GLENDORA, CA – November 9, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Teammates Jason Line and Greg Anderson have experienced a number of high-pressure situations throughout their standout Pro Stock careers, but none of them have included something quite like this heading into this weekend’s Auto Club NHRA Finals at historic Auto Club Raceway.
The longtime Summit Racing Equipment duo, who have six world championships between them, are separated by just 19 points heading into the final event of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Line is the current leader and the showdown is the first time the highly-successful tandem has been this close with a title on the line at the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship finale.
“You go through some of these moments and these high-pressure situations and hopefully everything you learned prepares you for this moment,” said Line, who has eight wins this season. “It comes down to doing the best we can and enjoying the fact that we’re in this situation. I want to go win the race. If I do that, I’ll feel good. We’ve never won there in the fall. It’s always eluded me and it would be nice to do it this year.”
Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will air for the first time on FOX Sports 1. On Sunday, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 4 p.m. (ET). The last race of the 2016 season is loaded with juicy storylines, with the duel between teammates Anderson and Line chief among them.
They have dominated the new era of Pro Stock in their Chevrolet Camaros in 2016, with Anderson following closely behind Line’s win total with seven victories. But with just one combined win in the Countdown to the Championship – Line’s playoff-opening win in Charlotte – they’ve had to scratch and claw their way past a talented Pro Stock field. With everything on the line in Pomona, Anderson envisioned the perfect scenario in regards to how everything would play out during Sunday’s eliminations.
“If we can make our way through competition on Sunday, qualify well, and on opposite sides of the ladder make our way through the rounds and match up in the final round for all the marbles, that would be a dream come true just to have that opportunity,” said Anderson, who has four world titles and 85 career wins. “If it were to happen, that would be the best scenario ever and may the best man win. (We’re) looking forward to this weekend, and hopefully we can execute and make it a dream race.”
Anderson, who last won a Pro Stock championship in 2010, does have history on his side. While Line has four wins in Pomona, none have come at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Anderson, meanwhile, has posted five of his 11 track victories at the event.
“It’s a great racetrack for me,” Anderson said. “It’s a feel good racetrack for me. I love come Sunday and trying to make your way through the rounds and come final round when that sun goes down and it’s dusk and you’ve got lights shining and the grandstand packed. I love it. It’s where drag racing started and it’s just got so much history.”
Line will try to make his own history this weekend in Pomona as he chases his third world championship and first since 2011. The 45-time event winner hasn’t been thrilled with his playoff performance but all of that could change with one impressive weekend.
“We’ve haven’t ran as well in the Countdown as we’d hoped, but we’ve outlasted everybody else and that’s all that matters,” Line said. “We’re not satisfied and we want to keep going faster, but it’s going to be a fun weekend no matter what happens.”
Antron Brown clinched his second straight Top Fuel world championship in Vegas and will try to end his banner year with his eighth win in 2016.
Ron Capps, who has five wins and 10 final rounds appearances in 2016, is closing in on his first Funny Car world title. He leads teammate Matt Hagan by 86 points.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, one of the trio of defending champion Andrew Hines, Krawiec and Jerry Savoie will be crowned champion. Hines and Krawiec are both tied for the points lead, while Savoie’s win in Vegas has him just three points back.
The Auto Club NHRA Finals also features competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. As always, fans have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying feature two rounds at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, and two final qualifying rounds on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.
Tickets are available at NHRA.com/tickets or by calling 1-800-884-NHRA. Kids 12 & under can see it all for free with a general admission ticket, while all students can save 50 percent on general admission at the gate with a student ID.
AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS FACT SHEET
WHAT: 52nd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals, the final of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the final of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.
WHERE: Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Pomona, Calif. Track is located off I-10 at Fairplex Drive. From I-10, go north on Fairplex drive and follow the signs to Auto Club Raceway at the Fairplex.
COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 1,100 feet above sea level; Track direction is north to south.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 10-13
THURSDAY, Nov. 10 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
FRIDAY, Nov. 11 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at noon and 3 p.m.
SATURDAY, Nov. 12 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at noon and 3 p.m.
SUNDAY, Nov. 13 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Friday Nov. 11, FS1 will televise one hour of live qualifying coverage at 11:30 p.m. (ET).
Sunday Nov. 13, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 11:30 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Nov. 13, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 4 p.m. (ET).
2015 EVENT WINNERS:
Shawn Langdon, Top Fuel; Del Worsham, Funny Car; Allen Johnson, Pro Stock; Eddie Krawiec, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
John Force, FC, 8; Kenny Bernstein, TF-FC, 6; Greg Anderson, PS, 5; Bob Glidden, PS, 5; John Myers, PSM, 5; Warren Johnson, PS, 4; Dave Schultz, PSM, 4; Tony Schumacher, TF, 4.
Top Fuel – 3.700 sec. by Shawn Langdon, Feb. ’14 and 332.34 mph by Langdon, Nov. ’15
Funny Car – 3.884 sec. by Jack Beckman, Nov. ’15 and 331.45 by Matt Hagan, Nov. ’15
Pro Stock – 6.480 sec. by Erica Enders, Nov. ’14 and 213.84 mph by Drew Skillman, Nov. ’15
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.766 sec. by Andrew Hines, Nov. ’12; 198.29 mph by Eddie Krawiec, Nov. ’12
Top Fuel – 3.671 sec. by Steve Torrence, July ’16, Sonoma, Calif.; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.
Funny Car – 3.822 by Matt Hagan, Aug. ’16, Brainerd, Minn.; 335.57 mph by Hagan, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ‘14, Englishtown N.J.
PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.
TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also available online at www.NHRA.com/tickets.
GLENDORA, CA — Point standings (top 10) following the 16th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the 23rd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –
1. Antron Brown, 2,581*; 2. Steve Torrence, 2,424; 3. Doug Kalitta, 2,413; 4. Brittany Force, 2,366; 5. Shawn Langdon, 2,365; 6. J.R. Todd, 2,352; 7. Leah Pritchett, 2,334; 8. Tony Schumacher, 2,332; 9. Clay Millican, 2,232; 10. Richie Crampton, 2,227.
1. Ron Capps, 2,546; 2. Matt Hagan, 2,460; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,433; 4. Jack Beckman, 2,395; 5. John Force, 2,387; 6. Del Worsham, 2,373; 7. Courtney Force, 2,334; 8. Robert Hight, 2,313; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 2,262; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 2,184.
1. Jason Line, 2,532; 2. Greg Anderson, 2,513; 3. Shane Gray, 2,438; 4. Vincent Nobile, 2,394; 5. Drew Skillman, 2,371; 6. Bo Butner, 2,369; 7. Chris McGaha, 2,275; 8. Allen Johnson, 2,245; 9. Jeg Coughlin, 2,177; 10. Erica Enders, 2,167.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. (tie) Andrew Hines, 2,509; Eddie Krawiec, 2,509; 3. Jerry Savoie, 2,506; 4. Angelle Sampey, 2,399; 5. Chip Ellis, 2,359; 6. LE Tonglet, 2,340; 7. Cory Reed, 2,281; 8. Matt Smith, 2,277; 9. Hector Arana, 2,245; 10. Hector Arana Jr, 2,236.
* Clinched Top Fuel Championship
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