

Summit Pro – Tibor Kadar from Arizona, GTO, 10.746 et, 119.16 mph def. Andy Anderson from Pennsylvania, Dart, 9.706 et, 129.74 mph.

 

Summit Sprotsman – Tracy Crutcher from Tennessee, Chevy ll, 12.226 et, 101.01 mph def. Darrel Goheen from Kansas, Chevelle, 12.021 et, 111.73 mph.

 

Summit Bike – Augustine Herrera from California, Hyabusa, 8.498 et, 158.61 mph def. Bruce Damewood from Iowa, Suzuki, 8.960 et, 140.84 mph.

 

Thanks for the Show!
 

Tony Schumacher takes the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Championship by the narrowest margin in NHRA history, 2 points!

Crew Chief Mike Green makes the final adjustments to the U.S.Army Top Fuel Dragster driven by Tony Schumacher.

Larry Dixon was upset in the semifinal round.

Antron Brown is the Top Fuel event Champion.

This is the last time you’ll see Budweiser on the side of a Bernstein Dragster. After 30 years Budweiser has decided not to sponsor the Bernsteins. That also means no more Clydesdales at special events.

Conservatively, 81 year young, Chris Karamesines qualified for the Top Fuel shop with a 3.879 et at 308.57 mph!! Chris, first ran at Pomona in 1964!

The Robert Hight Team with Crew Chief Jimmy Prock came from last place in the playoffs 6 races ago, to win his first Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car Championship!

Father & Daughter, John Force (near lane) qualifies with Ashley Force Hood.

Ron Capps finished the season in third.

John Force did not make it to a final round this year, the first time since 1984!!

After dominating the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Pro Stock season, Mike Edwards won his first National Championship.

The Summit Pro Stock team of Greg Anderson (near lane) and Jason Line finished the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Pro Stock season in second and third respectfully. Greg Anderson beat Kurt Johnson to win the event.

The 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Pro Motorcycle champion Hector Arana.

Eddie Krawiec took the event by beating Douglas Horne in the final.

Andrew Hines finished the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Pro Motorcycle season in third.

Matt Smith finished the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Pro Motorcycle season fourth.

An interesting thing happened to Steve Gasparrelli in his Top Alcohol Funny Car. At the “Hit” Steve’s car put oil down on the starting line causing it to swap ends almost taking out the tree as it moved rapidly toward the opposite wall. It finally came to rest down track with the body on the bottom of the car. After some responsive Safety Safari work, Steve walked away. Pictures courtesy of James Drew.

Sean O’Bannon won the Top Alcohol Funny Car Class.

Super Gas winner Mike Ferderer in his Grand Am.

Charlotte Lucas launches her Super Comp Dragster.

The “Pisano & Matsubara” Nostalgia Funny Car made an exhibition run.

Mendy Fry guides her “Nitro Kitty” Nostalgia Funny Car through a burnout.

California Hot Rod Reunion Nostalgia Funny Car runner-up, Josh Crawford’s ’69 Mustang.

(L-R) Ed McCulloch (Ron Capps Crew Chief), Connie Kalitta, Team Owner & Crew Chief (Doug Kalitta, Jeff Arend), Rahn Tobler (Cruz Pedregon Crew Chief).

Top Fuel pilot Anton Brown (L) talks with Rahn Tobler (Cruz Pedregon Crew Chief).

Top Fuel Funny Car competitor “Fast” Jack Beckman. 

Tony Pedregon zoomin’ around on his scooter.

The pits and Nito Alley were packed with Fans.

Just part of the John Force Racing Team haulers in the pits!

Sportsman racers in various classes,