GLENDORA, CA – November 2, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The two finalists for the 50 years of Funny Car celebration were announced at the NHRA SEMA Breakfast at Las Vegas on Wednesday. The iconic 1973 Chevy Vega driven by “Jungle Jim” Liberman and the 1996 Castrol Pontiac Firebird driven by John Force were selected by the fans as the top two legendary machines.
The winner will be announced at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif. Nov. 10-13.
With Liberman behind the wheel of the blue Vega and “Jungle Pam” Hardy as his backup girl, they left an indelible mark on fans across the country. Liberman, who was named the 17th on the list of the top 50 drivers, match raced at tracks during the ’73 season. The flaming burnouts, wheel stands and outrageous personality put the Jungle Jim Funny Car in the NHRA history books.
Force won his sixth Funny Car world championship with the 1996 Castrol Pontiac Firebird in dominating fashion. In a 19-race season, Force powered to 16 final round appearances and won 13 events. He won 65 elimination rounds and was the No. 1 qualifier in the dominate Funny Car thirteen times. He also won the NHRA Showdown, the Funny Car specialty race, at Indianapolis for a fourth time.
NHRA has been celebrating 50 years of Funny Car in a season-long promotion that has featured the fan-favorite cars, explained the evolution of the category, remembered the greatest rivalries, and put the spotlight on the legends who drove the cars in some of the most memorable side-by-side races in NHRA history. From the signature long, smoky burnouts to the wild and zany rides that are often the result of a full run in the volatile short-wheelbase, high-horsepower, nitro-fueled monsters, Funny Car has firmly established its place in the world of NHRA Drag Racing.
Throughout the season, many nostalgic Funny Cars were featured at events and remembered through exhibitions, car displays, and Funny Car racing legends also participated in autograph sessions at several events.
About National Hot Rod Association
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association